Six questions traditionally asked by journalists — who? what? when? where? how? and why? — can be valuable aids to invention in all types of writing. By using them as probes, you'll look at your subject more closely, and as you do, you'll find pertinent things to say.

By using them as probes, you'll look at your subject more closely, and as you do, you'll find pertinent things to say.

The six main questions can also be broken down into subtopics that offer more precise guidance than the major questions. The questions and subtopics may be used in any order. Use them if and when they can help you achieve your writing purpose.