5W + 1H, Yes/No Question and Tag Questions

Sabtu, Juli 5th, 2014

1. 5W + 1H    : An Effective Approach to Collecting and Presenting Key


Information Question (5W+1H)


The questions answered in the lead of a conventional newspaper article: who, what, when, where, why and how. Information questions are also called “Wh-” questions because many of the words that are used to ask this type of question begin with Wh-.


The 5Ws + H formula has been attributed to English rhetorician Thomas Wilson, who introduced the method in his discussion of the “seven circumstances” of medieval rhetoric

To be a journalist 5W 1H is very important, especially to write “lede” (some call it “leads”) news, which is a paragraph (or two paragraphs) opening news. In approximately 35-40 words, should insert the 5W 1H. It was in the news writing.



B. The Basic Approach
This approach seeks to answer six basic questions in gathering information about nearly any subject: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Sometimes, depending on the context, a second “H” might be used: How Much. In journalism, news story writing requires that the questions to be answered take a basic form:
1. Who is it about?
2. What is it about?
3. When did it happen?
4. Where did it happen?
5. Why did it happen?
6. How did it happen?

Applying the 5W1H framework to other types of writing or investigation takes some interpretation. The order in which the answers to the questions is presented may vary, but the “what” is usually addressed first.


In journalism, the “what” identifies an event and is often stated in the “lead (or lede),” the first paragraph of a news story. The “what” is the primary subject, the reason the information is being gathered and presented. Apart from journalism, it may be stated in a title and in a purpose statement. The “what” may need to be defined, a process that may comprise the remainder of a document. Example :    What, specifically,…?


A news story identifies who an event involves. The “who” may be part of the lede, and could be the reason the story is news worthy. In other contexts, the “who” identifies the persons or groups the “what” concerns. It might describe the audience of a document, or those who are affected by a policy, process or procedure. Example :    Who benefits?


A key part of a news story is describing when an event happened. Answering the “when” indicates any time sensitivity related to the “what.” It may be part of an instruction regarding the proper point at which a action should be taken. Sometimes it may be part of an “If…then” scenario of conditional action. Example :    When will it start/end?


A news story reports the location at which an event took place. The “where” describes a geographical or physical location of importance to the “what.” At times, the where may be less important than other factors. Example :    Where are you?


The “why” is usually the most neglected of the questions in the framework. News stories often lack information from authoritative sources to explain the “why.” In other contexts, the “why” may be considered irrelevant, particularly when describing a policy or procedure decreed by an organizational authority. Efforts to ascertain and explain the “why” may help those affected be more accepting of any change the “what” requires. Example :    Why does that happen?


For journalists, determining how an event took place may be nearly as challenging as explaining the “why,” although more effort is usually put to satisfying the question. When describing policies, processes or procedures, the how may be the most important part of the effort. A considerable appetite for understanding how to do something can be found across audiences. Sometimes effort focuses on the “what” when more work should be devoted to explaining the “how.” Example :    How much?


The 5W1H framework can be applied to any topic at any level of granularity to gather, analyze and present information from the simplest to the most complex. Attributed to a Rudyard Kipling poem, 5W1H is the place to start and may be enough to take you to the finish.





2. Yes/No Question


The answers for simple questions in English are “Yes,”,”No,” or “I don’t know” (or its equivalent). The answers for information questions are varied–because they are used to ask about specific kinds of information.

There are 2 types of interrogative sentence in English (question words), namely:

  1. The WH question words
  2. Yes or no questions


Yes-no question can be made by changing the declarative sentence (statement). You have to know which one subject, the main verb (not followed by any verb), and helping / auxiliary verb (primary auxiliary verb / capital). Brief explanation is as follows.
Examples and Observations:
Homer: Are you an angel?
Moe    : Yes, Homer. All us angels wear Farrah slacks.
(The Simpsons)

“Directing a movie is a very overrated job, we all know it. You just have to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ What else do you do? Nothing. ‘Maestro, should this be red?’ Yes. ‘Green?’ No. ‘More extras?’ Yes. ‘More lipstick?’ No. Yes. No. Yes. No. That’s directing.” (Judi Dench as Liliane La Fleur in Nine, 2009).
Principal McGee: Are you just going to stand there all day?
Sonny: No ma’am. I mean, yes ma’am. I mean, no ma’am.
Principal McGee: Well, which is it?
Sonny: Um, no ma’am.
(Eve Arden and Michael Tucci in Grease, 1978)

The yes-no question is found in three varieties: the inverted question, the typical exemplar of this kind; the inverted question offering an alternative (which may require more than a simple yes or no for an answer); and the tag question:
Are you going? (inversion)
Are you staying or going? (inversion with alternative)
You’re going, aren’t you? (tag)


3. Tag Questions
in a tag question, the speaker makes a statement, but is not completely certain of the truth, so he or she uses a tag question to verify the previous statement. Sentences using tag questions should have the main clause separated from the tag by a comma. The sentence will always end a question mark.Example:
1. There are only twenty-eight days in February, aren’t there?
2. It’s raining now, isn’t it?
3. The boys don’t have class tomorrow, do they?
4. You and i talked with the professor yesterday, didn’t we?
5. Jill and Joe have been to Mexico, haven’t they


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