10
$\begingroup$

Unable to solve $ \int \frac{x + \sqrt{2}}{x^2 + \sqrt{2} x + 1} dx $?

The people who voted to close gave the reason that it's missing context. I would like to know what kind of context I could have added there.

Note: By now the question was edited to include more information. The original is https://math.stackexchange.com/revisions/3263899/1 the one current when the meta post was asked is https://math.stackexchange.com/revisions/3263899/3

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Had you followed the link in the banner? $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 16 at 9:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you are mainly interested in this particular question, you probably should user (specific-question) tag. If the question is linked merely as an example and you actually want to discuss some more general issue, you should clarify what the issue is. See the tag-info for more details. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 16 at 10:19
22
$\begingroup$

"Missing context" is a bit of a catch-all term, but basically it's a request for you to motivate the question (why do you want to solve this? Why is it interesting for you, and for people who might help you with it?) and to show some effort (there's a $\sqrt{2}$ there that suggests there's a substitution that might work -- what have you tried? Where did it go wrong?).

At the moment, it looks like you have a homework problem and mistook math.stackexchange.com as a homework-solver.

So, what could help? Specifically:

  1. where does this come from (if it's homework, say so at least. Be honest. You may get hints rather than full solutions, but you are supposed to be learning from homework and copying the answers isn't learning)?
  2. if it's not homework, why is it interesting (the background may indicate approaches you don't know or haven't thought of, but answerers may spot)?
  3. seriously, make an effort. "I don't know where to start" is a bit strange for an integral problem: you have a quadratic denominator, so anyone who's learning about integration knows how to find the roots of a quadratic and see if they would help simplify the fraction. Likewise setting $a=\sqrt{2}$ and looking at the substitution to see if that's recognisable as an antiderivative is also a basic step you could show you've considered.
$\endgroup$
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Over all a good explanation. But "supposed to be learning from homework and reading the answers isn't learning" is debatable. If somebody would actually care to read the answers carefully they might very well learn something from it. Maybe 'copying' rather than 'reading' conveys what you mean more precisely. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 16 at 10:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Thanks @quid you're right: I had in mind reading without understanding, and copying is definitely better for that. Edited :) $\endgroup$ – postmortes Jun 16 at 10:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .