I've encountered many questions (some really good ones and thought-provoking and highly rated), where an attempt to answer them directly, without reading further, would just be a matter of someone's opinion.

Just some examples,

Can I give flowers to a feminist as a present for hosting a party?

I do art. When people say "draw me", do I include their physical appearance flaws?


How can I politely ask someone to get off their phone?

How to gently tell someone that you just want to be friends?

How important is the phrasing/wording of the title question? Should it reflect the context (description of the problem the OP is facing), and if after the issue being described, the question(s) asked, better reflects the context, should the title question be changed accordingly?


I am asking because I might have done this too

  • 2
    The title should be accurate to the body of the question, but I'm not sure what's wrong with the examples you provided.
    – apaul
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 15:42
  • I never said there is anything wrong with the examples. I guess I wasn't understood. I'm asking if the wording of the title is important. Supposedly, the wording of the question is an indication of whether the question is opinion-based or not. (Should I, can I vs how to something). I'm just discussing the importance of the title question in general. Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 18:16
  • 1
    This topic has been thoroughly discussed on mother meta and other metas. Worth reading: google.com/… for anyone posting an answer. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 19:25
  • 2
    Related, possible duplicate: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1520/…
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 1:02
  • @NVZ You might post that as an answer instead of a comment, so that this topic doesn't remain unanswered.
    – ChrisW
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


I think it should be a good advertisement for the question: attractive (e.g. interesting), and accurate (not like click-bait).

Its length and formatting should be similar to the titles of other questions.

It has three purposes:

  • To attract (or inform) readers who are browsing a list of question titles: "This topic looks interesting to me!"
  • To summarise the question for people who are reading the topic. The text (paragraphs) of the question may be long, describing the problem and the scenario and the actors. If a reader asks, "Yes but what's the question in all this", they should see that summarised in the title.
  • To help the topic be found via a search engine (such as Google) -- a search engine probably puts more weight on text in a heading than on text inside a paragraph, so you might want the title to contain relevant key words which identify or help to classify the topic.

All the titles you gave as examples see to me adequate (though I haven't checked to see how closely they match their topic and whether they can be improved).

Conversely I think a title like, "What can I say in this situation?" isn't informative (says nothing about the situation in question).

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