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I've noticed that a lot of bad questions aren't even questions (have no actual question in them). They usually go something like:

I'm trying to do X. It should do A, B and C.

I realize that these "questions" can easily be be translated into

How do I do X? It should do A, B and C.

Is this something we should try to prevent? If so, what can we do?

The most simple thing would be to inform the poster of a question that their question doesn't include a question mark. I may cause them to rethink their question before even posting it. The presence of a questions mark could either be enforced (i.e. you can't post a question without it) or just encouraged (i.e. the questioner get informed about the missing question mark but can still post the question).

I could also see the possibility of a more advanced heuristic that tries to inform users that it looks like they are posting a question that probably is not a good fit for the community.

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Or you can simply (suggest an) edit if you get the question. –  Bart Apr 5 '13 at 10:25
The existence (or lack thereof) of a ? is rather meaningless. Bad questions will be bad with or without enforcing this. –  Oded Apr 5 '13 at 10:27
I consider the difference between "I'm trying to..." and "How do I..." to be very minor. What is important is how clear and specific are X, A, B, and C. –  Aaron Kurtzhals Apr 5 '13 at 13:56
If you force the existence of a question mark people will just add one to the end of a statement, which isn't helpful, just confusing? –  Servy Apr 5 '13 at 14:22
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marked as duplicate by ben is uǝq backwards, Łukasz 웃 L ツ, Martijn Pieters, Richard Tingle, James Feb 23 at 18:40

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1 Answer

I don't care how it's phrased, as long as it's perfectly clear what the problem is.

If the author's communication skills are sufficient so that the question is understandable even without a question mark, so be it. If not, suggest an edit (or edit, if you have the privilege) and make it clearer.

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@hims056: Heh, thanks :) –  Second Rikudo Apr 5 '13 at 13:05
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