I'm stuck in my high school essay. Should I use quotes when I'm asking readers a rhetorical question? In this case I wrote,

The restrictions that many may, or may not be considering, are they really too much?

Should I use quotes on the "are they really too much" part? And did I do anything wrong in that sentence?

  • I am afraid ELU is not about helping with high school essay. But here is a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is an effective method of persuasion by pretending your audience must already think as you do. It exploits emotion and can be very effective as part of a speech. But is it an argument, giving your reader reasons for agreeing? Perhaps your essay is supposed to be written in the form of a speech. In that case, ignore the above.
    – Tuffy
    Dec 19, 2019 at 8:57
  • Your question has been answered so I'd like to just add that afaik essays are no form of writing where rhetorical questions are legitimate as they aren't logical arguments but appeals to emotion. Second, the "that many may, or may not be considering" bit seems to be a filler with no purpose. So, maybe "The restrictions which some may be considering are not really too much" would suffice? Third, if it stays like that, maybe losing the commas would be reasonable? Or moving the second one after the "not". May 17, 2020 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


Quotation marks are used when quoting the words of a (real or fictional) person. You are asking this question yourself, not quoting anyone else; so no, it doesn't need them.

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