Good Questions, Good Results

How can you get the best results from your research request?

When making your inquiry, try to be brief, but be sure to include enough information. If you are dealing with a specific situation, it is helpful to provide some context for your PAS researcher. The more we understand about your specific circumstances, the better we are able to focus our research to provide you with the results you need. Below are two examples of how to improve questions that are a little too brief and therefore unclear:

Example 1

Original question: "Could you please send me any information you have on joint use of public facilities?"

PAS might interpret this request in one of two ways: (1) the use of a public facility such as a school or library for other uses after hours, or (2) the shared use of a public facility by adjoining jurisdictions. This question becomes clearer when the subscriber provides more detail:

Improved question: "We have a request from a neighborhood organization to use one the local school buildings after hours. Could you please send me any information you have on joint use of public facilities?"

Example 2

Original question: "I am looking for information on tractor-trailer truck parking regulations."

This question seems straightforward, but is actually quite ambiguous. Is the subscriber looking to regulate semi-trailer parking in commercial or residential areas? Is overnight parking a problem? This question is easily improved by providing a little more context:

Improved question: "Our community is having a problem with tractor-trailer trucks parking in residential areas overnight. Can you please send me information and sample regulations to deal with this situation?"

And remember, you can always e-mail or call us directly to discuss your research needs.

The PAS researchers are your partners in practice. Please help PAS to assist you in the most efficient and effective manner. When you place an inquiry, remember that good questions yield good results!


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