8

As a rule posts should only contain one question. When we see a post that asks more than one question we ask the OP to rewrite the question to edit the the post to only have one question. If the post is not edited, it will likely be closed and this is where my question comes in...

Should these questions be closed as Unclear what you're asking or Too Broad?


Unclear what you're asking

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.


Too Broad

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.


To me both descriptions have good prompts to identify the problem with the question, especially if close voters leave a comment.

The main reason I like Unclear is that it also provides a link to the "How to Ask" page, which could further help OPs, especially new users. On the other hand, the post could be perfectly clear just contain two questions.

The main reason I like Too Broad is that phrase "isolate an issue". However, the problem is that answer may not have to be long in order to answer multiple questions if the questions are simple enough.

I believe the current community accepted path is use Too Broad. Was this an established rule, or just became common practice? I didn't see any posts here on meta directly addressing the issue.

A relevant discussion on Main Meta brings this up and agrees that the question should be closed, but does not address what reason should be used.

  • Too broad....... – Akira Fudo Oct 20 '16 at 13:16
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I don't think there's any policy around this; I've seen both. That being said, on a purely personal level,

I favour "Too Broad"

The problem with multiple-questions-in-one is just what it says on the tin: there are too many questions, which makes it more difficult for a single "best" answer to emerge. That seems like the very definition of being "too broad", and is right there in the body of the close reason:

There are [...] too many possible answers

That being said, I do see the value in linking to the "How-to-ask" page; we can never link to that page enough. However, I think the "Too Broad" close reason also provides some useful guidance on how such a question could be improved; it isn't perfect, of course, but close voters can (and should) be leaving clarifying comments on these edge cases. Unless and/or until we get customizable non-off-topic close reasons, "imperfect" if the best solution we can hope for1.

Ultimately, I prefer that the close reason accurately reflect the problem with the question; in these cases (with exceptions, obviously), it's quite easy to determine what the question is asking, it's just that it asks for too many things.


1 The other option would be using the free-form off-topic close reason, but using that for question categories that aren't actually off-topic is something that I (and others) have railed against before

  • Precisely this. It's not unclear what they're asking, just that they're asking lots of things at the same time. – Valorum Oct 19 '16 at 14:17
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    "comments from close-voters" - this can't be stressed enough. To an extent it doesn't matter what close reason is used if at least one close-voter leaves a very clear comment to explain what the problem is with the questions and how to fix it. – Rand al'Thor Oct 19 '16 at 14:20

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