Notes and Exercises on Asking Essential Questions pp. 5 - 15
A. Analytic (or Descriptive) and Evaluative Questions
An analytic or descriptive question probes the nature or structure of something. An evaluativequestion probes the quality or value of something.
Example (analytic): What is the chemical composition of a star?Example (evaluative): Is Asimov's book on stars interesting?
Exercises:A. Identify whether the following questions are analytic or evaluative. Explain!
1. How many sessions does this course have?2. Is Tom Cruise a good actor?3. Is Kim Basinger sexy?4. Is this assignment difficult?5. What are the requirements for passing this course?6. Is your stereo system Phillips?7. Are Phillips stereo systems good?8. Is Macy's an expensive store?
A 2. Compose one analytic and one evaluative question on the following topics:
a) your clothing, b) Katrina relief efforts, c) War in Iraq
B. Conceptual and Empirical Questions
A conceptual question probes the meaning or aspects of a concept or idea, i.e., it requires ananswer based on definition and/or analysis of concept(s). An empirical question pertains to realityor fact, i.e., it requires an answer based on reality or fact.
Example (conceptual): What is love?
This is a question on the meaning of a concept.
Example (empirical): How many weekly flights are there from Las Vegas to Honolulu?
Thisis a question pertaining to facts about the weekly availability flights on certain routes.Exercises:
B. Identify whether the following questions are conceptual or empirical. Explain!
Is equality of sexes and races required by justice?2.
Does the U.S. have equality of sexes and races?3.
Must love be unconditional?4.
Is Ms. K in love with Mr. S?5.
Is affirmative action reverse discrimination?6.
Is intentional bombing of civilian areas a war crime?7.
Have U.S. forces committed war crimes in Iraq?8.
Is government censorship of pornography consistent with the idea of freedom of expression?9.
What is terrorism?10.
Is Bin Laden sponsoring terrorism?11.
What is the boiling point of water?12.
What is the molecular structure of water?