Natural Therapies Institute

Professional ideas to improve your writing skills.

What Is an Essay Question and How to Construct It?


An essay question is a question that requires in-depth research and analysis to answer. There are for different types of essay questions: factual, analysis, synthesis, and opinion. Students who are required to write an essay must first decide which type of essay it is they are required to write before they can formulate a question. A thesis can also be considered a type of essay question. Essay questions are meant to be very clear and concise on what is being asked. Here is a short breakdown of the four types of essay questions:

  1. Factual- The title speaks for itself. This kind of essay question will require a great deal of research to answer the specific question. There are no opinions or even analysis given in these types of essays.
  2. Analysis- Most analysis essay questions aim to discuss some kind of relationship or explanation of the topic. Facts are still important here but the way the essay will be written is a bit different. Instead of each paragraph covering a different fact, the paragraphs will include main ideas and then major supporting points.
  3. Synthesis- These essay questions aim to discuss the application of previously learned theories and ideas. The idea here is to use class material to answer the question.
  4. Opinion- This is another title that speaks for itself. This essay will require an answer first based from an opinion but then there needs to be supporting facts for the writer to back up their opinion. In other words, state your claim and prove it.

No matter which of these essay question forms you use, the most important thing is to construct your question in a way that is clear and focused. You want the reader to know exactly what it is you are going to answer. It also gives them an idea of how the paper will flow.

  • Helpful Hints in Writing Your Essay Question
  • Keep it simple
  • Do not over-complicate the question
  • Make sure it is a clear question that you intend to answer
  • While writing the essay, make sure to actually answer the question. Many times students stray away from the question in the middle of their essay.
  • Keep it interesting
  • Use buzzwords to grab the reader’s attention
  • Write it over a few times to get it just right.

Knowing the different types of essay questions will make constructing an essay question much simpler.