I have just joined this site and could you please give me an idea on how to effectively ask and answer a question? Does this site have any conventional rules across the users?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Using LaTeX helps; but it's even more important to make sure you are asking a good question. (Generally speaking, a copy of an assigned problem does not make a good question.) $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:28
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ One biggie is that we would like question posters to demonstrate effort, if possible. We don't want to become a free homework crowdsourcing dump. We have a pretty good FAQ for question asking already. You read it, right? $\endgroup$
    – rschwieb
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ I took the liberty of looking at the question you asked on the main site and I would definitely say that you should pay attention specifically to the providing context part of Rafflesia's link if you are asking this to either improve that question or other future questions. $\endgroup$
    – user171177
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ Proper use of LaTeX is good but it only does so much. LaTeX lets us express our mathematical ideas clearly (if used correctly) but it can't make your content any better. $\endgroup$
    – user171177
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ It often happens that newer Users have a good question in mind, but post it in very broad terms and/or omit important specifics of the problem and their attempts. Narrowing a Question helps both those inclined to Answer to do so concisely and those reading it later on to see what makes the problem interesting/challenging. See this earlier post for suggestions on narrowing of Questions. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Make an effort to answer your question before you post it- new users often just post their homework questions and expect us to solve it. $\endgroup$
    – Joao
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 5:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is it just me who half-expected to read about norms? $\endgroup$
    – user541686
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:02

1 Answer 1


Begin by reading tour, and help.

Next, on this page (we being in meta), in the upper right hand corner search box, type "how to ask", and "how to answer", then read through those results as it benefits your mind. You will have much greater understanding after that.

We use MathJaX to typeset our math here, it is just $\LaTeX$ in the browser. We are, as an overall community, very kind to new users who put in effort but need help with fixing their typeset. You can start learning the rudiments of MathJax here.

I, and I speak for many, warmly welcome you to our community. Asking a considerate question like this one demonstrates great character on your part. You have certainly endeared me to your cause.


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