It happened to me more than once now, where I asked a "where is my mistake" type of question, feeling either that I'm really close to the correct solution or that I made some fundamentally wrong mistake and searching for some insight.

In the last instance (found here) I quite immediately after posting realized that my mistake was a trivial misunderstanding and there was no real knowledge to be gained from answers to the question. In some past instances, if I recall correctly, I had the simple mistake mentioned in the comment, giving the same overall effect.

What is the correct thing to do with such questions? Should I add the trivial detail I was missing as an answer and accept it or should I just leave it deserted as is?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If the question did not receive any answers yet you can probably delete it, if you feel there is no point in keeping it. $\endgroup$
    – Yuriy S
    May 5 '16 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/22015/151595 $\endgroup$
    – ahorn
    May 6 '16 at 21:32

You should either write up an answer or delete the question.

Which on of the two is up to you to decide. As a guide: if you think there is some information there that has the potential to be relevant to somebody, leave it, if not delete.

The current state of the specific question is not good. From a distance it gives the impression of needing an answer, while manifestly it does not. This has the potential to be annoying to somebody that browses the unanswered question list to find question in need of an answer.

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    $\begingroup$ This sums it up nicely enough. I was hesitant to delete as I recalled reading a message stating that repeated deleting of questions will ban my account from asking farther ones, but upon testing again I see this only applies to already answered questions, which solves my dilemma. $\endgroup$
    – Nescio
    May 8 '16 at 9:44

I would probably base my decision on whether or not there are answers posted as answers (as opposed to answers posted as comments or comments posted as answers). If there are proper answers, I would upvote all of them and accept one. If there are no such answers, I would probably write a quick comment, like "Thanks everyone for your comments, I'm going to delete this question now."


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