Question Writing and Editing

Question Writing

  • Write the question using only the paperbacks we purchase, so the page numbers are correct.
  • Make sure the quotes are verbatim and the page numbers are correct.
  • If you incorporate a quote into your question, please use quotation marks.
  • Write questions in the proper format (as shown below). Question editors may return questions to question writers for corrections not in the proper format.
  • Questions must be written so that the answer is always the title and author.
  • Keep questions vague enough to not be too easy (no obvious nouns/names), but specific enough that they only apply to one book.
  • Use concrete material from books. Don’t make assumptions from hints in the book.
  • The teams are clever—don’t hold back when writing questions!
  • Submit your questions through the form on the website.


Question Samples:

  • Eating a whole orange by yourself was considered a luxury in which book? (The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, p. 104)
  • This is a quote from which book: “Twice now you have refused to leave me behind, but now you must.” (Icefall by Matthew Kirby, p. 298)
  • Name the book in which a character is described as looking like a “beggar evangelist.” (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, p. 337)

*Underlines indicate helpful phrases to ensure that the answer is always the title and author. Writers do not need to use underlines.


Question Editing

  • Delete or rewrite inaccurate or overly specific/vague questions. (We still use the non-Regional Qs as practice questions, so rewrite/delete all questions that need it, not just the Regional ones.)
    • Could this question apply to any other books? If so, make it more specific.
    • Are there obvious clues in the question? If so, make it more vague.
    • Is this question concrete, or is it an assumption based on hints in the book?
  • Make sure the quotes and page numbers are correct.
  • Fact check. Fix if possible, or delete if there’s no way of fixing it.
  • Read the question aloud. Will the wording give an MC difficulty at the regional battle?
  • Make sure the questions are clearly written and concise.
  • Identify duplicate questions dealing with similar facts and save the best one; delete the rest.
  • Type an “R” into the “Regional” column of the Excel document to note which questions should be used in the Regional Battle. These should be the tougher questions.



  • Questions must be submitted to the online form by May 1.
  • The questions will be sent to question editors, who will email edited questions, separated into Practice/Local and Regional Questions, to Linda Deubert by June 8.
  • Practice/Local Questions will be distributed to participating libraries by July 1.

Updated 2/2015