Is there a guideline I can follow for forming questions?


1 Answer 1


One of the ways to write a clear and understandable question is to have these components:

  1. A clear organization that shows sections of the question for readability.
  2. A clear question that fits the rules of this site: How to ask a good Question and the Be Nice policy

Here is an example question format, using the formatting available.


A summary or abstract of your question, and the goal wished to achieve.


Background information relevant to the question. Relevant research would be here, along with context around the issue. Be mindful of how much you want to reveal for privacy reasons.

What has been tried.

Information on what, if anything has been done so far to defuse/solve the issue, and the results of these attempts. If nothing has been tried, perhaps state a reason why, if any.


The question itself, stated clearly and concisely. Can be anywhere between 1 to 5 sentences or more. Preferably Bolded.

Notes and clarifications

Adding extra notes here for clarification would be helpful, and if anyone asks for clarification you can either edit it into the question or add it into this section.

Disclaimer: This is only a guideline and is non-enforceable, and the question format does not have to be used.

The goal here is to help distinguish different sections of information so that people may read it better, as well as show what should be in each section, so that the asker will know what the differences are between relevant information and irrelevant information.

  • 1
    Do you think that perhaps requiring sections is a bit prescriptive, and that quality might be more just about whether the right information is included and presented in a clear way?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 23:00
  • Increasing the number of quality questions is what I'm hoping to achieve with saying that "these are guideline sections a good question has, we recommend following this". Therefore more people will be able to see and contemplate what relevant info should be in their questions instead of thinking of whatever might be relevant and sticking it in the question. It could also be helpful for people that struggle with organization, or struggle with English.
    – ElizB
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 23:20
  • 1
    "A good question should have" suggests more than an example; it suggests that questions without your recommendations aren't as good. That is, I think your intent may be to provide a template to help people write good questions, but the way you've presented it here, it seems you're going beyond that to judging whether questions are good, to advocating for applying that template even when a question was clear without it.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 0:28
  • @Cascabel - Edited it for clarity.
    – ElizB
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 0:39
  • 1
    I like the idea of providing new users with a guide of how to write a good question, but the sample format feels a little too prescriptive IMO... maybe this would work better like "what are the elements of a good question?" or "what should I include in my question?"
    – Em C
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 1:09
  • I really like that idea, @EmC - edited the question to make it feel less harsh.
    – ElizB
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 1:24

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