What is a good template for formulating a question on this site?

The model I use is:

  1. Introduce and state the broad issue at hand. Closely related questions are mentioned, and the motivation behind the issue (like I am typesetting a thesis...) is stated here.
  2. Formulate exactly what you want to accomplish. Highlight in bold the one sentence that contains the essense of the question.
  3. Round off, mentioning the things you have tried, along with less important technical details.
  4. Provide one or more MWEs with screenshots immidiately following them. Do not post anything more after this point. All comments to MWEs and output must be placed before point 4.
  • 2
    I suggest using a proper title too. Too often you get questions that are too specific "How do I get a subscript a?" as opposed to "How do I get a subscript?" or to general "How do I do this?" as opposed to "How do I get a subscript?". The main purpose of the title is using it as a filter---for candidate providers of answers to unanswered/partially answered questions and for somebody who's filtering related answers to answered questions.
    – user10274
    Jun 8, 2015 at 4:52
  • What should or should not be iin a question cannot be said in general. Some absolutely require a MWE because there is a localized error, some contain one for pure convenience, others would look quite silly if a MWE is given. A real starter often cannot say yet where to start, hence can't show related questions or stuff he has tried, as the knowledge isn't there yet.
    – Johannes_B
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:16
  • 1
  • @Johannes_B templates are only templates, not applicable for all questions, but for a wide range of them.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 8, 2015 at 15:53
  • 3
    Imho if you have to highlight the main question in bold then you have to much decoration around it. Most of 1. and 3. are not really needed. I also rather dislike it if there is a link to follow before I actually had a chance to understand the core of the question, so imho background informations should go after the MWE. Jun 9, 2015 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


There are more exceptions to the rule of template-abiding questions. These are really good suggestions indeed. However they are not necessary only sufficient.

Markup of the important points (bold, italic etc.) are really not that important if you can stick to the minimality. I think Hilbert's quote about math is also valid for TeX questions:

The art of asking a TeX.SX question consists in finding that special case which contains all the germs of generality.

Emphasis on the word art !

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