They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject. Where did it take place? When did it take place? Famous five 4 pdf question should have a factual answer — facts necessary to include for a report to be considered complete.
Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Five Ws are used in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 lessons.
A standard series of questions has been a way of formulating or analyzing rhetorical questions since classical antiquity. Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis. Cicero had a similar concept of circumstances. Although Thomas Aquinas attributes the questions to Cicero, they do not appear in his writings.
Similarly, Quintilian discussed loci argumentorum, but did not put them in the form of questions. Julius Victor also lists circumstances as questions. Quis, quid, cur, quomodo, ubi, quando, quibus auxiliis. The question form was taken up again in the 12th century by Thierry de Chartres and John of Salisbury.
Quis, quid, ubi, per quos, quoties, cur, quomodo, quando. Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando. Quis, quid, ubi, cum quo, quotiens, cur, quomodo, quando.