So I asked the forward question: "Proof-verification: $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R ⊆ R$.".

There was a small objection toward the title of my question by one of the members: "maybe, since you want a confirmation of your proof, you could use that also in the title of your question instead of the word prove, which at least to me sounds like you want others to prove it.".

And this was my answer: "Could you please suggest a title of that purpose? Wouldn't be tedious? Plus I tagged and not , isn't that sufficient for anyone to understand your point?".

Since I'm self-studying I'll have a lot of questions of this type i.e. the questions that I need to see whether I solved them right or not.

What should I do? Change the titles from now on as suggested by that member or my own way of writing them is good enough?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ From List of comment templates: "Welcome to math.SE: since you are new, I wanted to let you know a few things about the site. In order to get the best possible answers, it is helpful if you say in what context you encountered the problem, and what your thoughts on it are; this will prevent people from telling you things you already know, and help them give their answers at the right level. Also, many find the use of imperative ("Prove", "Solve", etc.) to be rude when asking for help; please consider rewriting your post." $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 12:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is, "Prove that" is demanding, and to some, this comes off as rude. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 12:58
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ So if I change it to "Proof-verification: $R$ is transitive iff $R\circ R⊆R$.", would be better? $\endgroup$
    – Heptapod
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 13:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I would believe so. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 13:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. $\endgroup$
    – Heptapod
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 13:05
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Slightly shorter would be the gerund, "Proving $R$ is transitive iff ...", also avoids the imperative type. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:08
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ One thing is for sure: For future viewers and consultants of the question, it's irrelevant to them to know if the question is a verification or asking for a proof, and if it isn't irrelevant, they could filter their search by searching with the tag as you say. So, I support your motion, to never include "proof verification" in the title, since that is better suited for a tag, and it clutters the title unnecessarily. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 23:42
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ You could also use the title: "Proof of $R$ is transitive iff $R\circ R\subseteq R$." Then, it is clear that you're asking about the proof and isn't too wordy. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 14:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't put "Proof-verification" because that isn't English. "Proof verification:..." without the hyphen, is English. Tags have hyphens for computer-reasons, not human reasons. Even better: "Verify my proof..." might be more appropriate, but that's an imperative, so maybe considered rude. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, no, you do not need to say in the title that it is a proof-verification --- in fact, you do not even need to say that it is a proof. Phrases such as "Prove that", "Proving that", "How to prove", "Solve", "How to solve", "How to show", etc. in titles usually don't add any meaning to a question. That is to say,

  • These phrases should be used in moderation; and

  • If you do choose to use one of these phrases in your title, it makes really no difference which one you pick.

So, in your case, all of the following are equally valid:

  • "Prove that $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • "Show that $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • "Proving $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • "Proof that $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • "Proof-verification: $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

or, simply,

  • "$R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$".

I would personally prefer this last title for the reasons of conciseness. I also would rather not see "Proof-verification" in the title, since it is already a tag, but it is a matter of preference.

The only further advice I have is that, if you choose to say in the title that it is a proof or proof-verification, you avoid getting too wordy about it. For instance, here are some bad examples:

  • Bad: "My attempted proof that $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • Bad: "Proof-verification of my proof that $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$"

  • Bad: "How to prove this: $R$ is transitive iff $R \circ R \subseteq R$".


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .