This may seem like a strange question, but I want to make sure I'm sticking with the spirit of the site when I ask questions.

I notice a lot of questions are extremely short, sometimes even just one or two sentences.

I'll often take up 3/4 of the screen explaining my question before getting to the actual question. See this question as an example of one of mine.

Am I going overboard with information, or are questions this detailed encouraged? Should I look for a happy medium or stay the course?

4 Answers 4


In short, no. I prefer detailed questions if the detail is necessary and relevant.

  • 1
    Awesome, that's what I was hoping for, but I love this site so I also want to stick to the rules, specified or implied :) Aug 19, 2010 at 12:57
  • 1
    This question of mine is a good example of something that was too short; I left out details that, by their absence, made the question appear nonsensical. Short of incredibly simple questions, spending a little time on a question is pretty much mandatory if you want it to be a good question. Aug 25, 2010 at 1:19

Highly-detailed questions are fine as long as the actual question is clear. Sometimes people will go on for 5 paragraphs about some issue they're having and forget to actually ask a question.

You've put your question at the bottom and highlighted it in bold. That's good. It would also be fine to place the question text at the very beginning.

Just don't bury the question itself in the middle of an enormous amount of background information, because it's very possible that somebody doesn't need all that detail in order to answer it.

  • I'd still prefer that the question be concise. It's too easy to red the core of a question and post a bad answer because one missed a detail that was buried paragraph 19. Aug 25, 2010 at 1:21
  • @Neil: 19 paragraphs is a stretch, but sometimes a lot of information is necessary to fully-define the question. If a question is so verbose that it's actually confusing, you should downvote it or leave a comment (or edit it, once you have the reputation). If it's merely long, but the detail looks important, then IMO it's better not to answer at all than to answer without reading the whole question.
    – Aaronut
    Aug 25, 2010 at 14:56

I prefer short and to the point questions with medium to long length answers that are well explained...when possible.


Long enough to clearly state what the question is, and hopefully to state what you've tried so far.

(and there's a user or two that I'd say needs their questions to be longer, as I'm starting to wonder if they're not just a veiled plea for attention)

  • I think I know who. I downvote some of the worst
    – hobodave
    Aug 19, 2010 at 17:13

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