::Five Ws


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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} The Five Ws, Five Ws and one H, or the Six Ws are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. They are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=pressrelease |type=Press release }}</ref> According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:<ref name=Hart>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

  • Who did that?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did that happen?

Some authors add a sixth question, “how”, to the list, though "how" can also be covered by "what", "when", or "where":<ref name=Hart/>

  • How did it happen?

Each question should have a factual answer — facts necessary to include for a report to be considered complete.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no".

In the United Kingdom, the Five Ws are used in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 lessons.<ref name="5ws-in-ks3">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Five Ws sections
Intro  History  Etymology  See also   References   

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