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In the following paragraph, I want to ask a question after but the question is, as seen in bold.

In general, there is a consensus on the advantages of academic self-efficacy in students, but the question is, how a sense of academic self-efficacy can be reinforced so that it guarantees students’ efficiency and academic performance?

Is use of question mark correct for the Should the question part be placed in double quotes? Should it follow reported speech rule? Please note I am not quoting someone's question.

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    That's not actually a question - it's a statement with a question-mark at the end. "How can…" would be a question. … as I just realise has already been said ;) – Tetsujin Mar 18 '15 at 15:27
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I prefer a colon to a common, but that's a preference, not a prescription. I'd also move the word can so that the part after the colon reads more like a standalone sentence:

In general, there is a consensus on the advantages of academic self-efficacy in students, but the question is: how can a sense of academic self-efficacy be reinforced so that it guarantees students’ efficiency and academic performance?

In this structure, the first word after the colon could be capitalized or left in lower case. Some style guides recommend an upper-case letter when an independent clause follows the colon (as in my reworded example).

More about colon use can be found at:

  • To me, anyway, this would also be quite natural: "But the question is, how a sense of academic self-efficacy can be reinforced so that it guarantees students’ efficiency and academic performance." I guess in this case, "question" is not quite literal, but illustrates a lingering thought or issue to consider. – Eric Mar 18 '15 at 20:40
  • @Eric - You're right. In that case, the word "question" is being used as a synonym for "issue" or "concern". You could leave that as an answer, too. – J.R. Mar 19 '15 at 0:27
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J.R.'s answer is correct, but there is another possibility as well. Because of the flexibility of the word "question" here, it can be interpreted as a lingering issue or consideration. In that sense, you can make a statement as the "question":

In general, there is a consensus on the advantages of academic self-efficacy in students, but the question is, how a sense of academic self-efficacy can be reinforced so that it guarantees students’ efficiency and academic performance.

Note: Personally, I would also remove the comma after "the question is".

In this case, since the "question" isn't really a question, but rather a statement of concern, you would not use the question mark.

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