Open questionsDefinitionAn open question can be defined thus:An open question is likely to receive a long answer.Although any question can receive a long answer, open questions deliberately seek longer answers, and are the opposite of closed questions.Using open questionsOpen questions have the following characteristics:They ask the respondent to think and r These are two types of questions you can use that are very different in character and usage.Closed questionsDefinitionThere are two definitions that are used to describe closed questions. A common definition is:A closed question can be answered with either a single word or a short phrase.Thus 'How old are you?' and 'Where do you live?' are closed questions. A more limiting definition that is sometimes used is:A closed question can be answered with either 'yes' or 'no'.By this definition 'Are you happy?' and 'Is that a knife I see before me?' are closed questions, whilst 'What time is it?' and 'How old are you?' are not. This causes a problem of how to classify the short-answer non-yes-or-no questions, which do not fit well with the definition for open questions. A way of handling this is to define 'yes-no' as a sub-class of the short-answer closed question.Using closed questionsClosed questions have the following characteristics:They give you facts. They are easy to answer.They are quick to answer.They keep control of the conversation with the questioner.