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I found the following blog title without a question mark from The Hindu site:

How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket

Is it grammatical, if we don't put question mark in questions of titles? I think this blog title should have been like this:

How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket?

I also found the following blog title from DAWN site without a question mark:

Election rigging 101: How to steal a mandate

However, I found a question mark from other blog title of DAWN site:

Elections 101: What is the ECP and what does it do on election day?

  • You might want to refresh that web page... I found this: Being overweight can lead to hepatic steatosis, a condition caused by excess fat buildup in the liver. This can make hepatitis C harder to control. It appears to be a complete sentence with proper capitalization and punctuation. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 24 '18 at 17:19
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    These are not questions. The corresponding questions would be: What should your diet include? and How do you steal a mandate? – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 17:56
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    @PeterShor, okay well, I have now removed the example you have commented about; and I have added another example. Read the question again please. – Ahmed Jul 24 '18 at 18:22
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    As I said, we do not ask questions by starting them with How to... Anything that starts with How to ... is not a question in standard English. And Why still this is not a question is also not a question; you would need to say Why is this still not a question? – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 18:29
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    Related and possible duplicates: english.stackexchange.com/a/124275 english.stackexchange.com/q/348692 english.stackexchange.com/a/304451 english.stackexchange.com/a/457204 There are other, better duplicates but I haven't found them yet. – tchrist Jul 24 '18 at 18:44
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In regards to:

How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket

Is it grammatical, if we don't put question mark in questions of titles? I think this blog title should have been like this:

How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket?

These are titles and thus do not necessarily follow standard grammatical rules, so don't let the absence of punctuation fool you. As to your suggested edit, questions simply do not start with how to. What this title is saying is that what follows will be instructions about how one would go about easing Afghanistan's progress. It's a short description of the document. If you wanted to make it into a complete sentence, you could add the implied information:

In this blog post, I will show you how to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket.

Now, when comparing

Election rigging 101: How to steal a mandate

and

Elections 101: What is the ECP and what does it do on election day?

you're comparing two different styles of titles. First, ignore the parts that come before the colons; they simply define the general topic. In the first example, again, you have a title that begins with how to indicating that the document consists of instructions. It will tell you how to steal a mandate.

In the second example, the title is a question. In this case the title gives you the question that the document will answer. What follows is the answer to that question.

It's up to the author as to how they want to phrase their title. You could certainly rephrase both of these to swap styles resulting in:

Election rigging 101: How does one steal a mandate?
Elections 101: The ECP and what it does on election day

But, again, this is a matter of style and not grammar.

  • @jsw29 -- You are quite correct. I'll edit the answer to fix that. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 24 '18 at 22:43
  • The question mark only belongs in the first example if the article headed by this title is asking a question. If it's explaining how one might assist Afghanistan then it's not a question. – Hot Licks Jul 24 '18 at 22:51
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"How to" sentences are actually not questions. It's another term for "Idiot's guide to," or "Steps to" which basically is a list about tips or tricks in achieving or doing something. Although it is correct that titles have some exemption with punctuation marks, it has nothing to do with it being a title.

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"I want to know how to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket." Here, "how to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket" functions as an object.

"How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket is what I want to know." Here, it works as the grammatical subject to the verb BE.

It is then totally okay not to have a question mark at the end as this is not a question but the whole functions as a noun phrase, then either subject or object to the verb.

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"What" in the first heading is not a question; it's part of the subject: eg. What I want now is a long holiday. You could replace it with "the thing/s that". Similarly with "how to steal a mandate", you could rewrite "the way to steal a mandate".

  • What do you mean, "part of the subject"? What's the predicate which this putative subject is governing? – tchrist Jul 24 '18 at 18:37
  • The example I referred to has been edited. But I meant subject in the sense of 'what I want now' in the example I gave; the predicate in that case would be 'is a long holiday'. In the edited post it was a heading rather than a full sentence, so I probably should have avoided the use of the word 'subject'. – S Conroy Jul 24 '18 at 18:51

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