I encountered this question and reacted impulsively with a comment. Some doubts started teasing me. Is my comment indeed in line with the mores on this site? Source of my doubt: "I have not really dived deep into that mores, so who am I to make such remarks?" In order to find out I decided to ask this question:

How to react when you are only asked to check an answer while the route to that answer is completely left out?

Feel free to eventually change the tag I used. I am not very familiar with Meta (and its tags).

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    $\begingroup$ Based on the comments I think we have had the same thoughts about these questions, I eventually came to the conclusion that pure proof verification questions are not really in the spirit of this site. I think a user can show good faith for such a question by narrowing down to a specific step in the proof that they are unsure about. The the question has become concrete enough to be addressed, and we aren't doing proofreading as much. $\endgroup$
    – rschwieb
    Jan 6, 2016 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the question that you say, is not the best question. Could have asked the user to improve the question? Yes, why not ? But to me is legitimate as same as this your question in Meta. I reacted impulsively to save the downvote that had the user who answered the question. I don't sure what is the spirit of this site, but while it is possible find a solution for a problem, with respect between people, it is good. I don't sure if it is homework or no. $\endgroup$
    – user243301
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ My apologizes to all users because part of the answer of cited question was wrong, and I've upvoted it, by the lack of reasoning I misread the situation. $\endgroup$
    – user243301
    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ As far as you can go before you start thinking "I should be getting paid money to do this" and/or "I stopped actually caring about this at some point." $\endgroup$ Jan 12, 2016 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


I think you have to go with what your gut tells you. (I know, profound.) On the one hand, we are not the police. We simply do not have the collective wherewithal to interrogate everyone who wants to ask questions that may or may not be homework or even a take-home exam. On the other hand, I find it extremely suspicious that someone wants us to "check" a solution for which they have shown absolutely no work.

There are exceptions: as we all know, the and related tags have a lot of problems posed in which a way to the given answer of a very difficult integral or sum is desired. In those cases, it is clear that the problems are not homework and are challenging and fun for those who partake. On the other hand, what the OP has posted is clearly something out of a class that could be homework or test-like. In that case, it is incumbent on us to ask about the OP's solutions. If none is forthcoming, then it is wrong to provide anything to the OP - the question should be closed.

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    $\begingroup$ The wording of this question and answer confused be for a bit until I actually looked at the question. "To 'check' a solution for which they have shown absolutely no work" sounds like a contradiction, but then I realized that in some parts of math an answer (to some computation) is considered a solution. For me, an answer with no proof is worth exactly zero points (that's just the problem statement!). $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2016 at 19:57

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