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- “What have you tried?”… 4 answers
After collecting little experience in MSE, it appears to me that the demand for context might be overemphasised. That has two bad consequences: (1) If you are not only allowed but even required to describe the context in detail it can prevent from a precise mathematical statement of the question. As I see it a precisely stated question stands for itself and no context is required, otherwise it would not be precisely stated. (2) It invites others to "chicken-out" from the actual question and start a meta-discussion about the context. I have observed both patterns quite often. Of course I also think that context might be extremely useful for both the OP and those attempting an answer but I think about if in the end it wouldn't pay out more if OPs should get more authority in what context they want to give or not.
A kind of worst-case scenario is, that there is a perfectly well stated and defined question, which gets closed because no context is given. And OP is not aware if it's encouraged and how to re-state the question. As far as I see in such a case (of re-statement of the question) it's mandatory to link to the closed question, such a restated questions will have then very likely a bad start, by the fact alone that it will be very similar to the closed question.
I would be interested in the opinion of the experienced users here about this issue:
Do we really need to impose strict rules on the amount of context, or can it even be counter-productive?
Note carefully: This question does not address the necessity, or usefulness of the section about the own trials of solution. It's simply two completely different things.
I do see, that misuse of MSE as "homework done for me by others" is an important issue since these things are observed increasingly. Still this question does not address the advantages of claiming context, but purely the possible unintended bad side-effects of overemphasising the importance of "context". It might be regraded as "unethical" as well to introduce a knockout criteria "missing context" if actually "no homework" is meant, eg.