Are new contributors pre-notified during their first ( say 5 ) posts alerting them that

  • they should include details of their efforts and that pure work orders (or what may sound that way) stand a chance for down-vote etc.?

If not, that is a small suggestion from me towards catching them at entry. It has also a beneficial effect of reducing Close Voting suggestions quantum by higher reputation members.

  • I sympathize with your post since you tried to remedy the situation of difficulties that new contributors (the students) have to face. The casuistry can be wide, from students with difficulties to develop classroom's theory, to those who need an example or don't know how to look for it on the Internet or in books, to conclude that his/her exercise is a variation of the example. I think that the first posts of these new users should be handled in a special way to help them. – user243301 Sep 8 at 21:51

Before asking anything at all, new users must agree (via ticking a box) that they "will keep in mind" to

make sure that [the question]:

Concretely they are shown this page https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask/advice

This advice is just all too often blatantly ignored. I am not sure if it would change all that much to show it more frequently. But it is not impossible; maybe the advice I quote is given too early and just discarded as fluff.

SE is experimenting, on SO I think, with questions-templates, where the question box contains some placeholder text to guide the writing of questions.

  • 2
    Obligatory "click me to process" XKCD reference: xkcd.com/570 – Asaf Karagila Sep 5 at 23:33
  • 4
    Tangentially: Banner Blindness. – quid Sep 5 at 23:44
  • 1
    Is there a "Wikipedia links blindness"? – Asaf Karagila Sep 5 at 23:44
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    I will just add the link to the discussion which lead to introducing this: Show “how to ask” advice before a new user asks a question. – Martin Sleziak Sep 6 at 8:16
  • Just with respect to the expectation that any new user use mathjax in each and every post they plan to submit, prior to ever having submitted a post, please note @HenningMalcolm's comments below this coincidentally posted twin feature request – amWhy Sep 6 at 22:11
  • @amWhy I have replied there. Thank you for the information. Arguably it might not be ideal that it is the first point, but it is not that hard to use it in a basic way. Users could at least make an effort. Also, they could at least follow the two other points. Posts whose only (perceived) shortcoming is that they don't use MathJax are, I think, usually not received badly. – quid Sep 6 at 23:07
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    I agree, @quid, that a user writing about a limit as x approaches (-1), of (x^2+ 3x + 2)/(x^2 -x-2), who attempts to factor numerator and denominator provides a much better post than someone writing "what's the limit of x^2+3x+2/x^2-x-2"? which is rather ambiguous and requires more care in use of parentheses, etc. – amWhy Sep 6 at 23:12
  • Today I wondered if could be a good idea to edit (as a post in this Meta) A guide for the New contributor. That I evoke is a list of links, and clarifications, similar than this your answer, containing FAQ very focused for new contributors of MSE (in special for young students) explaining basics about how does the reputation system work, how add comments, why/how/when are questions put on hold?, edit and improving a question, policie about homework questions, context, what is Meta/Math Mods' Office?... Thus I say a concise summary of the more important aspects-FAQ concerning the main site. – user243301 Oct 28 at 18:51
  • @user243301 it could makes sense if it is well done. – quid Oct 28 at 21:35
  • Feel free to write it (I was also tempted to write this same comment/proposal to Sleziak due his skills to organize and provide information). – user243301 Oct 29 at 6:09

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