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For rather obvious reasons (one should hope!), question titles need to be understandable, reasonably complete and provide at least minimum context. Unfortunately, there are some which are hard to comprehend what they are really about without reading them in their entirety. This is also often a symptom of bad questions -- if the post can't be summarized in a sentence, it's probably not a real question or it's too broad. Question titles need not be short -- there's no maximum limit (that I know of), so a sentence or even two are completely acceptable. We don't charge by the character here :-)

Case in point: I challenge you to explain what the following question is about without reading it:

Travel Companion Programs?

Is it about defining what travel companion programs are? Or perhaps where to find one? Or a particular issue with a certain program? Impossible to tell without reading further, which defeats the idea of having titles in the first place.

Here's a counter-example of a great question title:

Is my China visa reusable?

Can you understand what's going on there without reading further? Most certainly.

So I implore you, fellow Travel-SE users, try and formulate meaningful question titles (with verbs, predicates and a question mark to boot) when you edit, retag, answer, or just look at a question. Make it sound like a question. An added benefit is better relevance when the topic is searched for -- it's no secret that the majority of traffic for SE sites comes from search engines.

I'm almost certain there's been SE blog posts or MSO discussions on question titles; if someone finds them, please add a link.

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    I felt necessary to edit the title of the present question. It was not conform. – user3470 Jun 12 '13 at 20:37
  • You can't have two questions with the same title, which highlights the need for the title to contain something unique about the question. “Is my China visa reusable” isn't specific enough either. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 13 '13 at 21:27
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Some links:

How do I write a good title? - what's interesting there is the examples of bad questions - questions like "how do I..." are considered bad, which many people don't realise.

Further reading: How to ask a smart question.

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If only every title ended with a "?".

  • 1
    travel.stackexchange.com/questions/10078/… nobody is perfect :) – Dirty-flow Jun 12 '13 at 22:56
  • Why? The title of a question doesn't have to be a title. In fact, since it's the title of the whole page, including the answers, it doesn't make much sense for it to be a question. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 13 '13 at 21:26
  • @Dirty-flow :) thanks! Corrected it. – user141 Jun 13 '13 at 21:40
  • @Gilles I disagree. I noticed that if you try to ask a question with a title in the form of a question is makes it a more expressive title. "boats in laos" is less expressive then "Can I, as tourist, rent a boat in Laos?" – user141 Jun 13 '13 at 21:42
  • @Andra “Renting a boat in Laos as a tourist” conveys the same information with less fluff – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 13 '13 at 21:46
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    @Gilles: Disagree. "Renting a boat in Laos as a tourist" might also be about an issue when renting a boat in Laos. Or where in Laos one can rent a boat. Or how. Or when. Making a title in a form of a question usually makes the question more specific. Of course, there are counter-examples to be had, but hopefully you'll agree that making the title into a question proper doesn't take away information. Making titles short is not a goal (nice to have, but not a goal in itself). Making them understandable, however, should be-- for various reasons. – mindcorrosive Jun 13 '13 at 23:35

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