To Use or Not to Use Rhetorical Questions?

Such questions are everywhere, but not everyone loves them!

Photo by Josh Mills on Unsplash

Here’s why you might want to avoid rhetorical questions:

Lazy, patronizing, too commercial, and even with the potential of making the reader scroll away — these are just a few labels we can attach to rhetorical questions.

And here’s why everyone from the apostles in the Bible to Barack Obama uses rhetorical questions

Judging by all the cons from above, it’s evident that rhetorical questions come with many risks and are never a necessity. But you can still use them in many different ways, and if you do it right, you have the chance to:

  • Influence and persuade your readers;
  • Emphasize or subtly draw attention to specific ideas;
  • Have a different approach to introducing ideas or topics in your texts.
  1. Once your readers start to agree with what you say, you have higher chances for them to keep doing so — again, it’s a brain’s attribute to be consistent with an attitude it already embraced.

How you can ditch the rhetorical questions and polish your writing in the process

Regardless of why you’d want to eliminate such questions, if you think of what made you use them in the first place, you could come up with some easy ways to edit your text.

You can’t help but use rhetorical questions, can you?

If you can’t write without it, you better learn a few strategies to make the most of it.

Still, it’s not for you to decide if rhetorical questions are effective

Don’t cast any stones at me just yet. I’m trying to say that what matters is if the strategy is effective and your target audience responds to it. This is how you should choose your writing style in any context.

Mother, writer, thinker. Striving to be the change I want to see in the world.

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