Just an opinion with insights as a bilingual. I think the FAQ or another area on SO could benefit from a clear illustrative example of what constitutes a quality question in terms of structure. I mean a newcomer who has a A1/A2 (or even B1 CEFR?) level of English won't necessarily catch on to mentions of "quality standards" or format.

  • 1
    We have editing badges for those who like to fix these types of questions. A sample boiler plate question isn't going to solve much and there is already a definitive list of what people should and shouldn't do with their questions.
    – slugster
    Jul 10, 2012 at 12:22
  • 2
    According to Stack Exchange Data Explorer, there are over two hundred thousand open questions with a score of 5 or better. If those don't provide sufficient example as to 'what constitutes a quality question', I'm not sure what would.
    – AakashM
    Jul 10, 2012 at 12:39
  • People are just as unlikely to read and learn from such an example as they are to read the various SE FAQs or blog posts like this one, this one or this one. What makes you think this example post would be a raging success in comparison? How would you make such a post that caters to PHP, MySQL, SQL Server, Rexx, VBScript and Oracle?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 10, 2012 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


Well, it really depends on the nature of the question, and it isn't just about language to me.

A good question gives as much information as possible about the environment, hardware and other such things.

A good answer is clear and stands on his own merits.

On SU, we've fixed up answers in Russian and found that had it been in English, it would have been a pretty good answer. Bad language quality is fixable. A link only answer might be fixable. Garbage is garbage, and is quite obvious. I don't think its an English issue. It's an effort and overall quality of information problem. Giving a example of a good question or answer linguistically won't help a question with insufficient detail, or a rant in perfect English as an answer.

  • I'd agree up to a certain point. But wouldn't it be possible to put an illustrative example (a picture is worth a thousand words) along with some structure guidelines ("situation, problem, attempts" or "context, question") or tips ("go to the point", "imagine you are reading your own question"...). These might seem obvious reflexes for some but they are far from acquired for a good portion of people including myself. A post may seem like garbage and a lack of effort on behalf of a poster but I'm sure you've lived a situation personally where form didn't communicate your intent properly.
    – James P.
    Jul 10, 2012 at 11:51
  • 1
    As I understood the OP, he thinks (correctly, in my opinion) that some expressions used by native speakers ("quality standard") are difficult to grasp, and an example would be easier to understand.
    – Monolo
    Jul 10, 2012 at 11:51
  • @Monolo Spot on. It can't really hurt to have an illustration to add to the FAQ or elsewhere. I mean a lot of the programmers have learned by example. I am aware that a few visitors are content with the "gimme the codez" approach but lets avoid generalization :)
    – James P.
    Jul 10, 2012 at 12:00
  • @JamesPoulson that reminds me of an old proposal of mine: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/481/…
    – VonC
    Jul 10, 2012 at 12:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .