Value of POQIA

  • Why POQIA?

    POQIA stands for “Part Of Question In Answer." POQIA helps you write strong answers because:

    1. POQIA helps you focus on exactly what is being asked.
      • Take for example the question, Which basic need is a fox meeting by feeding on berries? By starting a POQIA answer...The basic need a fox meets by feeding on berries is...you become focused on completing the response with a basic need and you are then led to reexamine the four basic needs of all living things.

    2. POQIA produces clearer answers by limiting the use of pronouns and promoting grammatically correct sentences.
      • Consider these two answers:
          Answer 1: It is food.
          Answer 2: The basic need a fox meets by feeding on berries is the need for food.

        Which answer is clearer? Certainly, the answer without pronouns is clearer.

      • Let’s consider a different question and two possible answers. Do you think a finch’s large beak is a helpful trait? Explain.
          Answer 1: Yes because the finch's large beak can help the bird to crack open seeds with thick shells.
          Answer 2: I think that the finch’s large beak is a helpful trait because the beak can help the bird crack open seeds with thick shells.

        The first answer is not a grammatically correct sentence. By starting a POQIA response, this common mistake can be avoided.

    3. POQIA slows you down, giving you time to focus on what is being asked and time to think critically. Too many students miss valuable points on tests and quizzes when they fail to read the question carefully and provide an answer that doesn't provide the required information.
      • Consider that seemingly simple question about berries. While taking the time to generate a POQIA response, you might consider that berries are 90% water, thus providing water for the animal. You may also realize they are energy-rich, which may help the fox develop a layer of fat. With that in mind, you might end up writing the following...

        The basic needs a fox meets by eating berries are the needs for food, water, and keeping internal conditions stable. The fox gets both energy and water from the berries. If the fox eats enough berries, the fox will maintain a layer of fat. The layer of fat provides insulation that will help keep the fox’s internal temperature constant

    4. Finally, POQIA develops good writing. Good writing takes practice and requires developing good habits. With practice, POQIA will become automatic and your writing will grow stronger. A strong writer has a distinct advantage in science.