What is a question which requires no answer? A rhetorical question is a question which is asked for effect with no answer expected. Probably, the answer be provided immediately by the questioner or obvious. Well, let us talk about this type of question here.
What is Rhetorical Question?
A rhetorical question is a question someone asks with no expectation of an answer. Probably, the question not have an answer, or it possibly have a clear answer. Sometimes those questions are asked to punch up a point. If the answer is really obvious, it is going to make that answer stand out. Occasionally, it is used to convince someone. Other times, it is used for literary effect.
Once a writer poses a question to the reader, they are able to spend some time in thoughtful contemplation. Let us enjoy the following rhetorical question examples to check how many you have encountered in your own life.
Rhetorical Questions with Obvious Answers
Here are several rhetorical question examples which are very obvious, either because they are discussing commonly known facts or as the answer is suggested in context clues. Those rhetorical questions are frequently asked to emphasize a point:
- Is the pope Catholic?
- Is rain wet?
- You did not think I would say yes to that, did you?
- Do you wish to be a failure for the rest of your life?
- Does a bear poop in the woods?
- Can fish swim?
- Can butterflies fly?
- Do dogs bark?
- Do cat meow?
- Do pigs fly?
- Is hell hot?
- There is no point, is there?
- Is there anyone smarter than me?
- Can we do better next time?
- Do you wish to be a success in this world?
- Is this supposed to be some type of a hoax?
Rhetorical Questions which Have No Answers
There are several rhetorical questions that do not really have an answer, at least not a clear and concise one. Rather, they are meant to start conversations, push the contemplation, spur debate, or illustrate someone’s current state of mind. In the text below are some rhetorical questions which may never be answered:
- What is the meaning of life?
- Why do we go on?
- What is the matter with kids today?
- There is no hope, is there?
- How much longer will this inequity continue?
- How many times do I have to say you not to yell in the house?
- Why me?
- Who is counting?
- Who cares?
- Why bother?
- How should I know?
- Could I possibly like you more?
The Rhetorical questions are able to be used to create a point. They are asked without an expectation of a reply.
Rhetorical Questions in Literature
The writers like to push further thinking and reflection. Rhetorical questions are a terrific method to achieve that. Letting a question lingering in the air will be able to make the reader to spend further time in contemplation. Here are several examples from Rhetorical Questions in literature:
“If you puncture us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not grudge?
How to use Rhetorical questions in a speech?
- Engage the audience
You have to ask a Rhetorical question to engage the audience and pause to let them to think of an answer. This makes the audience to participate actively rather than listen passively when they make hypotheses or resolutions. The speakers may start the presentations with Rhetorical questions to improve the likelihood of the audience staying engaged.
- Personalize your questions
Please make the audience feel as though you are speaking to each member individually by using a word “you” or “your.”
- Persuade the audience
To make your audience agree with you, you are able to ask a Rhetorical question where the answer is clearly a “Yes”. When the audience begins agreeing with you, they are more likely to continue agreeing. You are going to be familiar with this kind of persuasion in casual conversation. Another method to make the audience agree with you is to show them that you are similar. Please show your listeners that you have already shared experiences and that you understand their issues.
- Raise emotions
You have to make the audience feel the same way you do regarding something by asking questions which trigger emotional reactions. For instance, you are able to ask: What has Jhon done for this group? Rather than you say: “Jhon has never helped this group” This is going to trigger a strong response as the audience will be able to conclude that “Jhon has not done anything for this group”.
- Emphasize a statement
After the statement has been created, you are able to use a Rhetorical question to make the audience think about the statement.
- Predict the audiences questions
Please think about your topic and audience once planning your speech. You are able to try to predict what the audience may want to ask. In your speech, you have to use the predictions as rhetorical questions and answer them. Also, you are able to introduce one or more rhetorical questions at the start of your speech and then explain that you are going to answer them during your speech.
- Answer questions with questions
You have to answer a question, either an audience member’s or your own, by using another rhetorical question. Usually, both the questions have the same answer. You have to try making the second question unique and also relatable to the audience as common examples can sound cheesy.
- Consecutive Rhetorical questions
You have to ask some Rhetorical questions consecutively. Each one more specific than the previous. This method your content is going to have a greater impact on the listeners.