1. vickspam
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    vickspam New Member

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    The use of questions in a sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by vickspam, Aug 8, 2011.

    HI
    I am hoping some one can advise me please. I am unsure about the inclusion of several questions in a sentence or even how to go about structuring it.

    The following is a totally fictious paragrpah but along the lines of the one I need to edit which I am afraid I cannot post, please can someone advise me:

    The use of the naughty step to help discipline children is now highly established in behavioural management but several practical questions remain in relation to it’s use, for example, which children is it most effective on and when should we use it? Should we use it repeatedly? How should we manage the child’s response? And also what can we do to minimize overusing the technique? Prof X addressed each of these issues in her talk.

    As far as I am aware a question mark serves as a full stop or period, so should a new question therefore start with a capital? Do you need a quesion mark after each sentence or do you seperate each question with a ; and then have a final quesiton mark? Would it be better to end the first sentence at ....in relations to it's use. And then somehow bring in the questions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't serve as a full stop. It serves as the end to a clause, which is what a full stop does also.

    And since a question is a kind of sentence, yes, it should begin with a capital letter.

    You should limit use of semi-colons. If you have multiple questions, just ask them separately. One question mark per question is the rule.

    As for where it'd be better to end sentences and such, that's up to you since that's a matter of prose and not punctuation. Use your style and flair for that bit.
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nowadays a question mark ends a sentence. A hundred years or so ago it didn't (necessarily), so you may well see older stuff in which a question mark is not followed by a capital letter, but that's decidedly archaic now.
     
  4. Amsterdamatt
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    Amsterdamatt Member

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    The only change I would make would be a colon to introduce the list of questions (which also then frees you to capitalise the first question):

    "The use of the naughty step to help discipline children is now highly established in behavioural management, but several practical questions remain in relation to it’s use, for example: Which children is it most effective on and when should we use it? Should we use it repeatedly? How should we manage the child’s response? And what can we do to minimize overusing the technique? Prof X addressed each of these issues in her talk."
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your example is just fine, except that the first question doesn't need to be part of the initial sentence. (Well, and that pesky its/it's confusion.) It would be cleaner and easier to understand to stat a new sentence:

    "... practical questions remain in relation to its use. For example, which children..."

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I found the introduction of the questions to be awkward to be honest and the four things I advise in writing something like this is to:

    1) Watch your perspective. You're using a narrative form designed to tell, present, and explain information. In your example, you start out in a narrative form designed to present information in distant, objective manner, but then switch to a perspective that is not only feels like a it's on a personal/close level but the questions are not being presented in a way to draw out information, but more in a way in which you questions just linger with no distinct or direct tie to your intent of asking the questions in the first place.

    It's like you began your presentation wearing shoes from an expert's point of view, but then switched to wearing shoes to present the information from a regular Joe's point of view.

    2) Write in relation to how you need to present the piece - objective, close, personal, distant - and stick to it. Any move away from those views should be deliberate to draw out a point, especially for information pieces like you have in your example.

    Notice that the piece starts out seemingly objective, but then becomes personal when you introduce your questions through the use of the pronoun 'we' instead of using a more impersonal pronoun such as 'one.'

    3) In most cases when presenting information, you need to make sure that your points are complete and have closure. Instead of just saying the naughty-step is used. Let the readers know what exactly the naughty-step is. It's a behavior-management tool in your case. By identifying what exactly you are talking about from the very beginning, it not only gives the reader more information, but it creates a nice impersonal reference for later on - where you can just say tool, instead of 'it' or the using its full name of tool - and it also allows you to present information in a way that can compared and constant to another point, as well as allow you to talk about several different things at once instead of confusing the readers by referring to everything with 'it.' 'It' is good if you only have one thing you are talking about, but if later want to present either another example or some other point, it would suit you better to distinctly reference.

    Same goes for the professor. Instead of just saying professor, tell us what kind of professor she is and why she is relevant to the the topic at hand.

    Referencing properly is your friend in information pieces. It has a lot of power. You don't want to over do it, but learning to reference things when appropriate is one of the best ways to make your information pieces both relevant and important.

    4) Pay attention to the placement of your questions. Often times, you can use one question to more effectively present the next questions. Remember, you want to effectively relate your writing to your readers and presenting things in manners that logically make sense is more adept to be being received well, than those pieces of information being presented in random order.

    To illustrate my points:

    The use of the naughty-step to help discipline children is now a highly established tool in behavioral management today thanks to its 90% success rate in procuring desired behavioral results. However, even with such a high success rate, several practical questions still remain in relation to it's use. For example, for which children would this tool be garnered effective? Can and should it be used repeatedly? And if yes, then what would be considered the appropriate time to use it? And if not, then what should be done to minimize the over-use of the it? And last but not least, how does one go about properly managing a child's response once the tool is used? Professor X, lead researcher on behavioral-management studies at Cornell University has addressed of all these questions and more in her latest lecture on "X."



    Anyway, this is probably a lot more than what you asked for, but I felt each point added to your overall question. Hope it helps.
     
  7. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    This is how I would put it.
    The use of the naughty step to help discipline children is now highly established in behavioural management. Several practical questions remain in relation to it’s use: Which children is it most effective on and when should we use it, should we use it repeatedly, how should we manage the child’s response and what can we do to minimize overusing the technique?
    Prof X addressed each of these issues in her talk.
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find that very hard to follow, and only having one question mark seems to contradict the "several questions".
     

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