My question, Word (or shorter phrase for) "evaluate the relationship between"?, was closed as "off topic" for this site. I think that it is a good question — it has five upvotes and seven answers — that would be on-topic at writers.stackexchange as a properly scoped and framed critique request.

I flagged the question to request migration five days ago, and the flag was voted helpful, but the question was not moved. Is there a reason not to move it?

  • 1
    I'm sorry, but I think its safe to say your question will not be migrated.
    – user10893
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 18:20
  • @simchona that is okay
    – Abe
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


I'm a mod at Writers.SE.

Requests for words and phrases used to be on topic here on EL&U; I'm not certain what the precise current status is on these, but Against single word requests and Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity express the problematic nature of these questions, and (this is my impression on skimming these topics...) at very least, they demand a high level of research and detail of such questions on EL&U.

Writers.SE doesn't accept such questions and never has. (We have, in the past, accepted "please critique this piece of writing" questions, which is not entirely dissimilar; however, these have been taken pretty much off-topic, for much the same reason as phrase requests on EL&U.)

If rephrased as a typographical question, e.g. My table of contents looks awkward due to long, repeated phrase in many headers, I think Writers could take this. This isn't "what's a shorter phrase for ," it's "I'm having a problem with my table of contents" — which is (A) a solvable, answerable problem, and (B) a problem other people probably also encounter. That'd take a fair bit of work, though, and it would invalidate a whole bunch of the existing answers. If you'd like more input, you might open a new question at Writers.SE instead of trying to migrate this one.

Minor point — As for the flag, a flag can be helpful without necessarily dictating action. Your flag raised a valid concern; it wasn't unhelpful; it didn't need to be rejected. It just also wasn't persuasive enough to spur anybody to action — or maybe their response was to check with us at Writers, and we turned the question down.


This isn't a good for Writers.SE, sorry.

One of the requirements for a critique request on Writers is that it be more than a few sentences long; questions looking to rephrase a sentence or three are considered explicitly off-topic, by community consensus. For more information on this, see this question on our meta: Are requests for rephrasing on topic?

However, I have brought up the issue in our chatroom, in the event my opinion is not representative of the community.

One of the problems with questions like this is that there's really no way of voting on the answer. A Writers.SE critique request requires that the critique request have specific questions about the excerpt, and answers can be voted on based on their thoroughness — i.e., how well the critique addresses the author's specific questions. Requests for the rephrasing of a few sentences are much more difficult to address in this manner.

Edit: Critique requests are now off-topic at Writers.

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