I recently posted a question about number theory on math.stackexchange. Here's the question:

Prove that, if $2^{2^j} a + 1$ divides $c^{2^j}+1$ for fixed integers $a,c$ and all nonnegative integers $j$, then $a=1$ and $c=2^l$ for some odd positive integer $l$.

After a while, it was put on-hold by some mods for absolutely no reason. Before being put on hold, one of the mods asked me whether it was a homework problem. Of course not! I'm in high school, I don't get number theory homework!

What should I do to improve my question? I've posted many questions like this before, and they weren't put on hold, so just by observing this pattern, I believe the only reason that it was put on hold is because they thought it was homework, without proof.

What kind of management is this? It sucks.

Thanks for your help,


  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It was put on hold by $5$ regular users, not by a mod, and the reason is given in the box that says it has been put on hold. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 19 '14 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ "off-topic" is just the only category where the site can have custom reasons. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 19 '14 at 11:16
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Arkan: The SE framework allows site-specific close reasons — and the close reason attached to your question is site-specific — only for the "off topic" category. Instead of ranting against the "management", I invite you to read this to help you improve your question. Once edits are made, it will be placed in a re-open queue, where users with sufficient privileges will determine if it has been sufficiently improved. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Feb 19 '14 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Arkan: For example, provide details of work you have already done on the problem, and where this problem came from (idle thoughts? some text?). $\endgroup$ – user642796 Feb 19 '14 at 11:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Arkan: Just FYI: if you want to reply to a particular user in comments you can ping them using @displayname (an @-reply). (Though unnecessary since you own this post, I've been including them at the start of my comments directed to you.) $\endgroup$ – user642796 Feb 19 '14 at 11:54

For the benefit also of other users who may have the same question:

Questions are never put on hold for no reason. A convenient box always pops up with the reason that the voters give. You should read it and follow the links. (Picture below taken from another recently closed question.)

enter image description here


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