With a few differences, almost everyone knows how to convey his/her message to an individual or group of people. But what makes a few people write or speak in a way that spells over an audience? What makes Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic anthology verse the reason for this popularity? What makes ‘Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare’s most popular play? In a few simple words, the choice of matter, descriptive imagination and tone are the qualities that compel the audience to appreciate writers.
Apart from all, the abilities of a speech or a story to stir the audience’s emotions and increase the public’s involvement are also important for becoming a good writer and a speaker. Rhetorical question statement helps the writers and speakers to make the story or speech more public-friendly by increasing attention and stirring emotions. Thus, this article is a complete guide that will describe the rhetorical question statement and its ways of writing, along with examples.
1. What is a rhetorical question statement?
According to Edward P.J. Corbett, a rhetorical question (persuasive) statement influences the responses one expects to get from his audience. These questions are used for exploring the effect of things. It also emphasises some important points under discussion. What differentiates rhetorical question from other types is that it does not include the real answers’ expectation. These questions often have obvious answers, and the questioners ask them to highlight some important points. In short, this type of question is self-evident and used as a persuasive device.
For better understanding, we can say that people generally use this type of question to make a point without expecting an answer. But in literature, writers use it to persuade someone (convince the audience) to answer questions that seem unanswerable. On this basis, the rhetorical question statement is of two types—first, questions whose answers are too obvious that one does not need to recall them. Second, questions that do not have any answer (so persuasive style is used to convince the audience of your point). In another case, rhetorical questions help researchers to allow the readers to think and reflect effectively. They use rhetorical questions in scholarly work to hook readers for a longer time. Therefore, keeping in view the importance of rhetorical question statements, it is necessary to hire masters dissertation writing services UK.
Rhetorical questions are also common in speeches. In conversations, we often ask some questions that are too obvious and do not affect your discussion if they remain unanswered. These questions are just asked to increase the other partner’s participation. If you walk with your friend in the rain and ask your friend, ‘the rainwater is too cold. Then, you asked a rhetorical question. If the rainwater is cold, it will be cold for both. Even if your friend remains silent or continues the discussion without answering the rhetorical question, the discussion will not have any communication gap. Thus, in speeches, these questions emphasise a point without expecting to be answered.
2. How do you write a rhetorical question statement?
Writing something by keeping its purpose of formulation in mind is important to draft it effectively. A rhetorical question statement is commonly known as an impressive persuasive device. So using appealing, powerful and strong words in the questions can make them more attractive. Moreover, you can use two tips to write the rhetorical questions. The first is to share a fact and make a question right opposite to your statement. This act makes your questions obvious and thus becomes rhetorical in type. This is the easiest way of formulating rhetorical questions.
While in writing, you can make your topic sentence a rhetorical question by giving it an interrogative touch. Make sure; in the latter case, the question should be direct so that your reader can understand your position in the argument. Apart from all, you can also use common rhetorical questions in your speech directly. Thus, we can say that questioning your statement (food was too delicious, wasn’t it?), turning the topic sentence into questions (High cholesterol, obesity and uric acid level are key risk factors for cardiovascular disorders, do you think?) and using some unanswerable questions (why this is happening to me?) are some practical ways to formulate the rhetorical question statement.
2.1 When to use the Rhetorical questions
Writing after knowing the purpose, no doubt, makes the formulation of a rhetorical question statement easier. In addition to this, knowing the proper way of using the rhetorical question statement is also necessary. These questions are helpful in a wide variety of disciplines (from history to philosophy). But in creative writing and formal essay, it is extremely important to use these questions.
2.1.1 Use of rhetorical questions in a formal essay
A frequently asked question is whether we can use rhetorical questions in a formal essay or not. In broader terms, of course, we can take help from rhetorical questions to make our formal essay more persuasive. But in academic writing, the students are advised to avoid these questions as they shift the burdens to the reader, which may be tiresome. Moreover, there is no strict prohibition on using these questions in academic research as well. Still, the nature of the essay decides whether you should ask rhetorical questions or not.
In formal essays, you cannot use rhetorical questions anywhere. Instead, there are a few right places where you can include these questions. When we switch between ideas, we use a new paragraph. In the same way, it is good to use these questions while the transition between paragraphs. In addition, the introduction of a formal essay often seems dull and has less ability to persuade someone. If the formal essay is reporting some statistics, you can turn the thesis statement into a rhetorical question statement in this case. In another case, you can also raise a rhetorical question and use your thesis statement to answer it.
2.1.2 Use of rhetorical questions in creative writing
Using rhetorical questions in creative writing is relatively easy than in a formal essay. In scriptwriting and speeches, use rhetorical questions in the opening sentences. It sets a stage or hints for the topic and subject of discussion. After reading the rhetorical questions in the opening sentences, the reader starts more interested in your story. It also helps a writer to take a head start.
2.1.3 Strategies when asking the Rhetorical questions
In communication (both verbal and written), we use a variety of sentences (active, passive, direct, indirect and many more) to convey the message more effectively. In the same way, rhetorical questions are also meant to introduce variety in speeches. Nine rhetorical question statement strategies are common that may help you use this statement in a better way.
- Ask an easy question to increase public or reader’s attention
- Increase audience attention and allow them to agree with you by using rhetorical questions
- Invite the audience by stirring emotions by making emotional statements
- Ask rhetorical statements to emphasise a previous point (it will help remember it for a longer).
- Use rhetorical statements to surprise the audience, especially when they start losing interest.
- Formulate the rhetorical statement by judging what is going on in the public’s mind.
- Ask rhetorical questions in answer to another rhetorical question.
- Use a series of rhetorical questions to highlight divergent thoughts.
- Use a series of rhetorical questions to highlight convergent thoughts.
3. What is an example of a rhetorical statement?
According to the experts of Cheap Essay Writing UK, rhetorical statements seem meaningless, but it is important even in daily language in various ways. Common rhetorical statements in daily language include Why not? Are you living to eat? What is the meaning of life? Did you hear me? How many hairs do you have? And many more. It is easy to spot them. These are the questions where even silence speaks a lot.
To emphasise a point in a conversion, rhetorical statements also help speakers raise an obvious question, also known as tag questions. The example of tag questions includes: ‘The play was a big hit. Peter is following us; am I wrong? Spotting tag question is a bit tricky because not all questions following a statement are rhetorical in nature. For example, ‘People were chasing you; were they chasing you? Here, your answer matters a lot, so it does not fall under the category of tag questions.
In literature, rhetorical statements are as important as in daily language. It helps the writer to express his/her feeling more impressively. Consider an example from the play Creation, where Mrs Hladia Porter Stewart used rhetorical questions to express her emotions “What made you think of love and tear and birth and death and pain”. In this example, the rhetorical question intensifies the poet’s emotions and thus helps her to convey her message more beautifully.
In conclusion, a rhetorical question statement is not an essential part of script and speech writing. But if used, it can make the content more impressive. I hope you liked this article. Stay tuned; we will shortly develop many related articles to improve your communication skills.