Letter to Questions Galore

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rjaguar3
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Letter to Questions Galore

Post by rjaguar3 » Thu May 28, 2009 12:23 pm

The following letter was sent to Questions Galore on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. I will make no comment about how it was received.
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Questions Galore critique.doc
the letter
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Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by JackGlerum » Thu May 28, 2009 12:33 pm

Weiner's laws being cited, oh my!

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by David Riley » Thu May 28, 2009 12:34 pm

Thanks for articulating this, Greg. I hope that it nets some positive results; although, like others, I have my doubts.
David Riley
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Tegan » Thu May 28, 2009 1:27 pm

I echo Coach Riley: well done, Greg ... though based on those who have had dealings with QG, I am not predicting the greatest of outcomes.

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by the return of AHAN » Thu May 28, 2009 1:44 pm

It's a well-written, thorough critique. But accusing a writer of plagiarism can be a delicate matter.
Jeff Price
Barrington High School Coach
Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by at your pleasure » Thu May 28, 2009 3:19 pm

My only quibble is that you did not mention that the clue cited in the last footnote, " inscripction written in three languages" is not even uniquely identifying.
EDIT: Granted, there's only one trilingual inscription that could be asked about in high school, but still.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu May 28, 2009 3:36 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:My only quibble is that you did not mention that the clue cited in the last footnote, " inscripction written in three languages" is not even uniquely identifying.
EDIT: Granted, there's only one trilingual inscription that could be asked about in high school, but still.
Heh.
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Fri May 29, 2009 12:29 am

Sir Thopas wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:My only quibble is that you did not mention that the clue cited in the last footnote, " inscripction written in three languages" is not even uniquely identifying.
EDIT: Granted, there's only one trilingual inscription that could be asked about in high school, but still.
Heh.
New common link tossup?
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by harpersferry » Fri May 29, 2009 10:20 am

Who cares if they don't like you Greg? Good for you. I actually think this might be more useful as ammo to bring to other people to convince them QG sucks, assuming they don't change.
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by First Chairman » Sat May 30, 2009 9:06 am

How public will this letter be distributed? Or do you want this letter to be distributed publicly, say to other coaches in Illinois who have an issue with pyramidal-style questions? In other words, I like the document.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by TheDoctor » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:43 pm

Irving Alva Edison Hobophone Inventor wrote:Who cares if they don't like you Greg? Good for you. I actually think this might be more useful as ammo to bring to other people to convince them QG sucks, assuming they don't change.
I agree. Your critique is well written and well organized, and can be applied to any number of sub-par question writers. Well done.
Kristin Strey
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Head Coach, Winnebago High School (2014-)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-2012)
Northern Illinois University Quiz Bowl Association founder

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by David Riley » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:32 am

Any news, Greg?
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Wackford Squeers » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:25 pm

I commend you heartily. Our conference uses these questions and its practically unbearable; the local coaches keep shooting down the process of using actual questions, seriously screwing up the process of spreading good quizbowl down into the nether regions of the state. If you don't mind, I'm printing this letter out to read to my team, they'll be happy to hear that there's a general outcry against these questions.
Ben Chametzky
University of Chicago, 2016
Carbondale Community High School, 2012
IHSSBCA High School Liaison 2011-2012

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by rjaguar3 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:16 am

Chametz wrote:I commend you heartily. Our conference uses these questions and its practically unbearable; the local coaches keep shooting down the process of using actual questions, seriously screwing up the process of spreading good quizbowl down into the nether regions of the state. If you don't mind, I'm printing this letter out to read to my team, they'll be happy to hear that there's a general outcry against these questions.
Oh, you're more than welcome to do so. I certainly hope it works.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by kayli » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:21 am

An issue I have is the reference to these forums and to the quizbowl wiki. Sure, all of us here talk pretty seriously about quizbowl, but a reference to an internet forum or a wiki of any sort kinda lessens the credibility of the piece. Also, I think that Weiner's Law #1, Numberwang!, and CLOOS are terms pretty unique to the people on these forums. A random guy named Matt Weiner and random weirdo terms don't seem very trustworty. I think it'd be better to just write on what good quizbowl is about and how Questions Gallore does not make good quizbowl. Also, the entire thing seems a little verbose, and not too many people will want to pick up a 10 page paper trying to convince them that what they've been going to is bad. Other than that, it's a highly informative, well-written piece. I think we're all grateful for the work you put into it.
Kay, Chicago.

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by kayli » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:22 am

Whoa, welp, I'm extremely late to the party.
Kay, Chicago.

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by rjaguar3 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:32 am

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:An issue I have is the reference to these forums and to the quizbowl wiki. Sure, all of us here talk pretty seriously about quizbowl, but a reference to an internet forum or a wiki of any sort kinda lessens the credibility of the piece. Also, I think that Weiner's Law #1, Numberwang!, and CLOOS are terms pretty unique to the people on these forums. A random guy named Matt Weiner and random weirdo terms don't seem very trustworty. I think it'd be better to just write on what good quizbowl is about and how Questions Gallore does not make good quizbowl. Also, the entire thing seems a little verbose, and not too many people will want to pick up a 10 page paper trying to convince them that what they've been going to is bad. Other than that, it's a highly informative, well-written piece. I think we're all grateful for the work you put into it.
I'm glad you brought up these issues. An edited version appears in Scholastic Visions September 2009 issue, under the title "What's a Good Quizbowl Question?" That might be more helpful.

EDIT: If you want, since I wrote the article, unless anyone from the IHSSBCA objects, I can send you a copy by e-mail.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:03 am

Greg has my permission to send it out or post it.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by rjaguar3 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:38 pm

Thank you so much, Mr. Reinstein. Here is the modified version, attached.
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What Is a Good Quizbowl Question.doc
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Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by panch » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:12 pm

I have to praise you for writing the letter, Greg. Questions Galore has been used at our conference and has everyone on the tips of their seats actually waiting for the questions to show up. In addition, Questions Galore has also given many bonuses that have the wrong answer written down and that has led to mass confusion. I sincerely hope that Questions Galore will be inspired to shift their unimaginably terrible style of writing quizbowl questions.
Srinivas Panchamukhi
Religiously Tolerant Quizbowl Player
Carbondale Community High School '12

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Monk » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:28 pm

This letter is a great declaration of scholar bowl theory beliefs. However, when it comes to trying to improve the quality of Questions Galore questions, one thing I don't see mentioned enough is simple accuracy. When I've played with Questions Galore packets, usually more than one question contains obviously incorrect information, ultimately leading to there being no correct answer.

In particular, I remember a question on The Three Musketeers that claimed to be British Literature (without ever mentioning any redeeming British connection) and a question on Henry James that claimed he was a British author.

I also recall incorrect packet information. Bonuses labeled as four-part would actually have five parts, and questions would be missing (a moderator had to say, "There is no question nine. I will read question 27 as a replacement.")
J. L. Monk
CCHS Captain '09-'10

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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by Dayo Dankole » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:53 am

I agree that the tone of the QG letter was much more "I'm trying to impress my friends on a quizbowl forum by telling QG what's what" than "I'm making a genuine attempt to make a positive change". I'd be surprised if they got past the first instance of CLOOS.
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Re: Letter to Questions Galore

Post by rjaguar3 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:23 am

Dayo Dankole wrote:I agree that the tone of the QG letter was much more "I'm trying to impress my friends on a quizbowl forum by telling QG what's what" than "I'm making a genuine attempt to make a positive change". I'd be surprised if they got past the first instance of CLOOS.
For anyone who's interested, the question discussion was originally the entirety of the letter; it was due to some editors of the letter that I wrote the section later spun off into the Scholastic Visions article.

EDIT: I also decided adding the explanations because I wasn't sure whether those at QG (1) knew why putting "Rhapsody in Blue" in the first line of a Gershwin question is bad, (2) knew why requiring the FULL NAME of George Gershwin and disclosing that only in the last sentence of the question is bad, (3) knew why an alleged clue "it is considered the 'Great American Novel'" is a terrible clue, and so forth.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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