Answering the Popular Request: Can You Start an Essay With a Question?


Captivation is the key

You can start an essay with anything you want to; starting an essay with a question is actually one of the more popular methods of starting an essay. This is due to the question captivating the reader’s attention and wanting them to read on to see what is said. Once you have the reader’s attention than your chances of getting them to agree with what you say by the end of your essay is higher. A question is a great idea to start an essay with but it also depends on what type of question it is. Using a question that is more along the lines of being rhetorical does not work the best for catching the reader’s attention because to the general population it is not appealing and something that they more than likely have heard before. Although using a question for the start of the essay that is more appealing will grab a lot of people’s attention, something that is new and something that makes them think the second they read it.

Examples of these two types of questions

Rhetorical question:

  • Should we be worried about global warming?
  • Do pigs fly?
  • Is the pope Catholic?
  • Does a bear poop in the woods?
  • Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke?
  • Do liars lie?
  • Is hell hot?
  • There is no point, is there?

Appealing question:

  • What if Florida isn’t here by 2017?
  • What’s your favorite bumper sticker?
  • If you could pick your own name, what would it be?
  • If you could choose a movie title for your life story, what would it be?
  • What would you do if the Zombie Apocalypse was coming?
  • If you could choose to have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be?
  • If you could choose to talk to anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

The more entertaining the question is than the better it is for you to use when starting out the essay with a question. Consider something that is popular in the news or something that is trending in the media. Once you have the reader’s attention then you know they will read your essay; they will want to know what you think and they will look to you for guidance and they will decide if they agree with you or not.

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