Some questions go further deep asking 'how', 'why' and 'what'. I am always tempted to ask about 3 sub questions closely related, otherwise it would seem I just want more votes, at least +1 for each, to increase my reputation if those subs were asked individually. Its rather sad I cannot search for instances on the main site but they go like, TITLE: Who did X? BODY: (Repeats title question), why did he do it, where did he go afterwards? Questions like these sometimes tend to trigger closure as some reasons like: it is unclear which question is being asked, this question is vague... bla bla bla. Not exactly an example, on the main site, but could DID JESUS CONTRADICT HIMSELF be a sub question in WHY DID JESUS ASK THE DISCIPLES TO BUY A SWORD by the same author?

Apologies, I could not make the links to those posts.

1 Answer 1


All questions should be worded such that they stand alone on their own merit whether anybody has read previous related questions or not. Asking several questions surrounding a topic is not only acceptable, but encouraged. They can even be linked together*, but that does not excuse them from being free standing questions.

Asking more than one related question in the same question is also acceptable as long as the issues are sufficiently related. If researching to answer one question is going to turn up answers to the others, keeping them together might make sense. Also if answers to the sub questions are somehow dependent on the answers to a parent question or main idea, they should probably just be included in the main question.

That being said, do be careful not to overload your questions. Keep them focused. Stick to one topic and what exactly you want to know about that topic.

* Please don't make the links to previous topics the first thing people read in a question. They should be more like a post script or worked into the body of the text, but cut straight to the question when asking so that the automatic question summaries are useful.

  • yessir! Thanks. Wil luv to ask u somethn off topic. Pls permit me.
    – Nok
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:03
  • @Nok: I'm happy to go off-topic, just catch me in chat sometime.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:06
  • wil love to but I cant do that on this fon. I would hav to travel 5km to the nearest cafe
    – Nok
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:11
  • @Nok: Did you try a different browser? I use chat from mobile all the time. I don't think it works in Opera's mobile products, but most webkit ones seem to work quite well. If you can't chat and you want to ask something specifically of me, my email address is publicly listed.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:33
  • Yes i use opera but dont anything about webkit. Please expect my mail.
    – Nok
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:39
  • @Nok. WebKit is the rendering engine (the part of the browser which works out how to display the page) used by the browsers Safari and Chrome (and some others). (Geko is used by Firefox, SeaMonkey and some others; Trident by Internet Explorer and some others; Presto by Opera.)
    – TRiG
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 10:20
  • The footnote is not something I had considered before. My practice has been to lead with any introductory material I might have, but I hadn't considered the problems that might cause in question summaries. I must be on the lookout for that in my own questions at least. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 16:17
  • 1
    @JonEricson: Obviously some questions can't reasonably be asked without giving some background, but it is worth considering the fact that the first couple sentences are important both because they show in snippets on and off site, but also because they allow a reader to determine their own interest in paying attention while they read the question. In cases where you can't actually lead with the question, at least consider setting the topic stage clearly enough so that people understand what might come in the box :)
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 16:23
  • @JonEricson: An example of an edit I did with this in mind would be the rewrite on this question. Mostly the same content reordered for usefulness. The snippet now looks something like this.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 16:32

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