Questions in titles need to be repeated, why?

To me this pattern seems ridiculous. But I frequently encounter the "not a real question" situation, when I put my question in the title, then the context for that specific question in the 'question body'.

One example.


I am to take it that the title is almost completely irrelevant for establishing subsequent question body is asking? I choose my titles to expose the actual question so it need not be repeated below. If questions need to be repeated in the body, could we simply title it "A question, click here and read below" ?

Tagged bug, as I have found this "problem" to be quite reproducible. Steps to reproduce:

  1. Ask a question with the clear, simple question in the title, and the evidence/context/example in the question body.
  2. Await close votes.
  • 1
    [bug]: "This tag indicates a reproducible problem on the site that you believe is due to a mistake, malfunction, or programming error." None of these apply, please keep that for actual software bugs.
    – Mat
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 7:56
  • @Mat I would say it is a policy malfunction. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:26
  • 6
    Thing is, the devs can't actually patch or upgrade the community (though I'm sure that's something they'd love to be able to do). Bugs here should be for stuff that can be fixed by code/css/html/tuning/whatever.
    – Mat
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:37
  • @Mat who are devs? Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:42
  • The developers of the Stack Exchange sites (Stack Exchange employees). The people who make these websites go. stackexchange.com/about/team
    – Mat
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:47
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/66119/153020
    – Flexo
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 9:50
  • Very good edit on your question, voted to reopen.
    – Mat
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:24
  • @Mat Okay, I get what you are saying that the engineers can't tweak the community. Interesting idea. So I guess policy is decided by ... the community? And the engineers implement ? Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:25
  • 2
    To some extent, yes. The site/network was started with certain ideas in mind. The fact that it's a Q&A and not a forum for example. But a large part of what is good or bad, on-topic vs. off-topic, has been influenced by the community. Though the community is not necessarily the deciding entity. codinghorror.com/blog/2012/02/…
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:28
  • It does sound like a pretty good model. I'm glad to be part of the experiment, now that I am beginning to grasp the larger context and history. It's very interesting. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


You're looking at this wrong. Question titles should not be repeated in the question body. That's, at best, noise. It should be expanded in the question body.

The question title is supposed to be a very short, concise, version of the question you're about to ask. The question body should provide the context, all the necessary details (like code, error messages, description of the behavior you're seeing that's not what you expect), and then your actual problem you're not managing to solve yourself. It should also include what you've already attempted to fix your issue/resolve your problem. (Not necessarily in that order.)

If you find yourself writing a question on Stack Overflow that entirely fits in the title, chances are it's not a good question for Stack Overflow – the first revision of the post you link to is a pretty good example of that. It doesn't show any effort on your side, and looks like you've dumped that title into the Stack Overflow question page by mistake, when you were actually trying to hit a search engine to get leads.

You'll get better help (and less close votes) if you show that you've tried to help yourself before posting on any Stack Exchange site, and you make sure your question body all the following:

  • What you're trying to achieve
  • What you've tried so far
  • How these things have failed
  • Where exactly you're stuck at.

For questions that are more in the form of:

Can someone explain how this thing works?

You should make sure that you explain what part of that thing exactly you don't understand, whether it's the syntax, the algorithm, a specific function/keyword/whatever, interactions with another library/runtime/browser/...
As it was when you posted here, your question was lacking this. So it was hard to know how to answer. Are you looking for a theoretical treatment of noise generation? (That could require entire books.) Or it there something you're not getting the loop structure? The event handling? What these channels do/represent? How they're tied to your audio?

tl;dr: The title is a teaser. It should tell people casually browsing the site what your question is going to be about so they can quickly determine if they're interested or knowledgeable in that area and could help (or benefit from answers). The body should give all the necessary details so that someone can actually solve your problem.

  • I guess it makes sense. If one doesn't make questions answerably specific, then there is not much that someone can do for an answer that they are sure is going to be useful. I get that part. Yes. Thanks. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:35
  • But I think that sometimes general broad questions should be allowed so that stab in the dark answers could proliferate, if people wished to answer. Interesting things could pop up...sometimes the question is just a starting point. (And boom, I can hear the 'but that Q would not be a good fit for the Q&A format' bells a-ringing). I guess if I have such a problem with the Q&A format, I will have to just make my own site with a Q&A format that pleases me more, or addresses all the policy mistakes I see. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:37
  • 2
    Don't forget about chat. If you don't know where to start or have a real broad question, a chat or forum type discussion is what you need. The Q&A format on SE doesn't work well with those. (BTW, the rest of the internet didn't disappear when SE started. There are still more traditional forums out there.)
    – Mat
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 8:40

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