Monday, February 6, 2012

Learning to Ask Good Questions

Today in class we will begin to explore how to ask good questions. You will all at some point need to interview someone about food culture, and I will increasingly expect you to incorporate such technique into your blog posts.

Good questions are the ones that invite your subject to share important details about what matters to them. A few things to think about when asking questions:

Avoid "yes/no" questions that elicit a one word response. Consider the difference in the following:

"Tell me about the first time you ever made gumbo." instead of "When did you first make gumbo?"

As questions that encourage your subject to be a storyteller.

At the same time, be a good listener. Ask follow-up questions. Encourage your subject to enrich their tale with descriptions of the people, places, and times that they relate.

Consider the following documentary. How much do we hear the interviewer?

"Gus" by Joe York.

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