Sometimes I see a question from a new user, the sort of question that's followed by a "What have you tried?" comment. I suspect that if it were flagged, it would be closed.

Is it considered to be bad form to post a full solution to these questions?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related discussion here: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/21290/… $\endgroup$ – user99914 Sep 21 '15 at 2:52
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ There are too many variables to deem it bad form in all cases, but it's safe to say that it is premature. Coaxing more context and dialogue out of the asker before answering would probably benefit the asker and the solution both. Maybe you will learn something along the way that helps you decide if the complete answer would be bad to give. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Sep 21 '15 at 2:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sometimes I want to provide an answer for the sport of it. Then I think a hint is what's needed to help the asker. Then someone will go and lay out a full response. The challenge is to avoid the sense of competition. $\endgroup$ – MathAdam Sep 21 '15 at 5:32
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Some such solutions may be downvoted by those who think it is bad form. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Sep 21 '15 at 13:49
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If you think it is an interesting problem, I would encourage you to answer and edit the Question (body and title) to make it sensible to other Readers. There are so many posts that you can be selective in responding to Questions which you will find rewarding. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Sep 21 '15 at 16:35
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I think it is bad form. And yes, I frequently downvote answers to questions that should obviously be closed, especially full solutions given to homework style questions that are asked with zero context. $\endgroup$ – Morgan Rodgers Sep 23 '15 at 7:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Most of these posts are from people who genuinely do not understand what is in the question and are just looking for help. I believe it is bad form to give a full solution to any "homework problem", no matter what the user has provided. But often I can make a good guess as to what their problem might be, and give hints that I hope will push them in the right direction to answer it themselves. And also hopefully help them in developing an understanding of the problem. If so, then I do not believe it is bad form to offer the hint, even if the user has provided no feedback. $\endgroup$ – Paul Sinclair Sep 29 '15 at 23:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I find it in even worse form when those who furnish complete and detailed answers to homework questions without any regard to site policy, and have those answers downvoted by the community, then have the audacity to post comments requesting that the asker of the question to supply their own thoughts after the fact in order for the question to not be closed. Such people also appear to have no ethical problem with calling the downvoting "politically motivated." $\endgroup$ – heropup Sep 30 '15 at 1:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .