Short Answer Response

By: Abbie Klassen

What is a short answer response?

Short answers are answers that include a subject in order to answer a yes/no or no question. They state a side, evidence supporting their side, and the reasoning behind their choice.


How do I use it?

Directly answer the question and then add in textual evidence that supports your claim, ending with a short summary of why your textual evidence supports your answer.


When do I use it?

When you are trying to answer a yes or no question with evidence supporting your side.


Why do we use this?

We use it when we are trying to answer a question and support it with good, textual evidence.

Examples of Short Answer Responses

Example #1

Question: How does the evidence from this act create reasonable doubt?


The evidence from this act creates reasonable doubt because even though they said that the knife used in the killing was super rare, one of the jurors took his out and showed the jury that the knife wasn't as rare as they thought it would be. Juror 4 says, “It’s a very strange knife. I’ve never seen one like it before in my life.” Then Juror 3 stands up, taking out a knife that was exactly like the murder weapon. From this information from the play, you can see that even though there was evidence that the knife was rare, there was also evidence proving that the knife wasn’t rare.


This is an example of a mediocre short answer response.


Example #2

Example #2:


Question: How does the evidence from this act create reasonable doubt?


The evidence from this act creates lots of reasonable doubt. There is reasonable doubt when they talk about the suspect being “dumb from eight o'clock until about midnight and then about midnight he is smart one second, then dumb for a few seconds and then, smart again and then once again he becomes stupid so stupid that he does not think of a good alibi.” From this quote, you can see that while there was evidence against the boy being the killer, there was also evidence that he wasn't guilty because there is no way that he would be able to be smart and then stupid, smart and then stupid, so many times over and over. They also find out that there is reasonable doubt against their one main witness, the woman that “saw” the murder from the window of her apartment across the street. They said that she wears glasses and said that since she was laying in bed trying to sleep, she wouldn't have her glasses on therefore causing her to “only see a blur.”


This is an example of a good short answer response.


Example #3

Question: How does the evidence from this act create reasonable doubt?


The evidence from this act creates reasonable doubt because the old man claims that he heard the boy scream “I’m gonna kill you!” and that he also heard thud of the father hitting the floor after being stabbed. But since the tenement houses are right next to the el train tracks, there was no way that he could actually hear all of that because of how loud the train was. This then leads the jury to believe the the old man was “a little off on the speed that [he] moved at...” They also said that they believed that “the old cripple swore, on his oath, that it was 15.” From this text, you can see that the jury is a little confused now, even though before this evidence was talked about, most of the people were pretty sure that the boy was guilty.


This is an example of a mediocre short answer response.


Example #4

Question: How effective are the persuasive techniques Old Major uses on this specific audience?


The persuasive techniques that Old Major uses on this specific audience are very effective. I know that if I was an animal on that farm that I would listen to him. He made it sound like he was the only person that should be listened to because he was very old and wise. When he says, “...it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired,” it persuaded me to believe that he knows everything and should be the leader. From this quote you can see that Old Major thinks that he is one of the smartest animals on the farm and everyone should listen to him so that they can gain all of his wisdom that he has. So when he dies, because he is very old, they other remaining animals will still be able to be almost as wise as him.


This is an example of a good short answer response.


Learner Challenge

Read this article.....
Now, create a short answer response to this question: How effective are the persuasive techniques of the author?