I thought I read somewhere that questions should be written as questions rather than topics or statements.

So I edited a bunch of questions here to actually look like questions.

But then I started to have doubts that everybody does really want that...

Is there a rule on Stack Exchange? And if not should we have either a rough or firm rule that questions be asked as questions?

I think it's at least a decent filter. Some things which are hard to phrase as questions reveal themselves to be off-topic, subjective, too broad, listish, or without one right answer just by the very process of trying to put them in question form.

What say ye?

After asking I found this related straw poll on the main Stack Exchange meta site. But it's checkout time so there is a TL;DR issue...

2 Answers 2


I think it depends. Sometimes, there are questions which will be too long if expressed in question form, and could be summed up more concisely if written as a statement/topic (and still make sense). So...just leave to OP? And perhaps edit only if a topic/statement is vague and clarity could be improved by editing it into question form.

  • 1
    +1. Stack Overflow has no rule demanding question form, and has been working fine for 2 million questions now.
    – Pekka
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 6:29

I try to phrase all of my questions as a question. In doing so, I noticed that most of my questions start with "How to..." or "How do I..." which got me thinking about the same thing. Perhaps it is better not to force a question format where there would be additional verbiage.

Ultimately, I don't think that it matters if the title is a question or not as long as it is specific and reflects the body of the question. Titles that are overly broad or include the word 'question' should be revised whether or not they are changed into question form. For example this question was originally titled 'Question about travelling across europe' and didn't at all reflect the actual questions in the body.

Writing a title in question form often helps add the detail to more quickly communicate exactly what is being asked, though it shouldn't be required.

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