I recently saw this question in SO and as a result of that question asked this question.

My question is clearly a derivation of the first question, but also a distinctly different question.

  • What is the process for asking these derived questions?
  • How much of the original question should be quoted? or
  • Should the original just be linked in?
  • I'm pretty sure this is a duplicate, but I can't find the original post.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 10:45
  • @ChrisF i did see this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8299/… but it handled a distinctly different case where the original question was not actualy answered.
    – Ron Tuffin
    Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 10:53
  • @Ron - I think that's the one I was thinking of & you're right, it's a different case. But it's always good practice to link to similar questions to show you've done the research!
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


I think you should quote and link to the original question. Explain clearly how your question differs and what about the answers given to the previous question don’t suit you needs.

I did this here, which I think exemplifies what I am suggesting.

  • So in my specific case you would suggest quoting MOST of Jeff's original question but with a different final question part?
    – Ron Tuffin
    Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 10:51
  • Actually I think what you did was great, there is probably no hard and fast rule. Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 14:11
  • 1
    Your question has been removed by moderators...
    – AER
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 1:07

This MetaSO question deals with that:

Asking Nearly Duplicate Questions

Basically the answer is (as mentioned):

  • Explain your question clearly and specifically
  • Link to the original (similar question)
  • Explain what worked/didn't work from that question
  • Specifically highlight what you are asking that is different from the original question

That way the last note the Answerers will read is the part that is explicitly different, and they will be able to focus their responses on that, instead of the 'duplicate' part.

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