3 Ways to Find the Answer to Most Questions - wikiHow (2024)

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Co-authored bywikiHow Staff

Last Updated: December 12, 2023References

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  • Searching Online
  • |
  • Using Databases and Resources
  • |
  • Contacting Field Professionals
  • |
  • Tips

Having a question that you don't know the answer to can be frustrating. Luckily, you can use a variety of different tools to solve your inquiry. Depending on the question, you can use a search engine, conduct extensive research, or contact a professional. Before long, you'll be that much closer to finding the answer.

Method 1

Method 1 of 3:

Searching Online

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  1. 1

    Enter specific terms into the search engine. When using an online search engine, try to make your question as clear as possible. Include any details or specifications relevant to your question to narrow down any non-related search results.[1]

    • Instead of "When is Thanksgiving?," for example, you could search, "When is Thanksgiving 2018?"
    • For research questions (like, for example, "Which scientists set the groundwork for quantum physics?"), try an academic search engine like RefSeek, Google Scholar, or BASE.
  2. 2

    Use quotations for exact questions. If you want very narrow results for your question, you may want to rule out any results that use the same words but do not answer your question. To eliminate these results, put quotations around your entire question.[2]

    • For example, you could search "Where is the best place for clam digging in Washington state?" to get clam digging locations specific to Washington.


  3. 3

    Use search engine customizations to focus or rule out certain results. Depending on the question, you may find certain search engine customizations useful. Try any of these specifications to narrow the search results:[3]

    • (-): cuts out a word (i.e. "-cats" to cut out results about cats)
    • (~): includes synonyms (i.e. "~funny" to include synonyms like silly or hilarious)
    • (*): include relevant terms (i.e. "math*" might include "algebra" or "statistics")
    • (OR) include one or the other term (i.e. "cats OR dogs" includes either cats or dogs)
    • If you want to find the best resources for studying statistics including relevant terms except "trigonometry," for example, you could search, "What are the best learning resources for statistics*? -trigonometry".
  4. 4

    Limit your time period for more relevant results. If your question is specific to a recent event, most search engines allow you to cut the results off to a specific publication date. For Google, for example, you can click "Tools" and then adjust the "any time" results button to a more relevant date for your question.[4]

    • You could, for example, search "Where will the 2020 Olympics be held?" and limit the results to 2016 and onward.
  5. 5

    Ask your smart or home device questions, if applicable. If you have a smart home device (like Siri or Alexa), you can ask it to search questions and find results. Speak your question aloud clearly and within hearing distance of your smart home device so it can find the answer itself or search it for you.

    • You could, for example, ask your smart home device, "Where is the closest pizza delivery service and when does it close?"
    • Many smartphones also have a similar feature that allows you to ask questions aloud. If yours does, ask it a question using the same technique.
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Method 2

Method 2 of 3:

Using Databases and Resources

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  1. 1

    Use an online encyclopedia for educational questions. If you have an academic question, you may be able to find your answer in an online encyclopedia. Visit an online encyclopedia of your choice and search a term relevant to your question, then search the article for any relevant information.

    • If your question is, "Where was Vincent van Gogh born?," for example, you could search his name in an online encyclopedia and read the beginning of his biography.
    • Some popular online encyclopedias include Wikipedia, Scholarpedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Infoplease, and HighBeam Encyclopedia.
  2. 2

    Check academic articles, lectures, and videos. To find an accurate, peer-reviewed answer to your question, the best place to look is academic websites. Search the website for articles, lectures, and videos relevant to your question to gather research towards the answer.

    • Some popular academic websites include Academia, JSTOR, and Bartleby.
    • You could, for example, search for lectures or articles on beluga whale lifespans if your question is, "How do I make a life cycle diagram for beluga whales?"
  3. 3

    Research your question on specialty websites. Search online for websites related to your question's topic. Use the search engine on the website to ask your question or conduct research on pages related to it.

    • If your question is, "Which Italian restaurant in my city has the best reviews?", for example, you could check Yelp.
  4. 4

    Ask a Q&A site or message board for basic questions or advice. If you have a simple question that could use a variety of perspectives, post it on a Q&A or message board. The website users can give advice as needed and point you in the right direction to solving your problems.[5]

    • Some popular Q&A websites include Quora and Reddit.
    • Asking these sites may be less helpful for research question, as they tend to be less credible than academic sites.
  5. 5

    Visit a library reference desk for help researching. If you're having a hard time researching on your own, visit a local library and tell them your question. They can direct you to articles, books, and websites that would be most likely to answer your question.

    • University libraries are especially equipped for handling research questions, and many offer their services for free or a reduced fee to non-students.
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Method 3

Method 3 of 3:

Contacting Field Professionals

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  1. 1

    Research professionals in a field related to your question. Use a search engine or academic website to find professionals who study the field your question involves. Make a list of potential professionals to contact based on their relevancy and expertise to your question.[6]

    • If you have a question about dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, for example, you could search "paleontologists Jurassic period."
  2. 2

    Search for their contact information online. After you've made a list of professionals to contact, use a search engine to find their email address. If you cannot find their contact information, try reaching out to their employer or contacting another professional instead.[7]

    • Many field professionals work as researchers or professors at a university. You could check the university they work at for their email address, if this applies to your intended contact.
    • If you're looking for Dr. Jake Smith's contact information, for example, and he works at Cambridge University, you could search "Dr. Jake Smith Cambridge University."
  3. 3

    Ask your question in a concise, respectful email. Once you've found their contact information, compose a formal email that asks your question and thanks them for their time. You could write, for example:

    • Dear Dr. Smith,
      Hello! My name is John, and I'm a student at Harvard University. I enjoyed reading your research on twentieth-century art history and had a question for you about Salvador Dali. Would you consider his early work part of the surrealist or dada movement and why? I'm fascinated by surrealism and was curious about how Dali's work matured into that art form over time. Thanks so much for your help!
      John Doe
    • If your professional does not have an email but offers a snail mail address, you could always send a letter instead.
  4. 4

    Send the email or letter and wait. After sending the email, give the professional several weeks to respond. If they don't reply after 1-2 months, try verifying their contact information or sending a brief follow-up email.

    • After sending the first follow-up email, do not contact the professional again until they contact you first. They may be too busy to answer the question at this moment.
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      About This Article

      3 Ways to Find the Answer to Most Questions - wikiHow (35)

      Co-authored by:

      wikiHow Staff

      wikiHow Staff Writer

      This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 81,402 times.

      How helpful is this?

      Co-authors: 19

      Updated: December 12, 2023


      Categories: Research | Questions | Internet

      Article SummaryX

      To find the answer to most questions, enter specific questions into an online search engine. For example, you could write "Which scientist set the groundwork for quantum physics?" Also, try putting your question in quotation marks, which will eliminate any results that don't answer your specific question. You can even go into the settings on the search engine you're using and adjust the time period so you only get results that were published before or after a date of your choosing. To learn how to conduct research to find answers to questions, scroll down!

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      3 Ways to Find the Answer to Most Questions - wikiHow (2024)


      What are the 3 three main types of question? ›

      • General or Yes/No Questions.
      • Special or Wh-Questions.
      • Choice Questions.
      • Disjunctive or Tag Questions.
      Oct 2, 2023

      How do you find answers to questions? ›

      Having a question that you don't know the answer to can be frustrating. Luckily, you can use a variety of different tools to solve your inquiry. Depending on the question, you can use a search engine, conduct extensive research, or contact a professional. Before long, you'll be that much closer to finding the answer.

      How to guess multiple choice answers? ›

      Read the question carefully and pick the option that is different from or does not belong with the other options. Sometimes the correct response is longer than the others. When more time is put into developing a response, chances are it is correct.

      What strategies do you use to answer the hardest question? ›

      Use logical reasoning. For each possible answer, ask yourself, "What would happen if… "? Use the process of elimination for multiple-choice questions where more than one option is correct: Pick out the options you are sure are correct.

      What is the 3 level questioning technique? ›

      Factual questions (level one) can be answered explicitly by facts contained in the text. Inferential questions (level two) can be answered through analysis and interpretation of specific parts of the text. Universal questions (level three) are open-ended questions that are raised by ideas in the text.

      What are the three 3 questioning techniques that are commonly used? ›

      Probing questions help you gain detail and clarity. Leading questions are a good technique if you're trying to persuade someone, but they can leave the other person feeling they have little or no choice. Rhetorical questions encourage reflection and are another useful persuasion technique.

      How to do Peter answers? ›

      Write “Peter, please answer the following question” and right after that insert a “.” symbol followed by the answer to the question (which is amazingly invisible, thanks to the splendid use of codings) and then, in the end, put the same punctuation “.” again.

      What is the best way to answer a question? ›

      How to respond to questions effectively
      1. Prepare for tough questions. ...
      2. Pause before responding. ...
      3. Monitor your body language. ...
      4. Reword the question. ...
      5. Take more time if you need to. ...
      6. Acknowledge the other person's emotions. ...
      7. Answer a portion of the question. ...
      8. Ask questions about the question.
      Jun 9, 2023

      How do I find answers in my life? ›

      5 Steps to Finding the Answers Within
      1. Take some time out to connect with yourself. Turn off your phone, computer and TV, and allow yourself time to just be. ...
      2. Take some deep breaths and quiet your mind. ...
      3. Connect with your deeper self. ...
      4. Ask questions and allow the answers to come into your awareness. ...
      5. Trust and practice.
      Feb 27, 2024

      Is C usually the correct answer? ›

      Myth 2: C is the best guess letter and is right more often than any other letter. C or H are right (and wrong) as often as any other answer choice. The only guess letter you don't want to use when you are completely guessing is E or K because they only show up on the math test.

      What is the best guessing strategy? ›

      Eliminate outliers and the highest and lowest numbers.

      Rule out choices that are funny, obviously wrong, or seem totally out of left field. If the possible answers are numbers, rule out the highest and lowest choices, then guess between the options left in the middle range.

      Should I guess ABC or D? ›

      The best strategy, and the one that will maximize your overall point gain, is to pick your favorite letter and fill it in for every blind guess. Whether that letter is A, B, C, or D doesn't matter—just be sure to stick with it every single time.

      What is the most effective questioning strategy? ›

      Tips for asking effective questions

      Practice active listening. After you ask a question, give the person you're speaking to a chance to respond. Let them know you're actively listening to them by nodding your head, making eye contact and repeating parts of their answer back to them when it's your turn to speak again.

      What type of strategy uses for questions to find answers? ›

      • The QUESTION–ANSWER RELATIONSHIP (QAR) is a question answering and generating strategy that improves comprehension by helping students understand the different types of questions. ...
      • - Establish the purpose for using QAR. ...
      • - Read a short passage aloud to your students, and model how to generate and/or.

      What's the hardest question to answer? ›

      Top 30 impossible questions
      • What does God look like?
      • What came first, the chicken or the egg?
      • Where do you go when you die?
      • What are black holes?
      • Why is water wet?
      • Why do people die?
      • How did the world begin?
      • Where do babies come from?

      What are the 3 levels of questions? ›

      * • Level 1 questions focus on gathering and recalling information. Level 2 questions focus on making sense of gathered information. Level 3 questions focus on applying and evaluating information.

      What are the main question types? ›

      Types of questions
      • Closed questions. ...
      • Open questions. ...
      • Funnel questions. ...
      • Leading questions. ...
      • Recall and process questions. ...
      • Rhetorical questions. ...
      • Divergent questions. ...
      • Probing questions.
      Sep 30, 2022

      What is the rule of 3 question? ›

      Put simply, the three question rule is this: when you start a conversation with someone, ask a question, listen to the person's response, and then follow up with two more questions in the same way.

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