On Asking Good Questions

Commonplace Book Blog

I don’t know whether it’s an art or a science. But I do know this: the ability to ask good questions is a skill, one which can be practiced, crafted, and perfected. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

In the wake of two rather successful blog posts last week (my Discover post The Role of Imagination in Creative Nonfiction and On the Improbability of Being Discovered), in which dozens of people responded to a question at the end of each post, I’ve recently been thinking about what makes a good question.

Because this influx of responses is not usually the case for me.

I usually pose a question at the end of each post, which is at least loosely related to what I’ve written. Some questions produce little response; others, none. And several have inspired quite a few truly engaging comments.

I think about the questions I’ve been asked over the years…

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