I wrote a question (Is there any evidence that Filipino president Duterte's war on drugs is successful?) before and made the title "Philippines: President Duterte's war on drugs" and then @Carpetsmoker edited it with the caption "make title a question", to the title shown above. (Which I have no problem with as I respect @Carpetsmoker's editing decisions, but I didn't realise the title always has to be a question (or does it?)).

Is there anything to suggest the title should always be a question? to me the title is the subject matter and the question itself alongside the context of the question would be placed in the larger area of the question. or am I wrong in thinking this way, if so, why?

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    I don't think it has to be a question, but it should contain an concise summary of what the question is about. In my experience phrasing it as a question usually (though not always) works best for that. – user11249 Jun 26 '17 at 13:25

Stackexchange is a Question & Answer website. Question titles should generally be questions.

Phrasing the question title as a question also helps to make more clear what the question is about. This helps to improve the searchability of the website, both for machines and for humans. The original title "Philippines: President Duterte's war on drugs" doesn't really make clear what the question is about. There is a lot to ask about this topic, like when and why it started, which political actions were taken as part of the war, how they were constitutionally legitimized, which politicians support or oppose it (or certain actions within it) and a lot more.

By rephrasing it as an actual question, you are forced to be more specific. The resulting title "Is there any evidence that Filipino president Duterte's war on drugs is successful?" is far more descriptive of the actual question. This makes it easier to tell it apart from other questions about the same topic and helps any reader who skims the question list on the frontpage to quickly find questions they are interested in.

By the way: If you have trouble summarizing your question in a single interrogative phrase which fits into the title box, then that's a sign that your question might be either too broad or that it might be unclear what you are actually asking.

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  • Okay, great. I'll make more of an effort to word my titles to this format in the future. Cheers, Philipp. – Bradley Wilson Jun 26 '17 at 12:14

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