Do Newbie Writers Ask Too Many Rhetorical Questions?

This is going to be fun, isn’t it?

Malky McEwan
E³ — Entertain Enlighten Empower


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Is This a Rhetorical Question

The title of this section has no question mark. It’s a rhetorical question. It doesn’t need a question mark. It could just as easily have a question mark, an exclamation mark or a full stop.

I’m not expecting you to answer it. You don’t need to respond. We ask rhetorical questions to make our writing more compelling.

Using rhetorical questions can —

  • Encourage deeper thinking and self-examination.
  • Build suspense or direct the reader’s attention to a new idea.
  • Make a strong point by eliciting a response in the reader’s mind.

Is there a downside to using rhetorical questions? Are we using rhetorical questions too much in our writing? Should we avoid using too many rhetorical questions? Are you fed up with having to do all the thinking? Should writers be more wary in their use of rhetorical questions?

Do you see what I did there? Yes?

The answer to all of those is yes.

Overuse is abuse

Rhetorical questions are common in self-help articles. Too common. They come at…