Use Of Rhetorical Questions In Essays

A rhetorical question is a question that you ask without expecting an answer. The question might be one that does not have an answer. It might also be one that has an obvious answer but you have asked the question to make a point, to persuade or for literary effect. 

Rhetorical Questions with Obvious Answers

Here are some answers of rhetorical questions that have answers that are very obvious, either because they ask about common facts or because the answer is suggested based on the context of the question.

These types of rhetorical questions are often asked to emphasize a point:

  • Is the pope catholic?
  • Is rain wet?
  • You didn't possibly think I would say yes to that did you?
  • Do you want to be a big failure for the rest of your life?
  • Does a bear poop in the woods?
  • Can fish swim?
  • Can birds fly?
  • Do dogs bark?
  • Do cats meow?
  • Do pigs fly?
  • Is hell hot?
  • Are you stupid?
  • There is no point, is there?
  • Is there anyone smarter than me?
  • Can we do better next time?
  • Do you want to be a success in this world?
  • Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke?
  • Are you kidding me?
  • Do liars lie?

Rhetorical Questions That Have No Answers

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Why do we go on?
  • What's the matter with kids today?
  • There's no hope, is there?
  • How much longer can this injustice continue?
  • How many times do I have to tell you not to yell in the house?
  • Why me?
  • But who's counting?
  • Who cares?
  • Why bother? 
  • How should I know?
  • Could I possibly love you more?

When a Rhetorical Question Would be Asked

  • Your girlfriend asks if you love her. You say "Is the pope catholic?" to suggest that it is obvious you love her. 
  • A parent is arguing with a child about the importance of good grades. The parent says "Do you want to live at home in the basement for the rest of your life?"
  • Two men are having a disagreement in a bar. One says "Do you want me to punch you in the face?"
  • A woman tells her husband she is pregnant and shows him the pregnancy test. He says "Are you serious?"
  • A student fails to bring in his homework assignment. The teacher keeps him after class and says "Can we do better next time?"
  • A boss is yelling at his staff member for a major mistake. He says "Do you want to get fired?"
  • A child is asking for a very expensive toy. His parent says "Do you think that money just grows on trees?"
  • A friend asks if you like hamburgers, which are your favorite meal. You say "Is rain wet?" 

Now you see how rhetorical questions can be used to make a point and how they are asked without an expectation of a reply. 

Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.

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Rhetorical Question Examples

By YourDictionary

A rhetorical question is a question that you ask without expecting an answer. The question might be one that does not have an answer. It might also be one that has an obvious answer but you have asked the question to make a point, to persuade or for literary effect. 

Are the use of questions acceptable in essays?


I have always used questions in my introductory paragraphs to get readers thinking. I also find them helpful in setting up my thesis and in showing readers what I am trying to prove. For example: "Racial equality is worth fighting for, but how can anyone seek to do so by using submitting?" I would then go on answering my own question by using my thesis statement.

Summer has started and I forgot to ask my english professor about this issue, however I have asked classmates and friends about the use of these kinds of questions. The general consensus was that it was not acceptable, that it demonstrated lack of understanding and I should be more direct and present the evidence up front. I don't find this true at all nor do their arguements make sense, but if it really is not acceptable, then I guess I'd have to look for a new way to structure my intro paragraphs.

I think it is acceptable. I often use question in my essays. And there are a lot of sample essays that use the question sentence.
I know it is acceptable and safe to ask questions when writing essay. I personally like to start my essays with statements or questions that will interest my readers and it's never been a problem by my professor's. It makes my essays more interesting... They are a very good attention- grabbing lead.

Good luck on your essay writing.
kofo
"Racial equality is worth fighting for, but how can anyone seek to do so by using submitting?"

What is "using submitting?"
I think it should be like this:
"Racial equality is worth fighting for, but how can anyone seek to do so by being submissive?"

Yes, it is okay to use rhetorical questions. In fact, that was the teaching method Socrates used to teach Plato.

However, as a matter of style some people do not like the use of questions in essays. I used to not like them, but now I do. Why did I change my mind? It was the result of something I noticed -- the effect an interesting question has on the reader's mind.

:-)
Even though they are acceptable but its not some kind on blog post that you are interacting with the readers.Take it as an article and let it be professional.It will look and sound more better that way!
It is acceptable to used question in the introductory paragraph because I think it get the reader start thinking.


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