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I remember seeing multiple times a moderator or other regular user of our site comment on a question that asks a question and then goes on to supply an answer within the body of the question. Generally what the comments say is something along the lines of "you should delete the part of your question that is answering the question itself and instead post that as an answer, there's nothing wrong with answering your own question."

I was recently going through the vote to close queue and found this question which I think clearly is an example of one of these questions. The first sentence is stating a question and the entire rest of the body is the OP explaining why they believe a certain answer to the question is correct. This exposition on their opinion is not in any way integral to the question's coherency or illuminating of what the actual problem is; it is just the OP explaining their view.

How should someone give feed back on these types of questions? There isn't a close option for this problem, and to be honest I don't see closing the question as the answer. I guess putting on hold until the author edits their question and removes the answer part would make sense, but I'm wondering if there is anything better that can be done. Voting down is never productive without a comment, but at least on this specific question the comments are filled with derailed arguments about why the question doesn't make sense in the first place, so I doubt that bringing up a comment about moving the second part of the question to an answer would be well received. In this situation and others like it, what should be done?

  • I guess the reason I think that putting on hold doesn't make sense is because in a generic example of this situation, the question itself is fine and it is a perfectly good fit for the site, there is just extra information that shouldn't be within the body of the question but instead should exist as an answer. It seems similar to when someone edits out the "thanks for your help" or "I've been wondering about something for a while" interjections that clutter up a question, except in this situation the information is a lot larger than a simple extra comment. – Not_Here Sep 24 '17 at 14:25
  • I am pretty sure you cannot answer your own question without being in the position of pushing your viewpoint. So I generally vote to close as "pushing a personal philosophy." if I cannot give an answer that is a critique of their logic and still answers the supposed question. – user9166 Oct 4 '17 at 22:47
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I think that in these cases, the urge of basically answering the question in the body of the question is coming from the fuzziness of the question and the terms used in it.

My observation is that in these cases, the contemplation about the question as part of its body is a try of making explicit what is actually meant. The meaning of the terms is mostly unclear, it is more of an intuition and the feeling of having a really important insight into the big picture no existing term seems sufficient for.

The problem is: Even if this was true, there is nothing to speak about. Without having clarified how the terms function, without having found a language that works for both the author and their addressees, there is no meaningful question to be answered.

I think the community generally is doing a good job in pointing out these shortfallings in comments. Imho, the appropriate way to handle this kind of question should, therefore, be closing with "unclear what you are asking", since if the answer is part of the question, it indeed is unclear what is actually asked.

I acted accordingly in the case you brought up. Votes will show if it is how the community wants these cases to be handled as well.

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