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Note that this post will require updates over a day or so to get right. This note will disappear when done.

Concept: Some questions require editing to assure usefulness for future visitors

Regular visitors to this site often notice aspects of questions that might be improved to make those questions more useful for future visitors. It is possible to edit the question titles of others and is sometimes desirable to do so.

This post is primarily directed towards the possible editing of question titles, not the bodies of the questions.

Some questions are posed in a too-narrow context. For example, an instructor of a first programming course might pose a question relating to, say, suitability of a given language that might actually be posed more generally (other courses, other similar languages) and hence be of more use to future visitors. The question that started this investigation mentioned "High School" in an inessential way.

We are not concerned here with the tagging of questions or the body of the question, only with the title, though the principles may apply to the other parts of the questions as well.

A good question statement is fairly specific, but may apply in a more general context than the original poster (OP) considered. The resulting answers to a question may actually solve problems of others who have a slightly different problem or context. A good problem statement will invite those future readers to explore the answers, rather than to move on, assuming that nothing here is likely to be useful.

A good question statement should try to capture the essential aspects of an issue and omit inessential elements. The OP may pose a question mentioning his/her specific context (e.g. High School) whereas that same issue might be expected to arise in a broader context (e.g. teaching novices).

Ideas to be developed further here

  1. respect the intent of the original poster

  2. questions with a lot of upvotes and answers already should likely be left alone

  3. when in doubt discuss your proposed edits in the Classroom

  4. Try to balance generality and specificity so that the question statement is useful to both the original poster and to future visitors who may have similar concerns.

To Be Completed

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