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As a long-time user of the site, I know the current "Needs more focus" closure reason used to be called "Too broad" and have been applying it that way. However, it occurred to me when reading and comparing the descriptions for the "Needs details or clarity" and "Needs more focus" closure reasons that these may be confusing to the unfamiliar.

Is "this thing needs more focus" not the same or very similar as "your question is obscured by other text and needs to be clarified"? Can you not add details to provide focus? The main difference seems to be "no obvious question" versus "too many questions."

I'm sure there was a post on Meta a while back explaining why this change took place, but I'm too lazy to go find it. It just feels like the new text makes closure more confusing than it used to be.


1 Answer 1


This is how I understand them.

Needs details or clarity

Your question isn't clear because of the words itself in it. As it's written, we have no clue what you're asking. Possibly because your question makes perfect grammatical sense but is nonsensical from a physics standpoint or contains multiple contradiction to the point where the question isn't possible to give an answer to. Or maybe just because we can't make it through your terrible grammar, I've seen both.

Needs more focus

Your questions are perfectly understandable, however, unfortunately, there are multiple distinct questions. As that is against site policy, we have to close the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This was the obvious distinction I pointed out (no question vs. many questions). My concern is more about the "details" side of each reason. If a question lacks constraints, should it be closed because it "needs details," or because it needs "enough detail to identify an adequate answer?" $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre IMO if a question needs constraints, it needs focus. However every case may be a different case. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ If a question could be closed for multiple close reasons pick one and leave a clarifying comment. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 3:24
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre don't go too philosophical with the close reasons. If a question needs to be closed and you could go either way, just pick one. I tend to default to "Needs more focus" if it's a choice between it and "Needs details" but I don't think it matters too much. In either case, the question needs to be edited. If you want a small litmus test then - are you able to understand the question *as it's currently written"? If you cannot, then it needs details or clarity. If you can understand but an answer would be too big, then it needs focus. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 7:29

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