High quality inquiry demands questions that compel us to seek an answer, but how do we create compelling questions? In part, compelling questions emerge from our interests. In other words, we are most naturally compelled by things that are important to us. A compelling question should also be an invitation to learn more. The more open ended and provocative, the better the question for inquiry. Compelling questions should be authentic. In fact, that sense of authenticity can be the most compelling aspect of inquiry. So, let's review...a compelling inquiry question should be interesting, open-ended, provocative, and authentic. With all these contexts, the process for writing a compelling inquiry questions might seem obvious. But, we still have to manage the question writing process to ensure the question is suited for inquiry.

We might want to think about good writing to find some additional guidance on writing compelling questions. One thing writers do to compel their readers to continue on is to build suspense or mystery. Such an approach might work for inquiry questions. Another approach used by writers that might be helpful in crafting an inquiry question is to use sentiment and empathy.

Having self knowledge and understanding helps guide the questioning process. Inquiry is perspective based which uses one's understanding of self and relating that knowledge to the new information and guides interpretation and modifies the inquiry on a continual basis.

Inquiry questions should be realistically challenging for a variety of abilities.

Teacher/instructors should be facilitators who create an environment in the class that allows for authentic compelling, higher order thinking with no one right answer existing.

What are some other literary approaches that might be appropriated for writing an inquiry question?


Rules for creating partnerships

Work in dyads
You partner should be from another school
You should try to work with someone from the same content area
You can work within a single disciplinary or in an interdisciplinary manner