# How can I make this comment asking for better titles more polite and friendly?

My question is very much related to Stop mentioning major concerns in title.

Generic "My Code Smells. How do I refactor." titles are not very good for the site. I edit titles when I have a clear picture of what the code does, but I don't always know. When I don't, I leave this comment:

Welcome to Code Review! We're all here to receive constructive criticism of our code. Please try to include a title that describes what your code does.

How can I reword this to be more polite and friendly? I'm afraid what I'm using currently comes off a little harsh and rude.

• Code Review, and now Comment Review... – Simon Forsberg Oct 10 '14 at 22:59
• Do we already have a snippet for the bigger sites, like Stackoverflow? That would be interesting as an inspiration. – danijar Oct 10 '14 at 23:47
• @danijar it seems to me that we give much more attention to titles than SO does. – RubberDuck Oct 10 '14 at 23:55
• @RubberDuck Than they can learn from us later on! ;) – danijar Oct 10 '14 at 23:58
• I like that attitude @danijar! – RubberDuck Oct 11 '14 at 0:03

It's not really rude as such — you don't speak down to or insult the person — but I think it could be improved.

When you're trying to correct a behavior, it's important to explain:

1. What the person did that's wrong;
2. Why the behavior is wrong;
3. What they can do to correct the behavior.

Your comment only touches on the third point, so without context as to why they should change the title, it comes across as a little terse. Add some explanation for the first and second points, and you might have something like:

Welcome to Code Review! We're all here to receive constructive criticism of our code. However, the current title of your question is very broad and doesn't really state the purpose of your code. We've found over time that questions with more descriptive titles get more attention from potential reviewers, so editing your question's title to describe what your code does will benefit both you and the people reviewing it. Thanks!

• Beautiful. Just what I was looking for. Thank you. – RubberDuck Oct 10 '14 at 16:25

I don't think your comment is rude. That being said if you wanted to soften it a bit and be more explicit about the "call to action" for the user, you could word it along these lines:

Welcome to Code Review! Your question title in its current form is ambiguous. Because we want to better understand your question so we can review it, please consider revising it to more accurately describe your specific code review question.

This response empowers the OP to "take ownership" of their own question (as opposed to just editing it for them), and provides them with a direction that should help them better articulate their questions in the future without being inflammatory or overly-critical.

Welcome to Code Review! We would appreciate if you edited the title of your question to describe the function of your code. There are at least 2 advantages to this: (1) It will get more eyes on your question, and (2) it will help reviewers provide a better review that is specific to your code in context.

I think the comment itself is not bad. In my opinion, you should explain to the user what's the plus value to change his title so it sounds more of a friendly advice than "do this otherwise your question will get closed" (which is not the case, we know it). Say that it is more likely the get attention if the title is interesting rather than "plz help me".

Welcome to Code Review! We're all here to receive constructive criticism of our code.