Every once in a while, I'll stumble upon a high-rep member who will have written a question and then a very lengthy answer that very effectively answers it. Case and point, a great Q/A by Olin

I want to make sure, are these on topic given they are usually inherently broad questions or is there a few things to watch out for when making these types of questions? I have a couple topics that I want to write a Q/A on.

I feel like it wouldn't be an issue if I had the answer already written up so I could answer it right away as to avoid confusion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ On other sites, Math.SE in particular, the community is much more divided on these. Some consider them a form of cheating/blogging when you put up a sham question and immediately post your answer for it. YMMV. meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/21718/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Fizz
    Dec 19, 2015 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


Broad is subjective. Broad typically means it requires a text book or multiple classes to answer. More importantly, it is used to close questions asking multiple often unrelated questions in a single post. Olin post isn't broad, it's just detailed and expansive.

Even if it gets closed, there are plenty who will up vote and vote to reopen.

As to self answering, that's not only allowed, it's explicitly supported by Stack Exchange. You can answer on the same page you ask it on, so it will appear answered right away.

So go for it.


I'll throw in that there are a few other criteria and reasoning behind the rules, and varying degrees of flex in the rules. And to be pedantic, "too broad" and "off topic"are mostly orthogonal criteria. Let's try to avoid "off topic" in general.

Most close reasons are in place to basically protect the community from high effort, high frustration, low reward questions. Imagine a random user asking the same question that Olin did, expecting a long-form answer. It would be closed as too broad since demanding a long answer from multiple users is outside the norm. Another aspect is that the subject material may be so wide ranging that knowing which part is relevant to the asker is difficult.

If you provide the answer along with the question, that provides a good counter argument to the "too broad" complaint. You are still required to follow the other rules.

If the only thing you're worried about is the question being closed as "too broad", then go for it. Post the answer along with the question. Try doing just one to see if you like how it is received.


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