I've been looking through this Cregg website (who have taken over the website Cramster), where students can ask homework questions and get worked solutions in return for "ranking" or possibly paying $1 or so.

I found this question to be among the worst:

Chegg question

There is nothing more to the question than this photo of what appears to be a test in progress.

This raises the hypothetical question:

Question: Imagine someone posted this photo as a question on math.SE (with no other information). Should this question be closed for lack of effort?

As far as I'm aware, precedent has not yet been made on closing a homework question based on lack of effort. So this is why I ask: I would like to know if there is any point (a lower bound) in which we would say "enough is enough -- there must be some effort on your part too"?

Think this is a once-off? See also, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here. This is just a sample of questions over the last five days where it is clear that the answer could simply be copy/pasted into a web-browser (possibly to be graded).

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    $\begingroup$ The "1 pt" could be towards an online homework, review, quiz, or test. As such, there's no way to tell if it's cheating (though they could just use W|A...) $\endgroup$ Nov 6, 2012 at 7:00
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmm... I think I may have misworded my question slightly; this is not meant to be about cheating, but about a lower bound on quality. Adjusted. $\endgroup$ Nov 6, 2012 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ In my view, it's more of a lack of social intelligence than of an effort so I agree with Gerry Myerson's answer. $\endgroup$
    – user45045
    Nov 7, 2012 at 23:29

4 Answers 4


We can --- and some of us do --- say "there must be some effort on your part" without closing. If, after the passage of some reasonable amount of time (say, 24 hours?), no effort by OP is in evidence, then I'm happy with closing.

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    $\begingroup$ I’ll go further: I’ve never seen a question, including this hypothetical one, that I think ought to be closed for lack of effort without giving the OP a real chance to respond to requests for more information. In fact, I doubt that I’d ever vote to close for that reason. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2012 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Brian. $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2012 at 22:13

You have found a significant amount of bad questions on another site while the same type of question is not found on this site. Without any discussion you can safely conclude that this kind of question is already being successfully discouraged here, so why do you take this success story as reason for discussing the procedures here?


Your title does not agree with your question. "Would" or "should"? Yes, perhaps it "would" be closed.


New users can't post images. This explains why we only get copied text and not literal images like the one you posted. So on SE new users can't even ask that question, so it doesn't matter whether we would close it or not.

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    $\begingroup$ They can (and do) post links to image hosting sites. That turns a typically annoying request for help (with little-to-no work shown) into something worse! $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2012 at 21:30

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