At some point in elementary or junior high school, we were taught all our essays should answer one of five questions: who, what, where, why, or how. These were, at the time, “the five W’s” of writing.
Why is my favorite because it provides context. Asking why usually gets me to the bottom of the situation. It often encapsulates the who/what/where/how/when. It’s the most open ended, which is probably the best part. Asking why almost always makes the next most important question obvious.
I still like the other ones too. When often yields interesting histories or chronologies. Who can lead to a nice bit of biographical or character background. How is great when I care most about progress over deep context. Where can give me a little bit of backstory about why a certain location or geography is important.
Asking why wraps up all of those. Why are shipping containers a standard size? Who decided it should be that way. How did that drastically change global shipping? When did this occur and what changes can we observe from it?
One word, one question. So much to learn!