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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

Guidelines for Strong Answers


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What is a focus question?

  • Focus questions are critical thinking questions about a reading assignment

    They require:

  • thoughtful analysis

  • Support from the book


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Guidelines

1. BE NEAT!

  • Write legibly. Use ink or type your work. 

    NO PENCIL!

  • Use appropriate margins and indentions.

  • Use good spelling and grammar.


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Guidelines

2. BE THOROUGH!

  • Address the question in your answer

  • Be sure to answer ALL parts of each question


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Guidelines

3. BE CLEAR and SPECIFIC!

  • Give specific examples from the book to support your answers

  • Provide page numbers for your examples


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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).


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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.


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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).


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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).


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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.


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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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