If a question contains "My question is ..." the paragraph should automatically be given a different visual cue. For example, giving it a nice blue or green background.

Askers often put a lot of effort in providing pictures and information, context, but the question is so long and complex that I tend to lose track of what they actually asked, because they asked the question somewhere in 2/3 part of the text.

Sometimes I find myself in a similar situation when asking. I solve it by putting the question into the last paragraph and start the sentence with "My question is..."

Automatically highlighting the "My question is..." paragraph would force OPs to think properly about what they really ask, and help people want to answer to clearly see what the question is.

An alternative solution would be to have question formatting option in the editing area when I type the question, so that I could myself designate a paragraph as being the question.

  • 15
    I always edit out the My question is text; in proper questions it is redundant, and editing out makes the post more concise and to the point. Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:30
  • This is a great idea!! Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:35
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    Background comes after the question. This isn't American Idol where we need to hear a sob story before they sing
    – random
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:40
  • The analogy is not funny at all, but much more importantly, it is not true. There are countless posts where it was necessary to provide context first so that the question would make any sense. Anyway, it doesn't matter where the question is positioned actually, as long as I can locate it easily when I start work on the answer.
    – Earl Grey
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:44
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    @EarlGrey The point is not that the background shouldn't be provided, but rather that the background and more detailed explanations should come later in the question. The question should open with what it's asking, and then explain it in more detail, rather than spending several paragraphs adding context that may or may not be relevant only to embed an actual question 2/3 of the way through the post. Such a question can often be improved greatly by just removing (or repeating) the question (or a summary of it at least) at the top (or near the top) of the post.
    – Servy
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 18:14
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    @EarlGrey If you're trying to highlight the actual question, then that would seem to indicate you want to be able to jump right to the question, and be able to skip the context/background. If that's what you want to do, then it means that the question should have been at (or close to) the start of the post, specifically so that you wouldn't have had to skip over unnecessary information to go find it.
    – Servy
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


If a question makes it very hard to figure out what it's actually asking, then it's not a very clear question. If you feel that you understand it, you should edit the question to improve its clarity. If you don't understand it, consider commenting to allow another person to clear it up (or vote to close, if the question is particularly unclear, but embedding the question in a hard to find place likely wouldn't qualify) .

If a particular point needs to be emphasized, emphasize it, whether that means using bold or italics, moving the question to a more prominent position (the start of the paragraph instead of in the middle, moved up to an earlier paragraph, etc.) so that readers will be able to more quickly and easily understand what is being asked.

Trying to improve questions like these automatically is going to be very hard. Realistically, if the question isn't clear, it's going to need a human touch, rather than an automated script trying to figure out what should or shouldn't be emphasized. Questions like these are precisely why SE makes it so easy for anyone to edit posts.


Servy already mentioned that the responsibility lies with the OP to make their question clear. Here's a reason why your request would be difficult to implement from the Stack Exchange point of view:

You're dealing with people, and not everyone will follow the same guideline for setting up a question. Some will ask a question in the post title and never use "My question is". Some will use it multiple times:

My question is really simple. Blah blah blah blah ...

More blah blah blah blah ...

My question is not all that complicated when compare to blah blah blah ...

Even more blah blah blah blah ...

Where should an automated system pick up which "My question is..." is the actual question? It's better to leave this up to the OP, or as secondary measure, sort it out via comments at the community-level.

I would suggest commenting on a post in order to clarify what the OP wants, and using your voting power to also portray your opinion.

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