A lot of answers seem to put a big


at the top, summarising their main point, before embarking on an explanation. I can understand why this might be useful in questions that expect a list of many answers (and especially in answers that contain a list of several separate points), but I would like to point out they're largely not needed.

There's nothing massively wrong with them, other than that they unnecessarily grab your attention, and waste space and reading time before getting to the real substance of the answer, so I think you can continue writing them if you like I guess.

But you don't need to (always) put one there, and it's not a problem if you can't think of a good summary.

I guess this is kind of a tradition carried over by a lot of our users from CGCC, where answers are normally titled with the language and byte count, but I think it's mostly unnecessary here. This is also not a "done thing" on any other SE site.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is definitely something I've carried over from CGCC, I never even thought about it. $\endgroup$
    – Bbrk24
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 21:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've actually been doing it because I've seen it on Worldbuilding.SE. Perhaps instead of an h1, people could use a simple bold title if they have a really long answer on a list-style question where it'd be helpful to have a summary? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ @user for accessibility it is important to always use proper header tags for titles, but I always use h2 instead of h1 since h1 is too big $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ I title a lot of my answers on stack overflow too, it's defiantly not only a CGCC thing $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ Your originally from CGCC and also most ppl on SO dont title answers, most on CGCC and here do...@mousetail $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 18:38

4 Answers 4


I think titling answers is fine

(sorry for the meta joke)

Especially when the post is very lengthy, I like to use headings to get across the main point of each section, and to get across the main point of the whole post.

But I'm just not a fan of the obnoxious size of headings in the CSS on Stack Exchange. It draws attention in a way that I personally wouldn't use, because I feel like it would be "unfair" (my subjective thinking).

That's why I generally never use anything higher than h3 ("### heading")- expect for when I'm on meta and I feel an extremely strong reaction to something. Yes- I know it's really a crutch to misuse h3 like this because it's semantically wrong, and I don't like that, but I accept the crutch as the lesser evil.

On the point of my dislike for the large h1 and h2 CSS font sizes here, see also the following posts on MSE: Subdue the font size for headings and Can we make Markdown headers semantically correct?.


Here are some of the pros of titling answers:

  1. TLDR. These gets very long and often need a TLDR which the title provides.
  2. When there are many answers. You can quickly scan through all of the answers and only read the rest of the ideas you like.

Here are some of the cons of titling answers:

  1. A title draws our attention away from the other answers (assuming they don't have titles)
  2. Massive headings. There are some people who to get attention to there amazing post (and upvotes) make their titles obnoxiously large. Like h1 or copy pasting it from somewhere else to make it even bigger.

BTW meta joke:This is my normal answering format, but I do still like the answer titles when I am reading. I just don't make them.


This is the result of this meta discussion: https://languagedesign.meta.stackexchange.com/a/27/164

Since the guideline so far has been to split answers into multiple answers based on each approach rather than giving a comprehensive answer, it makes sense to give each answer a title. The title gives a quick overview of what is being discussed in the answer and allows users to scan past the answer if they aren't interested in it. Later, if we add a table of contents to these questions, we can also use the titles in that table of contents.


Especially for one-line answers:

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ... is this some kind of meta joke? (the fact that you're giving a one-line answer?) $\endgroup$
    – starball
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 8:27

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