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What are examples of writing an open-ended questions in the following situation? Provide information of family’s history. Interview a mom, dad, or even a grandparent. Write list of 5 open-ended questions—questions require more than yes or no answer for interview. The answers need to be good notes. Then, provide 5-7 sentences based on 5 questions you asked and learned from the intervewee.

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As your prompt tells you, an open-ended question is a question that elicits more than a yes or no answer or some other short, factual answer from the person to whom you are talking.  So, if you ask your mother “was Dad your only boyfriend,” it is not an open-ended question.  Similarly, if you ask your father “in what year did you move to Place X” it is not an open-ended question.  These questions require only short answers.  They do not encourage your interview subject to open up and really start talking about their life.  When you interview someone, you really want to ask open ended questions because that way they can go where they want with the answer and you can come to understand them better.

So, for example, you can ask “what made you want to do job X for a living?”  Or you can ask “what sorts of things are better (or worse) about life today compared to when you were growing up?”  These sorts of questions encourage your interviewee to talk about themselves and their feelings.  They are much more likely to elicit good responses than closed-ended questions are.

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