I've asked a few questions on SE that have been quickly flagged and closed often within 6 hours.

Perhaps, I'm used to the etiquette on Quora but I'm of the opinion that fresh questions that don't fit the general theme of SE should have opportunities to evolve. Often I ask quick questions based on problems that I have and only later do I include further details after I have had time to flush out the specifics. This is after all science; grammar and syntax doesn't come immediately for those writing highly technical questions.

Another way of asking this is how much opportunity and revision should be allotted to question before it gets closed?

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    $\begingroup$ Science does not excuse poor grammar and syntax! Clear writing -> clear thinking. $\endgroup$
    – Poshpaws
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


I've taken a quick look at the two questions that were closed (1 and 2) and see that as you say they were closed for lack of detail. I understand what you are saying about adding more detail as you go along but its considered better form on SE to have as many details included as possible in the question body - certainly more than a line!

Being closed is not the end of the line for a question, however. The edit link and comments are still active, so you can refine a question to add new details based on the comments you have received and then flag the post for ♦ moderator attention when you think you have added more details, where we will be happy to re-open an improved question.

Although all considered it might be easier in the long run to try and get some of the details for yourself and include them in the question body - see How to Ask.

One final thing, when reading the title of this question I had actually thought it was going to be on a slightly different topic so I'll mention that briefly. I realise that Alexander, Mad Scientist and myself are being seen to use our veto votes on question closures etc. quite a lot at this early stage, please be reassured that us being the sole voters will hopefully become much left common as more people cross the necessary reputation requirement to close/reopen posts.


The problem with letting vague or broad questions stay open is that they are likely to receive bad answers. If the users answering have to guess what the question is about, they're likely to make wrong assumptions and their answers won't help the asker.

A big problem then is that when the question is clarified it invalidates earlier answers that made different assumption. The earlier answers then appear to be obviously wrong answers to the updated question text, leading to downvotes. Changing a question so much that it invalidates earlier answer should be avoided if at all possible, so any existing answer will give you less room to improve your question.

Closing is also not the end for a question, if you improve it it can be reopened at any time. You'll notice that I explicitly mentioned the possibility of getting the question reopened in the two examples Rory cited. Especially in cases where the question is just broad or vague, closing is meant to be temporary until the necessary detail is added.


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