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Should "Does everything have to be a question?" be added to the FAQ?

Even though the button to start a new thread says "Ask Question" and the FAQ says "What kind of questions can I ask here?", not everything on meta is a question. For example, feature requests are often posted however is most natural, which may or may not be in question-form. See, e.g., this thread: Do feature requests have to be formulated as questions?

There are also poor-quality posts flagged on Stack Overflow because they're not real questions.

I suggest that it would be helpful to point out in the FAQ:

  1. That almost everything posted on Stack Overflow and meta should state a clear question, but
  2. There are exceptions where it is acceptable to post non-questions, such as feature requests on meta.
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Not a Real Question flag / close vote / close reason doesn't (necessarily) mean that the question isn't formulated as a question, but:

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

A post formulated as a question can still be Not a Real Question, and the close reason might apply even for very high quality / interesting / popular questions, if they are, for example, overly broad.

Generally speaking it would be preferable for all questions to be formulated as questions, perhaps Meta [feature-requests] and [discussions] are an exception, but most of the times those can be formulated as questions as well. I personally wouldn't bother trying to turn them into questions though, if they don't naturally come out as questions, so be it.

As for your feature, I think the name of the button, "Ask Question", does a lot more to convey the information that questions should be questions than anything we could put in the FAQ. Not that many people actually read the FAQ, unfortunately, but everyone has seen that button and most of us have clicked it, at least once. Same for the "post your answer" button.

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