Explicit Questions: Everything You Need to Know

These are direct inquiries gotten directly from the portion of text. When a reader goes back to the text, the answers to inquiries are usually stated very clearly in the text, sometimes word-for-word. Thus, there’s always an answer to explicit questions that a reader can find clearly in the words of the text.

The reading comprehension skills of a reader depend on how well he can pull information from a text. Such information can be either implicit or explicit. For readers in kindergarten through fourth grade, one of the primary reading comprehension goals is to understand explicit facts via explicit questions.

The term “explicit” refers to something that’s fully expressed and clear. When something is explicit, there remains no ambiguity about what it means. Thus, there’s no room for misunderstandings or concealed connotations. In a reading comprehension passage, a fact that’s explicit refers to it being stated outright. Thus, textually explicit questions refer to questions whose answers the readers can find right there in the text. Perhaps that’s why such questions are sometimes called factual recall questions. For example, an explicit question could be “What’s the story’s setting?” whose answer is “It was a dark and stormy night.” Since the answer is an explicit fact, there’s no room for confusion or debate. This means the reader can’t be confused and think that the story is set in the afternoon or on a sunny morning.

Explicit questions can be asked to recall explicit information, such as the following:

·         To recall setting, character, or time details: The readers are asked to recall facts explicitly mentioned in the text about the story’s setting, a character (name, feelings, traits, etc.), or when the story takes place.

·         To recall details of an event or single action: The readers are asked questions like what happened, how it happened, what was the event/action, etc., to recall an event or action.

·         To recall a list of items or sequence: The readers are asked questions like what actions/events/items or in which order it happened to help them recall sequences of events, actions, or list of items explicitly mentioned in the text.

·         To recall comparisons: These questions help to recall differences or likenesses among events, characters, or places that have been explicitly compared in the text.

To recall cause-effect relationships: These questions typically involve character motives and help to recall reasons for specific events/actions or their results.

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