|The 5WH Technique for Brainstorming and Research
What? Where? Who? When? Why ? How?
You can use the 5 WH technique to form questions using the words above and key words from your readings or lectures. These questions will help you to brainstorm ideas for your assignment questions and guide your research. This technique is a way of 'getting into the topic' and finding out what aspects of the topic you need to research.
There are two types of information that 5WH questions can help draw out:
Type 1. Facts
Questions that ask for facts may start with What, When, Who, and Where.
Type 2. Critical Thinking
Questions that require critical thinking may start with Why and
5WH Topic Example
Below is an example to show you how to form questions from key words. The topic is in the form of an assignment question. Key words have been underlined.
Eco-tourism and adventure tourism are growing sectors of the New Zealand tourism industry. Discuss regulation of these sectors with particular regard to safety and environmental issues.
1. Fact Finding Questions
What is eco-tourism/adventure tourism?
Who participates in eco-tourism/adventure tourism?
Where does eco-tourism/adventure tourism happen?
When did eco-tourism/adventure tourism begin?
What are the safety issues in the regulations?
What are the environmental issues in the regulations?
2. Critical Questions
Why are the regulation safety issues important?
Why are the regulation environmental issues important?
How do the safety issues affect adventure tourism?
How do the environmental issues affect eco-tourism?
You may find that some questions don't make sense with some topics or that some questions ask the same thing as an earlier question that you have made up. In these circumstances only use the questions which help you to explore the topic and understand its main aspects. Some questions will also be more important than others.