8

There have been, especially in potentially controversial posts, several situations where the content of an asker's question has contained what can really only be described as a rant or a subjective statement that is not necessary for the question at best, and completely distracting at worst.

I went ahead and found an example of a question that involved a potentially disgruntled student that I edited after discussing with StrongBad. The revision history is as below, and we'll go over how the question reads chronologically from what it looked like initially to what it looks like now.

https://academia.stackexchange.com/posts/31320/revisions

The original question content contained this.

I have not personally been affected too much yet, but have had one module's continuous assessment removed with no suggestion of replacement. The union in question have poorly planned this boycott and there are currently no plans to remove it. We have had no communication about who is striking and what their alternative plans are if this continues and I am very concerned about this.

I want to express my disapproval with their methods as I disagree entirely with the boycott as I believe using students as pawns is never acceptable. For example they have been told "Examination of dissertations and theses at postgraduate level, as well as vivas, are included in the action." which is much too far. I don't want to damage the relationships I have with my lecturers as I plan on staying in academia, but seeing these actions is making me question my desire to stay in academia.

There's a question in there, but it's covered by something heavily opinionated that pulls away from the question.

One user went ahead and made this change:

I have not personally been affected too much yet, but have had one module's continuous assessment removed with no suggestion of replacement. I am very concerned about this, and I want to express my disapproval with their methods. I don't want to damage the relationships I have with my lecturers as I plan on staying in academia, but seeing these actions is making me question my desire to stay in academia.

So what is the most effective way to complain about this?

The excision sort of kills the question, though! The end result would probably yield a "Why bother?" from the rest of us, since now there seems to be no motivation.

So I went ahead and added back some content, but toned down the language.

I have not personally been affected too much yet, but have had one module's continuous assessment removed with no suggestion of replacement. There are no current plans regarding the future of the boycott by either the teachers or the administration, and it is unclear what the ultimate result and outcome will be at this time, which is very concerning for me.

I want to express my disapproval regarding the implementation of the strike as it puts students in a difficult and non-productive situation. For example, students have been told "Examination of dissertations and theses at postgraduate level, as well as vivas, are included in the action." I don't want to damage the relationships I have with my lecturers as I plan on staying in academia, but seeing these actions is making me question my desire to stay in academia.

This is the end result, replacing the subjective and negative words with more objective or neutral words.

What do you believe is the correct course of action? These are the ones I've discussed.

  1. Leave it alone. Potentially close question.
  2. Excise subjective content entirely.
  3. Edit content to be objective.
  4. ???
5

This is tough to answer definitively, as questions like this tend to lie somewhere on the continuum between "enormous wall of text" to "concise relevant backstory". As bad as it is to say it, my recommendation is "use your judgment". If there's so much text as to make it (1) unlikely that anyone will actually read it and (2) impossible to follow the actual question, you can probably edit without worry. If the details add color but don't distract from the question, leave it there. For those in the middle, trim, and leave the details that make the question interesting. If it's really tough to tell, leave a comment and let the person who posted the question edit themselves.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .