My current project has an overarching goal and lots of sub-questions under that goal. The sub-questions are probably much more meaningful in the context of the overall goal, and in each other's context. However, they're not all that closely related as questions, so I'm strongly inclined to post them separately.

Should I post one uber-question and ask people to answer only the bits of it they're interested in, or should I post several separate questions and duplicate the context on each one?

If it helps, the question is: "Deduce the special adjoint functor theorem from the general adjoint functor theorem, in a motivated way", and the various sub-questions I've got so far are:

  • "Why are we interested in co-separating sets?"
  • "Under what conditions does the existence of a co-separating set imply the existence of a co-separating object?"
  • "Why do we start thinking about subobjects and well-poweredness?" and the related "Why did we decide that both categories should be locally small, rather than just the one that the GAFT requires?"
  • ultimately "How does the SAFT follow from the GAFT?"
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    $\begingroup$ Should I post one uber-question and ask people to answer only the bits of it they're interested in: Please never, ever do that. Thanks :) Link the questions to each other if needed, but posting a big question with multiple sub-questions is not the way to go. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Dec 21 '15 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi Thanks - I'm going that way, then. $\endgroup$ – Patrick Stevens Dec 21 '15 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ Sandboxes could also be useful, e.g. if you wish to clarify the link between two questions and this clarification is a bit long. $\endgroup$ – Surb Dec 22 '15 at 9:42

Do not post a big question with multiple sub-questions. Post several questions with links to each other, if the links would help, but each SE question should contain just one question if possible.


I suggest you post the first sub-question. Maybe after you get some answers to that sub-question everything else will fall into place. Or maybe only the next two or three sub-questions make sense but you still need help on the next sub-question after that. It's going to be a journey and maybe you are getting a little bit ahead of yourself.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks - I always prefer to have a roadmap, and I chose the waypoints so that answers to any of them would help, mostly independent of the others. I posted the second sub-question first (math.stackexchange.com/questions/1584632) and have received a comment which suggests it's not a useful sub-question, so I think your advice is good. $\endgroup$ – Patrick Stevens Dec 27 '15 at 21:41

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