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In the FAQ's it says that signatures aren't allowed and will be removed.

Are titles in answers the same way?

I know that the methodology behind no signatures is to prevent redundant information, but the same argument be made for answer titles since all the information is (or should be) in the answer anyway, leaving a title redundant.

I ask because there's a user whoputs titles and subtitles in ALL of his answers. I know that reading a long answer might seem boring, but proper markup of the answer can prevent anything from being misconstrued.

What say yous?

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Titles (or sub-titles) that help make the answer more readable, organized, etc. are good, and should be encouraged.

Example:

Stormtroopers are not poor soldiers. Let's consider the situations in which they find themselves:

A New Hope: Soldiers on Tatooine are susceptible to Force Persuasion, and are slow to break out the big guns to stop a freighter from escaping. Stormtroopers on the Death Star show poor accuracy and tactics during their pursuit of the main cast. Many seem to be killed or wounded, and very few even come CLOSE to hitting the good guys.

Empire Strikes Back: Snowtroopers overrun prepared defenses at the Rebel base. The Rebels are routed and flee. Later, Stormtroopers escort Vader on Cloud City, essentially do nothing...except for completely (and virtually invisibly) taking over the entire security.

Return of the Jedi: Storm and Scout troopers guard the forest moon of Endor. A covert strike team supported by the indigenous peoples of the moon assault the base and destroy it.

These are excellent uses of titles/section headers. They add organization and clarity to the answer.

Titles that are there simply because the author likes titles are noise, however, and should be edited out/discouraged.

Example:

Should Frodo have just flown over Mt. Doom and dropped The One Ring from the back of an eagle?

No, because that would have been a short and boring story. Here's why: lorem ipsem....

The title here adds no value, and should be removed.

  • Consider scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6241/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/5440/… would these be candidates for editing? Or are the titles useful to the answer? – OghmaOsiris Oct 17 '11 at 20:40
  • In the first example, only "In Summary" seems to add anything. In the second, "Wolverine's Skeleton, Or how did the adamantium get in there anyway?" are noise. The other subtitles are useful in that they distinguish variants of the answer as they pertain to differing in-universe answers (except maybe the "Wolverine's superior senses" one, as that section doesn't actually seem relevant to the question). – Beofett Oct 17 '11 at 21:17
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Repeating the subject of the question as a title to the answer is redundant.

Having several subtitles in a long answer is perfectly fine. That's what the title markup is for.

Having looked at a few of Thaddeus's answers, I find that a couple of his answer titles are partly redundant, but not all of them, and not strongly so: they don't just repeat the question, they also summarize or set the tone for the answer. This makes them a matter of writing style. The use of section titles is a matter of writing style as well. Writing style is up to the poster; respect it unless it's a matter of accuracy or legibility.

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