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FOCUS QUESTIONS. Guidelines for Strong Answers. What is a focus question?. Focus questions are critical thinking questions about a reading assignment They require: thoughtful analysis Support from the book. Guidelines. 1. BE NEAT! Write legibly. Use ink or type your work. 

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focus questions

FOCUS QUESTIONS

Guidelines for Strong Answers

what is a focus question
What is a focus question?
  • Focus questions are critical thinking questions about a reading assignment

They require:

  • thoughtful analysis
  • Support from the book
guidelines
Guidelines

1. BE NEAT!

  • Write legibly. Use ink or type your work. 

NO PENCIL!

  • Use appropriate margins and indentions.
  • Use good spelling and grammar.
guidelines4
Guidelines

2. BE THOROUGH!

  • Address the question in your answer
  • Be sure to answer ALL parts of each question
guidelines5
Guidelines

3. BE CLEAR and SPECIFIC!

  • Give specific examples from the book to support your answers
  • Provide page numbers for your examples
where do the page numbers go
Where do the page numbers go?
  • Page numbers go directly afteryour example from the book
  • Place them in parentheses before the period

Example:

Cole Matthews anger is likely related to the awful home life he has. Both of his parents are alcoholics and his father is physically and verbally abusive (p. 54-55).

how do i begin
How do I begin?
  • Your topic sentence should
    • Address the question directly

what is the questions asking you?

    • Include the author and title name

ONLY in the very first question in a set

Example:

In the novel Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, Cole Matthews is a troubled teenager.

how do i include an example
How do I include an example?

1. First, introduce the context for the example.

  • Context refers to the surrounding details of your example, such as
    • WHO said it
    • WHERE it came from
    • WHAT was happening

Example:

Garvey tells Cole, “you can’t own at’oow. You are only its caretaker for a time” (p. 19).

how do i include an example9
How do I include an example?

2. Next, provide your example.

  • It’s best to paraphrase
    • That means to put it into your own words only giving the most important details
  • OR include a quote when appropriate
    • Don’t forget to include quotation marks!
  • Provide the page number after your example!

Example:

Both of Cole’s parents are alcoholics and his father is physically and verbally abusive (p. 54-55).

how do i include an example10
How do I include an example?

3. Finally, follow your example with commentary.

  • Commentary refers to your explanation of the significance of the quote. Why is this important?
  • Be sure to explain your reasoning. It’s good to use the word "because" (just not at the beginning of the sentence).

Example:

Garvey tells Cole, “you can’t own at’oow. You are only its caretaker for a time” (p. 19). These words demonstrate the nature of the at’oow and its symbol of not only trust, but community and ancestry. It was a shared symbol that transcended time.

detail sandwich
DETAIL SANDWICH

o

After hearing that Peter ratted on him,

CONTEXT

DETAIL with pg#

Cole brutally attacks Peter (p.8).

COMMENTARY

Cole’s anger drives him to violence.

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