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Questions to Ask When Reading a Background Guide

A background guide can be a daunting document (shouts to us for alliteration). Here are some good questions to ask when reading your guide for the first, second, or tenth time.

While reading the letter from the chair:

  • What are the chair’s hobbies?
  • Are they passionate about the topic?
  • How long have they been doing MUN?

While reading the background information:

  • What time period is the committee set in?
  • Where is the committee set?
  • Who is the king/queen/president/prime minister/etc. at the time?
  • What’s the general situation?
  • What are the questions to consider?
  • Is there information in the background that helps address some of the questions to consider?
  • What information seems irrelevant (if any)?

While reading the list of positions

  • What does your position say?
  • Do you have any sort of power?
  • Who are you allies and who are your enemies?
  • Do you have a significant other?
  • What are your past political ties?
  • Who seems to be easily persuaded and who seems stubborn?

While looking at the sources:

  • Are they all from wikipedia?
  • Are some of the websites foreign?
  • Are there a lot of “.edu” or “.gov” websites? (these often have other really good sources linked to them)
  • Which ones can you use to find more information on your position?
  • Are there a lot of books referenced or is it mostly internet sources?

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