I have read this question and its answers, but it seems that no community consensus was made, and the only answer given doesn't really discuss verification.

My question is whether I should include my work in question or should I post it as an community wiki answer? Or should I not post verification question altogether? If so, why?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what you're asking. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 5 '11 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: Sorry. Let me try to put it in this way: Lets say I have done some work on some problem. Because I am self-learner, I have nowhere to check except here. (my high school math teacher wouldn't accept it because it is not about current topic in school..) That's why I have to post questions whether my work is correct. My question is how should I include my work, should I put it in question or should I put it in community wiki answer? And also I wanted to know if there were any reasons why I shouldn't post verification questions. $\endgroup$ – user5501 Feb 5 '11 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ By community wiki answer I mean community wiki answer to my question. I think that way may be better because it doesn't force reader to read my work in question, but just to read question and proceed to answers. $\endgroup$ – user5501 Feb 5 '11 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean some work on a question here? $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 5 '11 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: No, some work on question that is not posted. I want post question and work, so I get can feedback whether my work is correct. $\endgroup$ – user5501 Feb 5 '11 at 23:41

You can certainly post it: as long as it is mathematical it is not off topic. It doesn't need to be community wiki, but

  1. You need to think about how you word your question. If you write it in a way that can admit a "best" answer, then it doesn't need to be CW. But if you write it in a way that many distinctly different answers can be equally good (in other words it is somehow implicitly a [big-list] question), it should be CW. (Reminder: only moderators have CW power. Please flag for moderator attention if you think a question should be turned into Wiki.)
  2. You need to think about how you word your question. Just because you ask a question does not mean the people looking at this website are obliged to answer it. So you need some way to engage their interest.
  3. You need to be prepared for "different" responses. While the intent of the question you will ask may have to do with checking with your line of argument to see whether you understand things correctly, it is not unlikely that someone will give a solution using a different line of attack. Do think about how you should react in this case.
  4. Personally I'd prefer if you include the work you did as part of the question, perhaps clearly marked (separated by a horizontal rule or something). But I don't think there is any community consensus on this.

I think it depends on why you want your work checked. If you think you don't understand a concept well enough to check your work yourself, you should ask about that concept instead. If you only want a computation checked, you can post it if you want, but that doesn't make for a particularly interesting question.... In general, it is good to struggle with problems yourself, and asking questions (in my opinion) is mainly for the case where you really don't think you have the tools to struggle profitably.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. The questions are not about computation, and you're right that I should ask about concepts, though sometimes it might be easier to give an example of work, rather than pinpoint to specific aspect of specific concept. Especially if I'm asking whether something is applicable to some problem. $\endgroup$ – user5501 Feb 5 '11 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your sentiment about struggling with problems, but I don't think that has connection with what I'm asking. $\endgroup$ – user5501 Feb 5 '11 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ @LovreP: in that case it is (again, in my opinion) mostly a matter of phrasing. Don't phrase the question as "please check my work": phrase it as "am I correct in assuming that this concept applies in this situation?" $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 5 '11 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @LovreP: If the issue is the concept, one possible thing is to ask about the concept, and then use the particular argument to try to exemplify the struggles you are having. That way, ideally, you get both: your worked checked, a discussion of how the concept works in that particular setting, and a discussion of the concept (assuming you get a stellar answer, anyway...) $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Feb 6 '11 at 21:22

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