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Answered 2007-02-21 17:15:36

When improving the wording of a WikiAnswers question it is important that you don't change the meaning of the question. For example, some people will mistakenly change a question such as "What is the firing order for a 2002 Jeep Liberty V6?" to "What is the firing order for a four-cylinder 2002 Jeep Liberty?" thinking that this is the way to get their own question answered. However, it is not wrong to change a question such as "What is a 1903 nickel in fair condition worth?" to "What is the value of a 1903 US nickel?" This is a valuable improvement because: * It clarifies that the question is asking about US nickels. This might be a guess on the part of the editor, but making a question specific enough to be answered is worthwhile even when it means choosing the specifics at random. Someone can always ask about different specifics, e.g. "What is the value of a 1903 Canadian nickel?" * It uses standard WikiAnswers phrasing. Our convention is to use "What is the value of XYZ?" as opposed to "What is XYZ worth?" (Actually, there is some debate about this convention, but for the sake of example we'll stick with it.) Standardization of phrasing is valuable because it makes it easier for other people to find the same question. * It makes the question a little broader, to include 1903 nickels in different conditions. We have decided not to include the condition in Collectibles FAQ questions because including it would require multiple versions of extremely similar questions, e.g. "What is the value of a 1903 US nickel in good condition?", "What is the value of a 1903 US nickel in very good condition?" etc. A careful reader will note that all of these examples relate to WikiAnswers style and convention. How specific should questions be? What form should they take? * We could include all engines in one question about 2002 Jeep Libertys, i.e. "What is the firing order for a 2002 Jeep Liberty?" This question could be answered as long as the answer explained that the Liberty has different engine options and different engines have different firing orders. * We could include all model years in one question, e.g. "What is the firing order for a Jeep Liberty?" The answer to this question would need to explain if different model years are different and how different engines have different firing orders. * We could even include all models, e.g. "What is the firing order for a Jeep?" Or, to take an extreme example, all makes and models, e.g. "What is the firing order for your vehicle?" * Similarly, we could include coins from different countries in one question, or different coin denominations, or different years, etc. Why be generic about the condition of a coin but be specific about other details? As you can see, it's not always clear how you should edit questions and when questions should be combined or separated. Although there is no universally correct or incorrect way to word a question, we can develop conventions for WikiAnswers. These conventions will go in our style book as we develop them. (See the Style Book link to the right.) To complicate things further, our conventions and style rules needs to evolve. Conventions may change as we learn more about how people like to ask various questions and how questions can best be answered. We will want to split apart some questions and combine others. As WikiAnswers grows, more and more style questions will need to be addressed. We need your help setting (and changing) them. Please click on the Discussion tab above to bring up an issue for discussion.

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