17

While browsing my questions, I noticed that a user edited one of my posts by removing the question from the post's body.

Edit removing question from body

This was likely done because my question was already included in the title. So essentially, my scenario is the reverse of Should I edit question titles to include the verbatim question asked in the body if the titles are too vague?.

Should questions be removed from a post if the question is already included in the title?

  • It may make sense to have the title in the body of the question, but to place it at the top of the question seems foolish--you end up reading the same line twice in a row. It may make sense to have the title in the body of the question, but to place it at the top of the question seems foolish--you end up reading the same line twice in a row. – user1228 Jun 13 '17 at 13:58
  • @Won't So you think I should move it to the bottom of my body? – Stevoisiak Jun 13 '17 at 14:21
  • I think it should be natural to the body of the question, but in general I do think restating the question at the end of the body makes much more sense than putting it immediately at the top, because reading the same line twice in a row is really weird. I think it should be natural to the body of the question, but in general I do think restating the question at the end of the body makes much more sense than putting it immediately at the top, because reading the same line twice in a row is really goofy. – user1228 Jun 13 '17 at 14:27
15

To save rewriting the same concept again,

Titles are a reference label, a brief description of the question so it can be found by later searches; they do not form the whole question, or even a relevant part of it.

...

The body of the question is where the question must be asked. If that happens to include identical text as the title, good! It means the title will be very particular, making it easier to see what the rest of the body might involve.

If the question is not otherwise included in the body, even rephrased to summarise the body, removing it is unhelpful to the point of being careless damage.

In this particular case, I would consider rolling back. However, it is just as easy to edit anew, and write the question in a slightly different form at the end of the body, in a way that summarises the information provided above it.

7

This would only make sense if the question in the text is identical to the question in the title. And maybe not even so under many circumstances.

Often a question title is simply a way of summarizing a post so readers can decide whether to read on. A restatement of the question in the text is then needed to complete the thoughts of the asker.

Often, even a word-for-word repeat of the question in the title makes a neat wrap-up of the asker's full details in the text. Even here, I would say to leave it in the text.

Ultimately, it's a case by case common sense approach to apply here. As a final thought, I would add that if it doesn't materially detract from the post, then don't "fix it". That was simply the writer's style, and I personally would not want to "correct" that.

  • 1
    To clarify, I'm asking this from the perspective of someone writing a question, rather than someone editing another user's post. – Stevoisiak Jun 13 '17 at 2:10
  • It all depends on your style of writing. If it works for you, then no one should argue the point. As long as it is correct in terms of grammar, spelling, and communicating your question, then by all means do so. – John Jun 13 '17 at 2:12
  • @StevenVascellaro - The body of your question, should always contain the actual question you want to ask, the title should be a summary of the contents of your question body. You should considering changing the title of your question. The editor in this case, was on the right track, they just performed the wrong fix action. – Ramhound Jun 13 '17 at 17:41

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