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5W1H

 

Techniques > Questioning > 5W1H

What | Where | When | Why | How | Who | See also

 

A simple set of question framings was defined by Kipling in his immortal poem:

 

I have six faithful serving men

They taught me all I knew

Their names are What and Where and When

And Why and How and Who

 

They are also known by the less prosaic '5W1H' and are useful for general questioning and probing. Here are some question 'starters for ten'...

What

  • What, specifically,...?
  • What next?
  • What else?

Where

  • Where else?
  • Where are you?
  • Where, exactly...?

When

  • When, exactly, will you...?
  • When will it start/end?
  • When will I know?

Why

  • Why does that happen?
  • Why not?
  • (just keep asking 'why?' to find root cause - often around 5 times)

How

  • How many?
  • How much?
  • How does it work?

Who

  • Who will do this?
  • Who else will do this?
  • Who pays?
  • Who benefits?

See also

Socratic questioning

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