When working on a document, I often end up with multiple questions. Should I club all the related questions together and ask a single question or break them into separate questions. All the questions are specific about how to do something, but may or may not affect the answer to other questions (because I do not know the answer).

For example, recently I was working on a plot and needed help with annotations. I had two questions,

  1. how to generate the annotations and

  2. how to adjust their placement based on the value of the annotation.

I never got around to asking the second question but for future reference should I combine such questions? Or If I am asking multiple questions should I reference the other questions, which I had but many not be relevant for the answer?

  • 1
    Thank you for being so considerate to ask this question here! A lot of people would've just asked their questions in whatever way, not really caring about the appropriate grouping.
    – doncherry
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


It is usually best to ask single, self-contained questions and include a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. You could describe your end-goal in an attempt to guide answers. However, think of this site as a destination where not only you can find answers, but also others. Future visitors may not have the same end-goal as you, and therefore might not be interested in wading through a complicated description of a big, multi-stage question/problem.

If you have an additional question that could not be answered in your first, consider asking a follow-up question. Follow-up questions (new questions) are more than welcome! Even though you have a bigger picture in mind, consider accepting the answer that helped you most with each of the questions asked (see How do you accept an answer?) as you move this Q&A journey towards your end-goal.

Also, if you consider some of the questions en-route to be too small for asking, there's always the chat room were skilled regulars hang out and exchange ideas.

Some of the above are snippets from Text building blocks - comments scattered across this network to help improve the quality.

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