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     The Six W's:     who, what, why, where, when and how  
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Who cares about who, what, why, where, when and how?  What kind of questions must we ask?  Why is it necessary to ask these questions?  Where did we get the idea that questions are as important as answers.  When should we use this technique in our writing?  How can we analyze our topic before we begin?
In journalism, the Five Ws, also known as the Five Ws (and one H) or simply the Six Ws, is a concept in news style, research, and in police investigations that most people consider to be fundamental.
It is a formula for getting the "full" story on something. The
maxim of the Five Ws (and one H) is that in order for a report to be considered complete it must answer a checklist of six questions, each of which comprises an interrogative word:

The principle underlying the maxim is that each question should elicit a factual answer facts that it is necessary to include for a report to be considered complete. Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". In the context of the "news style" for newspaper reporting, the Five W's are types of facts that should be contained in the "lead" (sometimes spelled lede to avoid confusion with the typographical term "leading" or similarly spelled words), or first two or three paragraphs of the story, after which more
expository writing is allowed.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

The "Five Ws" (and one H) were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling in his "Just So Stories" (1902), in which a poem accompanying the tale of "The Elephant's Child" opens with the lines

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

[edit] References

Who What Why Where When How 
... man, I don't know what it is, I just found it. WHY: Because it was there. ... How the hell should I know?

Five W' s Chart   PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Who was there? Why did it happen? When did it happen? Where did it happen?

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who, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW, WHY.  Enter the information

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View Larger Cover ImageThe books at the left are recommended resources for those who want to write effectively.  They can supplement any secondary, college, or graduate-level writing project.  If you would like to obtain either book, click at left.  The Writers Harbrace Handbook is a basic guide and rulebook for writers.  It has particularly useful resources on rhetoric.  Adventures in Writing is designed as a practical guide for the writing process.  The book is designed for people who want to improve their writing, including students from non-English based learning environments. Commas are covered in Adventures in Writing on pages: 189, 313, and 406   For questions, contact

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