Missouri S&T ACO Question-Writing Guidelines
Look here for High School Tournament question guidelins.
by Ben Lea

Guidelines as amended by Bill Stallard and Matt Chadbourne, Spring 2006

Guiding principle -- We are providing teams with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, not opportunities to demonstrate our own.

General -- Provide pronunciation guides for any words or formulae -- like 4,4'-(Hexamethylenedioxy)dibenzamidine -- that may be difficult for a non-major in that field to pronounce. (If you don't know how to pronounce it, look it up.) Provide alternate answers whenever appropriate, and give explicit instructions what may or may not be prompted on. Remember that the moderators for these tournaments are volunteering their time; be kind to them.

Ben's personal question-writing philosophy -- Writing questions with personality is good; writing questions with inside jokes, or personal feelings or views is not so good. (ACF so-called "purists" may queue up to bite me at their leisure.)



Assembling rounds:

Also available: The SHAG Method
G_eneral Knowledge

Write 6 & 6 in each category. Within the categories, write the following number of tossups & bonuses:

1 Biology
1 Chemistry
1 Math/Comp Sci
1 Physics
2 more science (not the same one -- don't write 3 physics tossups)

1 American history
1 European history
1 Ancient/World history
2 more history (again, not the same sub-category)
1 Social Science (economics, sociology, linguistics, psychology, librarianship!, etc.)

1 American literature
1 British or French literature
1 World literature
1 more literature (your choice -- I'd suggest American)
1 Art/Classical Music
1 more art (your choice)

1 Religion/Philosophy/Mythology (hereinafter abbreviated RPM)
1 Movies/TV/Popular Music
1 Sports
2 General Knowledge (like a name the year, 30-20-10, or something else that transcends ONE category)
1 more general (your choice)