At what point, if any, are questions acceptable on this site? Is there such a thing as a question that is too easy to remain on this website? If so, is there a website to redirect the questions? Please know this has nothing to do with being arrogant and is rather out of curiosity and for the sake of knowing if people flag such questions.

  • 4
    I think it would be very difficult to deal with questions about how to perform basic arithmetic on this site. Thankfully, I don't think I've seen any yet. Questions about how to teach basic arithmetic would, in my opinion, be more valuable. – dfeuer Dec 1 '13 at 5:20
  • 2
    Teaching how to perform arithmetic is hard enough in a classroom. Let alone over the internet! – LASV Dec 1 '13 at 5:23
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Yes, questions of all levels are welcome here. Community standards dictate, however, that questions should generally show some research effort, and shouldn't be something that can be very easily Googled.

More specifically, however, from the help center:

Mathematics Stack Exchange is for people studying mathematics at any level and professionals in related fields.

In fact, many people consider low-level questions that show effort and work to be preferable to high-level questions that don't include any thoughts from the asker.

  • 1
    Thank you @T.Bongers That clears it up for me. – LASV Dec 1 '13 at 5:21
  • +1 for the last sentence. – Jay Dec 1 '13 at 21:48

Theoretically, yes.

However... and this happened before the 'show some effort' policy.

Even if someone argues that the OP wants to learn how to work with a calculator, clearly that's not the problem here. The OP doesn't understand that one fourth of $\text{whatever}$ is $\dfrac{\text{whatever}}{4}$ and that's about mathematics and not about calculators.

  • 2
    The linked question got a better response than many high level questions. Namely, it was answered (Zev went into trouble to code long division in LaTeX). Answered & closed is a better outcome than being not answered and collecting dust for ages. – Post No Bulls Dec 1 '13 at 15:25
  • 1
    @user111742 But obviously there are people closing questions on account of them being 'too low-level'. – Git Gud Dec 1 '13 at 15:50
  • 2
    Yes, and that's a normal process of refining, over time, what is and is not an on-topic question. A one-sentence blurb about the site ("is for people studying mathematics...") is just that. Not every question about English language is on topic on ELU; if the answer is "look it up in the dictionary", the question's existence is pointless. In your example, entering "1/4 of 3950" into search bar brings up the answer before one even hits Enter. A question that's immediately answered by entering it into search engine isn't a good question on any SE site. – Post No Bulls Dec 1 '13 at 15:59
  • 1
    @user111742 It's not that the asker did not know how to perform $3950\div 4$, he didn't even know that that's what he was supposed to do. At least that's my interpretation of the question and with that interpretation in mind, the question is about mathematics. – Git Gud Dec 1 '13 at 16:02
  • 1
    Fine, that's your interpretation. Five users had a different interpretation ("how do I use my calculator, what buttons to push?"), and voted to close. Had the OP left less to the readers' imagination/interpretation when writing the question, perhaps that would not happen. – Post No Bulls Dec 1 '13 at 16:07
  • 1
    By the way: nothing on Math.SE "happened before show some effort policy*, as the policy predates the site. Quote from Area51: "Blatant homework questions should be off-topic, if the OP doesn't prove that he has put at least some effort in solving it and coming up with the right question to ask. – Dan Dumitru Jun 3 '10 at 23:21". This is a part of Dan Dumitru's proposal of Mathematics.SE. – Post No Bulls Dec 1 '13 at 16:16
  • @user111742 I could change my wording, but I won't because most likely people will read it as I intended and that is before that policy was enforced. – Git Gud Dec 1 '13 at 16:18

You must log in to answer this question.

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