Sometimes I or others ask a question which causes the reader to think why would he want to do that?. There are reasons and the question is usually legitimate. I and others often seem to get a lot of comments (which I don’t mind), and comments posted as answers (which I do mind), which do not even attempt to address the question and instead question the approach and provide zero insight on the actual question.
I am talking about the kind of question where the question is usually a few sentences, but a solid explanation of why the approach that leads to the question is chosen takes almost a full page of writing, and is irrelevant to the question itself. The issue seems to be well understood and there are various related questions on Meta, such as:
- Why upvote answers that propose a better way to do the task rather than answering the question?
- Should there be a way to differentiate answers that directly address the question vs. providing a better way to solve the problem?
- Answering a Question Vs. Solving a Problem
My question is not why this happens. My question is how can I formulate a question in such a way that this happens less.
To be clear, I am asking What can a question do to avoid getting answers that do not address the question?, in the context of well-meaning answerers who try to see an underlying cause.
Two questions with different approaches which should show what I mean:
- What are the consequences of revoking a credit card charge made to Origin? (note that the question is off-topic but it still serves to illustrate the type of questions and answers I mean)
- UK hotel overcharged credit card, where to complain?