RARE - Answering Questions

  • In an effort to help students look for causes, explanations or a deeper meaning about their beliefs, feelings and understanding about certain issues, they are often asked to give a complete answer to a question. Someone who gives a complete answer not only gives an answer, but tells why that is their answer, and then gives examples as proof to back up what they say. The following steps are often abbreviated to RARE - Restate Answer Reason Example.

    Four parts to a complete answer:
    1. Restate Question/Task/Assignment/Issue Restate the part of the question or assignment that will begin your answer.
    2. Answer/Belief (sometimes called a Thesis Statement) Say what you believe/think/feel about the question/task/assignment/issue.
    3. Reason/Explanation Give the reason why you believe/think/feel the answer you gave is an acceptable answer. (The reason why most people believe/think/feel the way they do is based on their background and experiences, their behavior, the way they grew up, their religious/political beliefs, the behavior among “normal” people they live with, things they like or dislike, the way they think things should really be, etc.) Where possible, your reason should be based on real information that can prove your belief/thesis statement by using proof, data and evidence (this is information that is already out there in the world that will agree with what you say, it might be a book, or a website, or something visible that everyone has experienced).
    4. Example/Evidence that make sense Give one or more examples or pieces of evidence to prove/support your reason/explanation of what you said in step 3. This must be either from the material you are talking about (book, article, website, etc.) or from real-life (something you've done or experienced).
    (Optional #5: Tie-In & Restate Belief Tie-in your example with your explanation so they fit together and then repeat your belief statement from above.)

    There is a final part to making your answer complete:
    • Complete Answer Take the above five parts and make one complete paragraph. Don't just shove each piece together, but connect them together with transition words and phrases (see the examples below).

    Example 1

    Question: How do you feel about Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books?

    1. Restate Question:The way I feel about Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books is
    2. Answer/Belief Statement: I don’t like Draco.
    3. Reason/Explanation: He treats others with contempt, as if they are all “lower” than he is.
    4. Example/Evidence: Calling Hermione a “mudblood” all of the time; not approaching Buckbeak with the proper respect.
    (Optional #5. Tie-In & Restate Belief: People don't feel comfortable around other people who act and talk as if they are better than you. Everybody should be treated with kindness and respect. I don’t like Malfoy because he doesn’t treat others with respect.)
    • As a Complete Answer: The way I feel about Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books is that I don’t like him because he treats other people with contempt, as if he is better than everybody else. For example, he is always calling Hermione a “mudblood,” which is his way of thinking he is better than she is. He also had a problem with Hagrid’s pet hippogriff, Buckbeak. Hagrid tells everyone that you have to treat and approach hippogriffs a certain way. But Malfoy thinks he can just barge in and act however he wants. (Of course, Malfoy pays for it with the hippogriff.)
    (Optional #5: People don’t feel comfortable around other people who think they are better than you. Everybody should be treated with kindness and respect. Since Draco doesn’t treat people this way, I don't like him.

    Example 2

    Assignment: Explain how you can be a better student. 

    1. Restate Question/Task/Assignment/Issue: I can be a better student by
    2. Answer/Belief/Thesis Statement: paying attention during class.
    3. Reason/Explanation: Right now I sometimes space off during class, so I don't hear what is being said which causes me to not know what I'm supposed to learn or do.
    4. Example/Evidence: The other day during class, I found myself playing with my lunch card in math class while the teacher was explaining how to add unlike fractions. I didn't realize I needed to change the denominators before adding.
    (Optional #5: Tie-In & Restate Belief: My failure to pay attention caused me to do the assignment incorrectly. I wasn't being a good student since I wasn't paying attention to the instruction. Paying closer attention will help me be a better student.)
    • Complete Answer I can be a better student by paying attention during class. Right now I sometimes space off during class, so I don't hear what is being said which causes me to not know what I'm supposed to learn or do. For example, just the other day during math class, I found myself playing with my lunch card while the teacher was explaining how to add unlike fractions. I didn't realize I needed to change the denominators before adding.
    (Optional #5: My failure to pay attention caused me to do the assignment incorrectly. I wasn't being a good student since I wasn't paying attention to the instruction. So by paying closer attention, it will help me be a better student.)
    Extended RARE (E-RARE)

    Extended RARE means you have added a lot more to your reasons and given multiple examples instead of just a quick statement of just a few words. Instead, have a discussion about the issue like Mr. C gets into when we discuss these types of questions in class - have those kinds of discussions on your paper. The part you "extend" (make longer) is the "Example" and the "Reason" because you keep giving more and more examples to prove your point, and give reasons why those examples do prove your point. E-RARE answers should be a minimum of 100 words. [There are 100 words in this paragraph, not including these words in the square brackets.]

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