I have had a question up for two weeks now, had 4 votes and over 200 views but no comments or answers.

I have tried doing as mentioned in faq, especially had put some effort to "First, make sure you’ve asked a good question". This metaquestion is actually about putting more effort to that point :)

I have edited the question several times, as guided in the faq.

I have tried solving the question myself, to no avail.

I have asked two of my professors in my university, the author of the book containing the problem, few other webforums and some mathematical friends of mine. Still stuck.

I do not have enough reputation to set a bounty.

Now I will try here, hoping to educate myself and learn to ask the question in a better way.

So, what things should one take into consideration when formulating a question, in order to have the best odds of getting a good answer?

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    $\begingroup$ Without seeing the question itself: have you considered the possibility that "it's not you, it's us"? It maybe just that nobody on the site who have seen the question can offer you a good answer. At a certain point, the limiting factor is that there are a large number of questions posted to this site everyday and there are limited number of expert-hours available to look at the questions. $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ I am awestruck by some of the expertise I have seen in this site, so the "limited number of expert-hours" is very likely the cause of the lack of a good answer. If so, could there be a way to increase the temptingness of using those scarce expert-hours to my question. Does flattering work? (Seems I am currently testing that ... :) $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2013 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Depending on the nature of your question, sometimes hopping into chat and advertising there can help. Once you answer a few more questions and earn some reputation, putting out bounty will also help. In any case, best of luck! $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2013 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ If you'd quit beating around the bush, and tell us which %#^&*@ question you're talking about, maybe someone would have a look at it and share an opinion as to why it has not generated any responses. $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2013 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Gerry :D ... here math.stackexchange.com/questions/289828/hamiltonicity-of-g2 $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2013 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ With the benefit of hindsight (that is, having read the answer by @Hurkyl), I think that if you had included the part of the problem that said it was induction on the size of $|G|$, instead of requiring people to click on a link, you would have gotten quicker results. I know, clicking on a link doesn't seem too much to ask, but we're all busy people here, and (speaking for myself) if our impression is that the link is going to take us to something technical outside our expertise, we won't go there. It's good that Hurkyl was undaunted. $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2013 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, @Gerry, I guess one should try to give as much information as possible right away. What I tried to do, was keep the question compact and short for quick reading. In general, perhaps the good guideline would be to keep the question as short as possible without sacrificing essential information - and avoid making readers click links. $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2013 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


I've looked at your question. I think you have formulated it well, and I have no suggestions for improvement.

Now I'll offer some speculations on why the question has not generated any responses.

It's a question about graph theory. My impression is the graph theory is an underrepresented specialty among the inhabitants of m.se. I note from topusers that I am #2 on the all-time list in terms of answering graph theory questions, and I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert on graph theory. I just play one on m.se, by default, and I quickly get out of my depth. Your question is too technical for me. My eyes glaze over. I'm sorry. As Willie says, it's not you, it's us.

  • $\begingroup$ I am fairly certain that none of the top four users can be called "graph theorists" in any meaningful sense. Except for you, that is. And you already confirmed this in your answer... $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 1:36

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