I have a series of questions related to something I have been working on. As they share the same background information, I originally wanted to post a big question with many multiple parts. On further thought, it might be more beneficial for subsequent users if I were to break it down into multiple questions as they all relate to different though related statistical problems.

So my question is, which would be preferred?

  1. A big question containing many sub-parts OR
  2. Multiple question, each containing a sub-part.
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My opinion: #2 is easier to read and answer. Plus it will force you to clarify the problem and possibly better understand it. –  KE. Feb 8 '13 at 15:27
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

This is a personal recommendation (not as a moderator) based on my experience with the site (and is not a statement of SE policy): consider starting with one thread in which you do the following, in this order:

  • State the first question as succinctly as possible.

  • Provide the background in a separate section. If it's long, use heading markup and section separators judiciously to keep it visually organized. Be sure to provide definitions of technical terms and links to relevant background material.

  • Craft a title that clearly reflects the unique nature of the problem, includes interesting keywords, and is brief--less than one line.

In subsequent questions, refer readers to this original "master" question for background (by means of hyperlinks). Do not post all your questions at once: they will exhaust your readers, limiting the chances of getting good answers.

You may find that answers to your first question--or even comments asking for clarification--change your approach and cause you to modify what you are planning to ask. Be open to this possibility, because therein often lies the greatest potential for constructive advancement of your project.

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