Any Question is Good, But Some Get Us Where We Want to Go


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Many times in life, the difference between getting what we want and creating misunderstandings is the quality of questions we use. While understanding how to ask better questions helps us at home, in school, on-the-job, and in our personal life; research demand a good research question. Let's begin by reviewing different types of questions so that later, we can apply questioning strategies to make research easier and fun!

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Any Question is Good, But Some Get Us Where We Want to Go

  1. 1. Any Question is Good ©2013 William P. Breitsprecher & BreitLinks. All Rights Reserved But some questions get us where we want to go: • Easier • Faster • Directly • Avoid misunderstandings
  2. 2. Mr. B’s Card Trick! ©2013 William P. Breitsprecher & BreitLinks. All Rights Reserved • Do you like to play cards? • Many have made small fortunes with cards on the luck of the draw. • If I had a deck of cards to show you…
  3. 3. Black or Red Cards • Most decks of cards have two colors, red & black, please pick one. • If answer is RED, say, “Good choice -- I will remove the BLACK cards from the deck, leaving the… • Wait for reply, “red cards”. • If answer is BLACK say, “So I will take the black ones out, which leaves us the… (RED cards).
  4. 4. Hearts or Diamonds • Now that we have only red cards, we see there are 2 types: hearts & diamonds. • What would you choose? Hearts or diamonds? • If answer is DIAMONDS, say “Which leaves the… (HEARTS) • If answer is HEARTS say, “Good choice, let’s keep the HEARTS.
  5. 5. Face or Number Cards • Now there are different types of red cards – some are the face cards, Jack, Queen, King and Aces. The other cards have numbers. • If you were drawing into an inside straight, which would you want, face or number cards? • If they choose FACE, say, “I will take those out, leaving us the… (number cards). • If they choose NUMBER, say, “That’s right, I will remove the face cards leaving the… (number cards).
  6. 6. High or Low Cards? • The number cards are either high, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; or they are low 2, 3, 4, 5. • If you are playing Blackjack, which would you prefer to be dealt? • If they choose HIGH, say, “I will take those out, leaving us the… (LOW cards). • If they choose LOW, say, “That's right, I will remove the high cards, leaving us the… (LOW cards).
  7. 7. Odd or Even Cards • Some numbers are even, divisible by two, 2 & 4, and some numbers are odd, 3 & 5. • Please choose either even or odd. • If they choose EVEN, say, “I will take those out, leaving us the… (ODD cards). • If they choose ODD, say, “That's right, I will remove the EVEN cards, leaving us the… (ODD cards).
  8. 8. Three or Five • Well, we’ve removed most of the cards from our deck – all that’s left are the three and five. • Please pick one. • If they say FIVE, say, “So I will take that out – that leaves us what card? ((ou may need to prompt, “what suit”?) • If they save THREE, say, “Three of what (prompting for HEARTS).
  9. 9. I Knew You’d Pick That! • Try to move quickly • Don’t give people chance to think • Questions lead to same answer • Some will not cooperate • They will not allow themselves to be led by questions • Best to demonstrate this with friendly, open-minded, cooperative people.
  10. 10. Closed Ended Questions • Limits response • May be multiple-choice • May be yes/no • May ask for rating with a number scale (1-10) • Often used when questioner seeks a known answer (like my card trick) • Used to confirm understanding • Used to “close” sales
  11. 11. Examples • May I use the bathroom? • Do I turn left or right? • What is the state Capitol? • How would you rate the service you received? • Do you have an enforced, insured savings plan for your family? • So you’re telling me you want quality, but at a reasonable price? • Will this be cash or charge?
  12. 12. Open-Ended Questions • Encourages thought and a full, meaningful answer • Lets us share knowledge and/or feelings • Opposite of closed-ended question • Less controlling, more objective • "Why" and "How", or phrases such as "Tell me about...“ • Not always stated as a direct question
  13. 13. Examples • Why do you think the bear is feeling grumpy? • Why do you feel that way? • I am not certain I understand, can you explain in more detail? • What examples can you share? • Tell me about your relationship with your friends. • That's an interesting shirt you're wearing.
  14. 14. What do YOU think? • Do you use both types of questions? • How do you decide what type to use? • Does it make a difference? • Can this help you in school? • Can this help you at home? • Identify examples of how to use this