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There was a question this very morning: If the Romans made the 1712 Steam Engine, what would they create using it and why?

It got closed within ~20 minutes as being too broad. Which, if I'm being honest, is a tenable position. I'm not here to fight that, per se. Yet.

Time-out for Admission of Bias -- I want to answer this question so badly my teeth ache. I'm trying to keep that in mind.

What I'm worried about is that question-posters are going to become discouraged. I know I've declined to post questions before, knowing that it'd be too much of an uphill battle to keep it open. One wonders how many others have felt this way.

So what is my actual question? Just this: How can we best encourage posters to fix their questions and not lose heart?

In the question in question (ha!) I did my best by suggesting that instead of asking more or less "What would they do?", OP should give his theory and ask if that seems reasonable knowing what else we know about Romans. Honestly I pretty much begged the guy not to get discouraged.

I'll suggest that close-voters -- and, more to the point, people seeing the broadness but not wanting the question closed -- pour as much specific fixit advice into the comments as possible.

More ideas?

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  • $\begingroup$ Very, very closely related, basically a duplicate: Can there be done more to assure users that closing questions is not a Bad Thing? $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Oct 23 '17 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus see, this is not at all what I was talking about... ;D If it pleases you, close this question and "do something" which will bump the other question back up to active, because whatever wisdom came from that question back in February, the problem persists. $\endgroup$
    – akaioi
    Oct 23 '17 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ Closing as duplicate based on akaioi's comment above. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 23 '17 at 16:53