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I seem to have severe difficulty finding the right tags to add to a post, which is infuriating when I can't post unless I have added some.

For a simple brackets expansion problem I had, I can't use *expansion *brackets or *multiplying.

Why are these Not available?

What should I do to satisfy the requirement?

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A way to chose tags is to browse the list of all tags sorted by popularity https://math.stackexchange.com/tags?tab=popular For all the more popular tags there is a brief description and instruction available.

Take one that fits about alright. Generally there should at least by one tag that is general. In the specific case as already mention seems like a good choice.

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Some additional suggestions to the good answers that were already given:

When you are adding a tag, a short information about the tag call tag-excerpt is shown. If you are not familiar with the tags yet, you should read this, since it might help you to see whether tag is appropriate for your question.

If you need more information, you could look up the tag-wiki. Here is an example showing both tag-excerpt and tag-wiki for some particular tag. There are many possible ways how to navigate to the tag-info. For example, you could find the tag in the list of tags, click on it and then click on learn more.


After you wrote the title for your question, SE software lists questions with similar title above edit box - under the caption "Questions that may already have your answer". (I am not sure whether and to which extent body of the post influences the questions shown in the list.)

If you wrote descriptive enough title, the questions shown in this list might be similar to your question. If you see there some questions from the same area, you can check what tags have been used on those questions.

Similarly, after you post the question, a list of the related questions is shown in the right in the sidebar. (I do not know the exact mechanism how this list is generated, but from my experience I can say that it depends heavily on the title and to some extent on the tags. But even if you chose incorrect tags for your post, this list might be useful for you.) Again, if you see there some similar questions, you can check what tags were used there.

I think that you always should check those two list of questions when posting a new question, for two reasons:

  • It might improve the chance that if the same question was posted before, you will notice that you are asking a duplicate question.
  • Even if you do not find there a question which is exactly the same, but at least similar, the answers to the related question might get you some ideas how to attack your problem. So this improves the chance that you solve your question on your own. (And if the other question is related to the question of your post, it is likely that you learn from the answers there some stuff which might be interesting for you.)

And one additional benefit is that questions from those lists might help you with tagging.

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If you have difficulty choosing the right tags for a specific question, don't worry too much--others can edit in appropriate tags after you post the question. If you want to increase the likelihood of this happening, you could end your question with a remark inviting them to do so, such as the following:

(Sorry if the tags on this question are wrong; I had trouble finding appropriate tags. Please edit the tags if you know of better tags for this question!)

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