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I think the questions that sort of expect answerers to write an essay or give a sermon on a given topic without containing a clearcut question might not be ok for this site. What do you think?

Example 1: Can someone provide explanation on dependent origination

Example 2: What happens to one in a locked in syndrome?

  • Sounds right. Can you give an example? – Andrei Volkov Jan 15 '18 at 10:25
  • Added the most recent examples. But I remember seeing others in the past. – Sankha Kulathantille Jan 15 '18 at 15:36
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We have Moderation policies for Questions (FAQ), which allow those types of question:

"Too broad": we are allowed to ask a broad question, even a question which could theoretically take a whole book to answer. The site allows (welcomes) beginner questions. You can't expect hugely long answers though, so if a question is very "broad" then an answer might be quite 'shallow': a superficial summary of the topic, and/or a reference to further reading on the topic.

"Not containing a clearcut question" is also supposed to be acceptable, per the current FAQ:

"Unclear what you're asking": if possible we prefer to avoid closing 'unclear' questions, because... [etc.]

That policy is quite old and up-voted; it would be difficult to get a lot of support, from users in the Community, for changing it (though you're welcome to try).

Some users seem to dislike our closing any question ... changing the policy and/or closing questions might be considered objectionable ... maybe it's better to ignore (rather than close, and rather than discuss trying to define new policy for) these questions?


I think we can (currently) be expected to accept (not close) these questions, and I suppose we handle them as follows:

  • Post comments asking for clarification, for example, "Do you mean X? Do you want an answer of type Y? Isn't this question difficult to answer because of reason Z?"
  • Treat them as a question; for example you might not want to write an essay on dependent origination; but authors already have written on that subject, maybe the OP's question could be answered with a link to one of those essays (if you know any existing text[s] that may answer the OP's question)
  • Leave it unanswered; or post just a sketch of an answer, "a superficial summary of the topic", or find out what the main/single point of the question is and just address that.

You're right that "Too broad" and "Unclear" (etc.) are among the reasons for closing a question, on other Stack Exchange sites; on this site though we decided to accept a diversity of questions.

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