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The word "why" is popularly used in essay questions so that students can demonstrate their knowledge, reasoning and understanding of a particular subject. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines "why" in this context as being "used in questions to ask the reason for or purpose of something".
Asking a student "why" allows them to demonstrate a more advanced knowledge of their subject matter, for example by analysing the processes involved in a chemical reaction, rather than just writing a list of reasons. It's easy to get into a mess trying to order your thoughts onto paper, so this essay strives to give you the top five tips on structuring an essay that attempts to respond to a "why" question.