There exists a question which looks interesting to me, given that I scribbled some attempts to solve it and, in spite of the fact that it "seems" like an easy application of Rolle's theorem, couldn't solve.

So I'd like to see it answered to understand what I missed and should have done.

But the question is closed (rightfully, in my opinion), as the original poster did not provide any effort nor context.

What is the best way to see the question answered? Vote for its reopening (but on what grounds, as it violates the guidelines)? Create a duplicate (with pointer) where I provide my own efforts? Something else?

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    $\begingroup$ You could just make a new question yourself. Certainly you have put in effort and can provide context based n your own work $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Mar 30, 2017 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think vote for reopening will help since the question was posted 3 days ago. I think you should post the question again. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2017 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ Also, linking to the original question (and optionally leaving a comment there as well) should assuage any objections of not acknowledging the OP's earlier attempt. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2017 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ Following the above suggestions, I created a new question there. $\endgroup$
    – Clement C.
    Mar 31, 2017 at 1:38

2 Answers 2


I have had a number of cases where the question was closed because it was badly phrased but I thought I could understand the intent and could provide a good answer. I posted a comment asking that the question be reopened so I could answer and had no success. I suspect that most people do not look at closed questions so accumulating enough votes to reopen is difficult. I agree that is the proper theoretical approach, but practically I would ask a proper question, answer it, and comment on the original with a link.

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    $\begingroup$ Re: people do not look at closed questions so accumulating enough votes to reopen is difficult. I agree but still: If the question is edited soon enough after it was put on hold, it automatically goes into reopen review queue. IIRC the same thing happen when the first reopen vote is cast. To bring attention of other users to questions which deserve reopening, it is possible to use the designated thread or c.r.u.d.e chat room. (Although that room was not very active lately.) $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2017 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ But still I agree that if I want to ask a question and the same question has already been closed for lack of context, asking a new question which includes proper context is probably the best way to go. (So +1 from me.) $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2017 at 5:20

A couple of folks have mentioned that you could post a new question. One issue with that is that it doesn't really help or inform the OP who, in a sense, helped you by asking a question that interested you.

An alternative might be to edit the question and then nominate it for reopening. If the edit is good, then the question should be reopened and then you can answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you checked the number of +30,000 or +35,000 users there are? What would happen if your suggestion became the norm? "Any one with over $xx,000$ rep should be able to ask a mod to reopen a question for them so they can embellish the question and answer it accordingly"? The OP here is interested asking the question in a more context-rich question, with his/her effort shown, in the question. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Mar 30, 2017 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ Two small remarks: 1. A question does not need to be reopened in order to be edited. 2. Question can be reopened without moderator intervention. (And I think it is in fact preferred that community do most moderating by itself, with moderators involved in case things cannot be done by regular users.) E.g., if a questions is edited to better form, reopening can be requested in the dedicated thread. And there is also c.r.u.d.e chat room. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2017 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ Some past discussions related to editing question posted by another user: Editing someone else's question to add context and On editing "shown effort" into a question by user other than OP. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2017 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thanks. I had considered soliciting the community. My concern was that the question might be closed before the person who tried to reopen it was able to edit the question. It had not occurred to me that the question could be edited first and that's probably the appropriate choice of action. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2017 at 10:17
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    $\begingroup$ After the question has been put on hold the first edit places it automatically in the reopening queue. Alas, I am unfamiliar with the exact rules that apply, but this is a useful window of opportunity. Too often askers waste it by adding something irrelevant. Note: This does not work for subsequent edits. Otherwise somebody could keep a post endlessly in the queue. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2017 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Detailed rules can be found here. Tag edits do not count. Edits by close-voters do not count. The question should not be on hold for longer than 5 days. (Exactly for the reasons you mentioned I quite often post this comment.) $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2017 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ I think I should point out a fundamental flaw which is that by editing someone else's post to add in your context, you essentially put words into their mouth. I cannot speak for others but I find that somewhat rude. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck StackExchange explicitly encourages the editing of posts for improvement. More generally, you don't own the material you post here. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2017 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure you might not own the content, but it is still attributed to you.Editing to improve means fixing typos,rewording content,and making the post as it was originally conveyed better.The person's name at the bottom of the post is ultimately the one who is stated to have "said that".What you would be doing by editing like is quite literally claiming and asserting that was their thoughts and their context at the time of writing it.SE might own the post but by no means do they all of a sudden become allowed to change a post so that it looks like someone said something they didn't! $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure what if I went into the answer you just posted and edit in my thoughts on top of yours. Your post doesn't address every possible situation so I just blatantly throw my thoughts on top of yours. Is that not essentially putting words in your mouth and making it look like you have opinions that aren't even yours? It would be immediately rejected for "changing the meaning of the post". I can understand if editors all of sudden had the question entirely re-attributed to them upon editing, but they don't and so one would be putting words into the authors mouth that they never expressed. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck I understand that you find it rude when some one else edits a post that you started. The reality, though, is that such behavior is not just within community norms but encouraged to a point. If an edit improves a post - then great. Otherwise, rollback and appeal to the community in the case of a genuine disagreement. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2017 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure So you accept that it is completely normal to edit a post that has someone else's name listed as the author and place in your thoughts and claim that it was their context in originally asking the question. If a question is missing context than it is the original author's context that needs to be added, not whatever random stuff you make up and stuff in there to falsely claim was their context and thoughts at the time of asking the question. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:36

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