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Say a user posted a question and made absolutely no effort in attempting to approach the question, so the question receives negative votes, no responses, etc. and I have the same exact question, but I have work to show for my attempts as well as some additional questions about the problem. Should I post the same problem again with my work, or what should I do?

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    $\begingroup$ I would edit the question to reflect my own progress/effort, personally. That would bump it back to the front of the site, getting it the attention necessary for an answer. $\endgroup$ – Nick Feb 12 '15 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ If you include substantial work reinforcing your own version, then it deserves its own post. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Feb 12 '15 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick Hmm, I would say definitely don't do that. That is basically hijacking the question, and would lead to a lot of problems (say, if a third person decided your version didn't show enough effort, and inserted his progress/effort...) Radical additions to a (nonwiki) post by any user who isn't the original poster are usually declined. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Feb 12 '15 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ It's only hijacking the question if the edit goes radically out of scope. We're talking about questions of such low quality that they require substantial edit to begin with, or else face deletion. $\endgroup$ – Nick Feb 12 '15 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick Editing someone else's question to reflect my own progress/effort is definitely crossing the hijacking line unless it is a wiki question. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Feb 12 '15 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Nick But sure, there are cases when substantial edits can improve the quality of a question. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Feb 12 '15 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick Particularly when sub-2k rep, it can be hard to have all the response mechanisms working out as they should. E.g. editing someone else's post is cumbersome. It is admittedly a fine distinction, but answering the question and helping the poster are separate things. To facilitate the latter, a new question is more suitable. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Feb 12 '15 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ This meta question I asked is very related (it just regards answers instead of questions) $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Feb 12 '15 at 23:58
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    $\begingroup$ Note that duplicates are judged based on answers. If the original question does not have an answer, you’re not creating a dupe. Just go ahead, post your question and when any of the two gets an answer, close the other one as a duplicate. I’d definitely avoid hijacking the original answer. $\endgroup$ – Palec Feb 23 '15 at 0:13
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If you include substantial work of your own for the question, then it probably deserves its own post since the answer becomes more focused on picking up where you left off.

If you have exactly the same question and nothing to add, then you might post a comment saying so, and consider offering a bounty (if you can afford one.)

Just keep in mind that readers usually do not like posters who haven't done due diligence in searching. But if what your asking truly hasn't been addressed before, then there is nothing wrong with doing your best to write it up in a new post.

Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with this, largely because I find myself in this exact spot quite often. Usually, the previous asker simply asked the question, and never followed through when given hints rather than outright answers. $\endgroup$ – Alec Feb 16 '15 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ It's even worse when someone ask a general question in this question-title, but then really only wants to know some very particular answer to a very particular case (or example/application). Such titles often end up being clickbait of no real use for most other readers. To paraphrase an example, the title might ask: "is there an algorithm to solve diophantine equations?" But the in the body of the question we find out s/he just wants to solve $x+y=3$. $\endgroup$ – Fizz Feb 23 '15 at 18:03
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This is very close to what rschwieb wrote, but since it is already written...

I assume the other post has no answer, and also not much other substantive discussion on it.

It depends a bit how old the other post is.

If it is very recent, say, less than one or two weeks old, I would wait to see what comes of the other post.

If it is older than that go ahead and just post your own question. I would still add as a side remark, perhaps as a comment, the information that you know about that other post to avoid others directing you towards it and to deflect any impression you might be OP of the original and trying to ask the same question for a second time.

There are various advantages in you being OP (in having an active OP) of the question, such as you can accept an answer, you get notifications, etc.

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This is a question/answer website, not a "solve my math problem" website.

So even if your math problem is the same problem, since you posted your work:

  • The original post's question was a math problem
  • Your question is where to continue with your own work

So you clearly have a different question. Which is why I would support making it a new post.

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  • $\begingroup$ In view of the existing answers, this one is entirely useless. -1. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Feb 24 '15 at 19:02

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