I am trying to post a question, but the title of the question is apparently not of an acceptable quality, resulting in an error.

What are the criteria for an acceptable question title?

  • 3
    What is the title of the question you're trying to post? I'm not sure how helpful @user689's comment is... the most relevant help centre article I could find was this one
    – Matt
    Feb 20 '14 at 16:43
  • 1
    Very related: How do I write a good title?
    – Bart
    Feb 20 '14 at 16:43
  • Its more than likely that your question has been asked before and you should look at the accepted or highest voted answer and apply that solution to your problem.
    – Zane
    Feb 20 '14 at 16:45
  • 4
    I got wicked deja vu from this question, not sure why. In any case, I found the title you chose for this question quite ironic given the problem you're having. Feb 20 '14 at 16:48
  • @Matt I was pointing to this article: stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask
    – Mohammad
    Feb 20 '14 at 17:38
  • 1
    @user689: Perhaps it'll be more helpful to the OP to actually link to that article in future, rather then sending him on a wild-goose-chase around the help center. I for one had no idea which help article you were linking him to.
    – Matt
    Feb 20 '14 at 17:46

Write the body of your question first. Find the single sentence in the body of your question that essentially summarizes the question you are asking, and put that into the title.


The error messages tell you what the specific criteria are just to be able to post the question and get past the automated checks. But that is not enough. Your title should:

  • be a question (usually)
  • include enough information for an answerer to be confident they can answer just from reading the title (or a later searcher to know your problem is their problem too)
  • not artificially include tags like language names
  • Summarize the actual problem you're having (what specifically is not working?)
  • Not include irrelevant information like Urgent or Beginner

Here are bad titles (I have seen these in the wild):

  • Ridiculous Error Message from Doing Something Reasonable
  • Is There a Better Way to Do This?
  • What Causes This?
  • Any Help Please It's Urgent Deadline Tomorrow

Looking at bad titles makes it easier to write good ones. And of course, when you get an error message, read it. If your title is rejected because it contains a forbidden word or is identical to another title, the message will tell you what you need to fix.

  • As an add-on to the second bullet point, it should also be clear enough so that someone looking for help can reasonably infer from the title whether or not the question is about the same (or at least similar) issue. Hence why those titles Kate listed are bad; there's nothing you can infer from those titles about the actual issue. Feb 20 '14 at 17:10
  • @DennisMeng thanks, edited Feb 20 '14 at 17:12
  • 1
    Yeah, this too. Apparently you've been observing question titles for quite awhile.
    – user102937
    Feb 20 '14 at 17:14

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