Some common topics for study questions about the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" ask readers to analyze the trajectory of the relationship between Boo Radley and Scout and Jem, explain the symbolism and meaning of the mockingbird in the novel, evaluate Atticus Finch's parenting style, examine Atticus Finch's role and status in the Maycomb community, and critically think about how Scout's point-of-view may have affected the storytelling. These questions warrant extended short essay responses.
When answering questions about "To Kill A Mockingbird," use quotes, evidence and inferences made from the text to fully support and justify answers. Most short answer questions ask more than simply a recounting of information from the story; they are application and speculation questions.
Questions that require analysis, such as analyzing the relationship of Boo Radley and the children or analyzing Atticus' role in the community, require breaking down the topic into parts and explaining how the parts relate to each other. For example, examine how the interactions between Boo and the children in part one and their interactions in part two differ, and relate them to one another to effectively analyze the overall relationship development.
Questions that require discussing and evaluating, such as interpreting the mockingbird symbol's use in the novel or evaluating Atticus' parenting, require explaining the meaning, exploring the pros and cons, and forming supported opinions on the elements. For example, discuss the positives and negatives of Atticus' parenting, and give a final evaluation of Atticus' parenting based on that evidence.