Recently I am humbled and had to acknowledge my mistake to make the question more attention-grabbing than is necessary, and deviating from the original claim, the latter of which I believe is significant and worthy of discussion.

It would be perfect if a question was immaculately asked to beging with. We know that it works with experienced Skeptics.SE users, but for novices like me mistakes are unavoidable.

Because of the site's high standard on the formulation of claims, I want to know if Skeptics.SE might benefit from having a more refined process for revising, modifying and closing a question than is implemented on other SE sites.

In particular:

  • Is it permissible to have attention-grabbing titles as long as the actual claim is stated in the first paragraph in the main question text?
  • Are there any rules discerning whether a question title must be revised vs. closed? (In this case, my change will be invalidating the existing answer, which contains important reference links.)
  • If the change in question title deserves a discussion on its own, how/where should the discission take place? Should a link to the chat room be posted on the question?
  • Should we have Wikipedia-style block templates on questions that are being challenged, requires significant revisement, or being proposed to close?

Thank you.

4 Answers 4


The title should reflect the question, it may be somewhat attention-grabbing as long as it does not misrepresent the question. In your case the title and the question don't match well, though they are connected, please try to clarify which claim you mean (animals or depth reached) and make the title and question fit together.

Don't add those in revision text to your question, if a question is deemed to be inacceptable in the current form, it will be closed. Then you can edit it and reopen it without having to worry about answers accumulating.

Your question doesn't even have any close votes, I see no serious challenge here. One user commenting does not mean you need to put your question on probation, just listen and if you find the critique constructive edit your post to make it better.

Comments are fine for discussing the improvements of the title, as long as it doesn't get out of hand.


Skeptics is not the only site of this kind, so I suspect, that changing the rules isn't that easy. You have to convice 50 communities. :) And don't ask 4 or 5 questions in one, because which answer do you accept, if they are split?


Should we have Wikipedia-style block templates on questions that are being challenged, requires significant revisement, or being proposed to close?

No. Keep it small, stupid. (KISS-principle). The page is already covered with things here and there - many parts are hard to reach or to find, and my firefox-plugin-template-macro-system has to fit somehow to the screen.

A vote to close is a first warning to improve your question, hopefully mostly because of a comment provided by the angry critique. You can always use the chat, of course, to discuss it, but I may vote to close without joining the chat (which is often empty).

If your question is improved, it can be reopened.



I often see questions, stating A a. And then, I read it, and in the body, the question is different - it is A b. Now I have two options: To answer the headline, or to answer the body. And since the headline attracts readers who are interested in that, I might answer more the headline, and less the body.

The Title should be a brief recapitulation of the question. Else you start two discussions, and have to downvote the ones, which answer your headline.

And don't ask two or more questions in one, because else the answerer get annoying dialog boxes, that they already posted an answer.

Changing the meaning of your question after people made first answers is bad style. If your first question is valid, maybe you should start a second, related one. You can link to the other, to avoid repetition, and to underline the difference between both questions.

And please, don't ask 3 or 4 questions in one. It is hard to compare the answers, if they all adress different parts of your question.

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