Steps of the Scientific Method

Scientific Method Steps of the Scientific MethodThe scientific method is the chain of steps that researchers in the scientific community use to confirm theories, make discoveries, and change or revise previous thoughts on things. It is a very detailed and logical approach to making sure any and all bases are covered when it comes to making declarations about a scientific topic. The approach is an accepted way of making discoveries that has existed for centuries and has led to some of the greatest discoveries that we benefit from today.

The Elements

There are four elements to the scientific method that give the outline of the practical steps performed when performing research. Those four elements are:

Characterization – Any issue that seems like it needs addressing from the start.

Hypothesis – The theory or non-concrete explanation for a question that is under scrutiny.

Prediction – Educated guessing about what the outcome of a hypothesis could be.

Experiment – Testing on any and all aspects of a hypothesis to confirm or deny plausibility.

These elements are the framework that the formal steps of the scientific method are founded upon.

The Steps

Carrying out the steps of the scientific method is always set in stone. The elements of the method are variable to a certain degree, but the process in which research is conducted is solid and tried and true. The method of any scientist, famous or otherwise, comes down to this group of steps.

  • Present a question
  • Find resources to use in research
  • Form hypothesis
  • Test with experiments that can be universally reproduced
  • Analyze data
  • Draw conclusions
  • Retest

Retesting data is always an option in the scientific method. When new ideas or technology are available, what may have been a good theory at first could now be obsolete. This is why the scientific method is a nearly perfect system for research, the ability to review previous discovery. Checks and balances allow for acceptable schools of thought to be challenged if a better option presents itself.

Using the scientific method is the best way to prove any theory imaginable. If a thought about why something works the way it does is in question, creating a theory based on the scientific method will draw initial conclusions. Peer reviews then uphold or revise any findings that come around. We wouldn’t know half the things we know now had it not been for the scientific method and its adherents.

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