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We frequently have difficulty with questions phrased as critique requests, but failing to adhere to our critique guidelines. While we've been trying to clarify our guidelines both for ourselves and for others, it occurs to me we might be able to approach the problem from a different direction.
Since we deal with a rather atypical form of question, what if we could have a special page specifically for critique requests?
Such a page could be built specifically to include all our minimal requirements of a critique question. Instead of a single "question content" field, we could have several fields, including:
- The actual text for critique.
- Context - what the piece is, what it's for, some explanation.
- Critique goal - what goal the writer is requesting help in reaching.
Effectively, we can hard-code our requirements into the submission form. This makes the requirements infinitely more visible and immediate, which in turn makes them clearer and easier to follow. This also provides room to give simple tips and possibly even detect potential problems - just like the Ask Question page already does, but for this specific, unique type of question.
I'm aware this is probably a rather drastic measure, breaking significantly from the consistent interface of the SE network. However, I feel this is appropriate as we are trying to include a type of question which is (when all is said and done) quite different (and more difficult to grasp) than most SE questions.
Possibly this might be implemented as a layer around the Ask Question mechanism, merely formatting the critique fields as a normal question. However, I think it is important that the editing view be able to display the differentiated fields, and that it be possible to convert a non-critique question into a critique question (with differentiated fields) in some reasonable way.