A question like this:

How can I say that the criterion which makes her dancing nice is her passion?

I try to say although she is a good dancer, but the criterion which makes her dancing nice is her passion. How can I say this briefly?

Unless it's my imagination I'm seeing more questions like this. In fact a lot from "a certain assiduous poster," although the one I've quoted isn't.

I'm just wondering how questions like this, which basically ask to do someone's writing for them, or at least provide substantial input to them, are considered? If we're not supposed to do proofreading, what about this "proofwriting"? I understand that we help folks with usage, but this question and others are very much what would be asked in a writing centre.

They are not really asking about usage, but asking for a rewrite.

  • 3
    How does rewriting something help anyone other than the original asker? If there were a reference book that consisted solely of rewritten sentences, would you buy it? While there might be helpful information as part of the rewrite, it's not something easy for other learners to use.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 10, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1
    If it's relevant, on EL&U we also close such questions and comment that we offer "neither proof-reading nor ghost-writing services". Unfortunately our help pages do not explicitly call our ghost-writing as prohibited (I wish they did), but the community is in agreement such questions full under the umbra of "proof-reading", which is explicitly marked off-topic.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


There are at least five good reasons to close that question.

  1. Opinion-based – Ten answers could offer ten different drafts and (assuming they're all idiomatic English) there'd be no ground but personal preference for choosing between them.

  2. Too broad – By the same token, any catalog of possible answers could go on for pages.

  3. Unclear - The reason it's 'too broad' is that OP has described what the sentence is supposed to say so vaguely that it's impossible to provide an answer with any confidence that it will meet the need.

  4. Off-topic: provide more context – OP has not taken the trouble to provide sufficient detail respecting the objective, audience and context.

  5. Off-topic:proofreading – At bottom it really is just a proofreading question: OP gives us two sentences which purport to say what is meant and asks us how to say it better.

The five reasons all amount to pretty much the same thing, which says something about how bollixed the stock SE language is; but if one person votes to close it for each reason, justice will be done.

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