Answering Open-Ended
Questions for Social Studies
1. Do not write in the 1st person / use any “I” phrases
O Ex: I think, I feel, I believe, in my opinion, etc.
2. Do not speak directly to the reader
O Do not ask questions / Say “you”
3. Use the proper tense
O History = past tense. (was, not is) (were, not are)
O Present day = present tense
4. Spelling and grammar count!
5. Do not refer to historical figures by only their first
6. Begin with a topic sentence that states your point
7. Support your topic sentence with FACTS
8. Stay on topic
O Who should be the number 1 pick in
a fantasy football draft?
O Which team will win the NBA title
this season?
O Which recording artist or group
should have won the MTV VMA for
best artist?
O What movie was the best movie
released this past summer?
DBTA recently instituted a
mandatory homework policy that
states that every student needs to
receive at least 20 minutes of
reading and writing homework
each night. Is this a good idea?
Why or why not?
Introductory Paragraph
O Begin by introducing the topic by discussing
background information and lead into the body of the
topic. (Move from general to specific)
O Introduction should end with a clear, precise thesis
statement that rewords the question, gives your
argument, and briefly outlines your points
O Example?
Body Paragraphs
O Each body paragraph should begin with a clear,
concise topic sentence that states your point of
emphasis for that paragraph.
O Support your claims with factual evidence
Concluding Paragraph
O Conclusion should be a brief summary of the main
points of the essay by elaborating briefly on your
thesis statement (Move from specific to general)
O Do not introduce new ideas
O Do not discuss contradictions to your points
O Do not end with “The End”, thanking the reader, or
another type of dramatic signature. Focus on
knowledge, not personality.
Given open-ended responses
students will identify the topic
sentence and list the supporting