Rhetorical question

Please note, this technique is often confused with the technique of questions.


“Do we really want our road tolls to continue rising like this?”


Rhetorical questions are statements with question marks that give the illusion of asking something when really the answer is implied by what is being said. They are often used to create a scoffing or incredulous tone.

Effect on reader

This tone, along with the insinuated obviousness of the answer (in the example above, the answer is obviously “no”), makes any other answer or opposition to the writer’s point of view seem ridiculous. This can be persuasive as it makes the reader view an alternative answer to the issue at hand appear illogical or against common sense. Words like “really” and “honestly” are often indications that a question is not genuine, but rhetorical.