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There are several top-visited posts that aren't great models for new questions:

These all simply lack a suitable MWE, but there are perhaps other Good Ideas™ that may be missing from other questions.

Should they be edited to be good representatives of what questions are supposed to look like?

  • Although we clean up questions, it is in my point of view a strong edit, if we would turn those questions into template questions, but I appreciate your idea as useful. – user31729 Jul 9 '14 at 5:42
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    @ChristianHupfer That's why I'm hesitant; on the one hand it really would be useful for new users (how much so remains to be seen), but it would, in some few cases, be a radical addition to / mutation of the original post. – Sean Allred Jul 9 '14 at 11:23
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    Needed to say, it's being done with some of these, for instance the symbol one – yo' Jul 9 '14 at 12:26
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    I don't think question should be changed while there is a realistic possibility that the OP is expecting an answer, that is edits should only be to add code markup, fix up grammar a bit etc. But for years old questions that are still getting hits I see no problem in editing them (or an alternative would be to close them as "duplicates" of newer clearer questions" but that just inconveniences anyone following existing links. – David Carlisle Jul 9 '14 at 16:02
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    If the OP is still around, maybe worth asking them to improve the question first? (Even if it is old and has been answered.) – cfr Jul 10 '14 at 1:21
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    Too short for a long answer, but the more I think about I come to my (personal) conclusion, that we should not edit beyond highlighting,correcting typos etc, unless we ask the OP (see cfr's comment). Regarding the huge amount of duplicates that even those questions mentioned will be disregarded by new users, so it does not care whether the original post has been edited/improved or not. Again, I appreciate the idea as useful and somehow necessary, but editing those questions is somehow like Don Quijote's fight against wind mills ;-) – user31729 Jul 10 '14 at 14:43
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    i've just voted to close a question (Debugging LaTeX Errors: how to isolate the problem), but really, the answers on that question offered more good information than the referenced one. so i went back and added a comment linking to the new (presumably to-be-closed) question. this doesn't answer the question about "cleaning up", but may be a reasonable way to provide additional useful information. – barbara beeton Jul 12 '14 at 14:21
  • @barbara For cases where the two questions are almost exactly the same, there exists a 'merge questions' functionality that is accessible by moderators. – E.P. Jul 16 '14 at 18:04

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