Questions tagged [asking-questions]

Questions specifically about the process of asking questions on this site.

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193
votes
8answers
42k views

How to ask a good question.

How to ask a good question. This thread has advice on the following aspects of writing a good question on this site. Each item in this list links to an answer below about that specific aspect of ...
65
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0answers
498 views

“Maybe answered questions” box on “Ask Question” page is much more useful than “Search Q&A”

I often find that "Search Q&A" is quite useless when I want to find a question or something related to it. But I've also noticed that when I'm about to ask a question, the "Questions that may ...
50
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2answers
1k views

How to begin working on a problem?

I hope the community supports this effort. We often see homework-type questions with no attempt from the OP at solving the problem. In many such cases the OP answers that they don't know how to begin. ...
46
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1answer
983 views

Statistically, how does question length relate to community response?

It is obvious that a question which is too short will almost certainly lack context, and that a question which is too long may run the risk of readers never finding out what the question actually is (...
42
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3answers
1k views

On the loss of some users and their PSQs

There are some users who specialize in asking PSQs (crude problem statement questions). According to all the discussions about PSQs, it seems that a vast majority of users think these should be closed....
42
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2answers
1k views

How much did “advice for first-time askers” help?

Since October 2015 a "How to ask?" page is shown before a user asks their first question on this site, and they need to confirm that they read it; see here: Show “how to ask” advice before a new user ...
41
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6answers
4k views

Why are people so interested in finding limits without l'Hôpital's rule?

It is not difficult to find questions about evaluating limits without the use of l'Hôpital's rule. As long as the function is differentiable, not directly reducible and tends towards an intermediate ...
39
votes
2answers
2k views

Best way of asking “check my proof” questions

I am trying to learn proof based math on my own and once I construct a proof, I often have a gut feeling that it's not airtight. What is the best way of asking such questions? My findings till now: ...
38
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2answers
2k views

What qualify questions to be in mathoverflow and not in math.stackexchange?

I have read that https://mathoverflow.net/ is only for the very advanced mathematics, such as upper graduate level or research level, counter to https://math.stackexchange.com/ which is for any ...
38
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2answers
544 views

Show “how to ask” advice before a new user asks a question

Many questions by new users end up closed as duplicates or for another reason related to the lack of familiarity with the site. I won't go into details; they are much discussed. I propose to enable ...
37
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3answers
1k views

On the inclusion of pages-of-text-as-images in questions

This is to ask if there is and if there should be an official position of math.SE about the inclusion, as images, of pages and pages of printed documents in questions. For a recent example of the ...
30
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5answers
1k views

A criterion for distinguishing between two kinds of questions

Abstract: In which cases must a poster exhibit efforts to answer a question and in which does the content of the question itself suffice to provide context? It is often suggested that a question ...
30
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2answers
2k views

Too “difficult” for MSE and too “easy” for MO questions

The title is not very precise. I usually come up with the following situation. I come up with a question after reading some materials and put it on MSE. Several days later, I get no answers and then ...
30
votes
2answers
979 views

About demanding work from askers

I only found out about MSE around the end of my degree, so I didn't get to ask that many questions. However, had I known about it earlier, I could see myself wanting to ask questions, having thought ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

homework questions, again

I have no sympathy for people just copying the text of the homework questions to the site (sometimes they even scan the page, to avoid having to write the text...) On the other side, I believe that ...
30
votes
1answer
641 views

Is it acceptable to post a “better” version of an existing question?

Situation: Lets say there was an interesting question, but: It was poorly written (e.g. language, formatting, missing assumptions). It was posted many day ago but got only a few views. It received ...
30
votes
1answer
639 views

How to prevent “no clue” questions?

A significant amount of questions asked in MSE begin or end with "I don't even know where to start", as a way to justify one's inability to provide own work on the problem and/or attract sympathy or ...
30
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0answers
202 views

Could “Ask Question” dialog be more helpful?

The Ask Question dialog has an appropriate faint overlay text in the Title input area: what's your math question? be specific. (Aside: this seems to suggest ...
29
votes
1answer
782 views

Registration to ask a question – has it made a difference?

In October 2016, Grace noted that registration to ask a question had been implemented on math.stackexchange. I would like to know whether this has had any effect on our site.
28
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4answers
1k views

Should we ask for Question Quotas like those that have been available for the big three?

Our site is growing quite rapidly: currently each day there are about 150 new questions asked about 250 new answers posted about 150 edits made to posts. Each of the above actions changes the front ...
23
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3answers
871 views

What should we do with poorly posed questions?

This is regarding Bill Dubuques post. After reading the discussion, I agree that the community should be more welcoming and friendlier. I personally am not sure what to do when someone asks poorly ...
22
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1answer
344 views

How to avoid duplications?

During the last two and a half years since I became a member of the SE community, it has happened so many times that my questions have been marked as duplicate, especially during the first few months ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Why does the criterion for a good question change with reputation?

If a person asks a question on this site, they are supposed to provide their own attempt at solution, context, possibly even a reference to the problem source. We seem to remind newer people on this ...
21
votes
2answers
808 views

Is it okay to re-ask a deleted question?

Greetings I went trough some questions here on meta and didn't found something similar so I hope there is no problem with asking here. I'll try to keep it short. I noticed that some questions got ...
21
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2answers
553 views

“Is this correct?” Questions

Recently, I have seen a lot of questions that essentially ask, "Is this proof correct?" or "Can you verify my work is correct?" like this one. Often, especially when the asker's work is in fact ...
21
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3answers
401 views

How to make a question regarding proof verification more interesting and more attractive?

Since I self-study mathematical analysis without formal teacher, I can only appeal to help from out site most of the time. It's obvious that to grasp the underlying concepts in mathematics, we must ...
20
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3answers
863 views

On New Users Asking Questions Poorly

I think everyone knows what I mean, questions that immediately get comments such as: "Please don't just copy your homework." "If this is homework, please add the homework tag." "Please don't state ...
20
votes
1answer
303 views

How can I make sure the problem I want to ask has not been presented before?

e.g. I have a question on proving an inequality statement. If I google it Google will not recognize it and if I use Math StackExchange'search engine, it will not respond. Thank you for your help.
20
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0answers
676 views

How to properly ask a “textbook recommendation” question?

I've seen several "textbook recommendation" type questions on MSE, and some of them have been quite popular and helpful. In a lot of them, the poster provides their mathematical background information ...
19
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I ask a good question? [duplicate]

MathOverflow has an excellent guide on how to write a good question. Another great guide exists on meta.stackoverflow. We will probably want our own site-specific guide on how to ask good questions. ...
19
votes
3answers
711 views

Will Stack Exchange keep record of every question I ever ask?

I was wondering if Stack-Exchange will allow me to access my questions at any point in the future even if I end up asking huge number of questions as I go along? Or is it the case that the site can ...
19
votes
1answer
677 views

How self-contained should questions be?

Every once in a while, someone posts a question that relies on an image or a Wolfram|Alpha link with a formula or the like. In the case of images, it's often because they don't have sufficient ...
19
votes
2answers
674 views

Does that count as defacement?

I noticed that there is a recent habit of a particular user to edit old questions and add his own questions on the topic instead of opening a new question. I suppose that this is a precaution to ...
18
votes
3answers
664 views

Is it a good idea to include source from where a question is taken?

My question is- Should we include the source from where we have obtained a question? Let, a question has been asked in a particular exam/paper/ or anywhere. Is it a good idea to include the ...
18
votes
1answer
781 views

The Limit of asking a question

I have a question for MSE. I noticed that the number of asking question is limtted. I guess, someone ask 60 questions per a month. My limit finished. And I know that as time goes on, I ask few ...
18
votes
1answer
504 views

question edited to change meaning

The question Example of function which is not computable was recently edited by the original poster to completely change the meaning. In particular, the accepted answer is no longer reflective of the ...
17
votes
1answer
342 views

Am I in danger of being banned?

I wanted to post a new question, but when I try to do so I got a warning: Wait! Some of your past questions have not been well-received, and you're in danger of being blocked from asking any more....
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I post a question and an answer just because I think it helps others?

My Question is as it is in the title.. Can I just post (I did not say ask) a question and answer (I am not asking for proofreading) just because I understand the question properly and I know the ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you search for specific questions?

I have noticed that a lot of times people ask a question and a duplicate is instantly found. It's not necessarily true that the person hasn't tried to look up the question, but it is just hard to ...
17
votes
0answers
268 views

Referencing answer given on SE

Recently I asked the math.SE community my first question (link), after a few minutes an experienced used resolved my issue with a smooth answer. But my problem is that this question was derived from ...
17
votes
0answers
105 views

Showing related questions from MathOverflow

I'm a professional mathematician but I usually have non-professional questions, or perhaps some dumb professional ones that do not reach “research level”. Nevertheless, I think that sometimes it might ...
16
votes
1answer
897 views

Suggestions for examples of well-asked questions

I am posting this question as a place where we could collect various examples of good questions together with explanations what makes them good. (Feel free to choose the format you like best. I will ...
16
votes
2answers
789 views

What mechanisms are there to stop people from simply creating a new account if they've been question banned?

I understand the idea of a question ban - if you keep making bad questions you can't do so anymore. But what's to stop someone from simply creating a new account and continuing to do so?
15
votes
1answer
229 views

Is better to provide ample context or just get to the point of a question?

I enjoy writing well-written questions that provide plenty of context, but I'm becoming worried that it may be too much. When asking questions, is it good to provide context to your question, or ...
15
votes
1answer
454 views

What is a positive question record?

What is a positive question record? Some of the badges need positive question record what is it? And how can I earn it?
15
votes
2answers
301 views

Can we have the suggested questions' titles parsed by default?

The suggested questions' titles here are not parsed: I find this a bit odd, because they are indeed parsed in other scenarios, like this: Why aren't the titles parsed when suggesting questions? I ...
14
votes
2answers
447 views

Are questions necessarily “static”?

Suppose I make a question but someone gives me an answer that points me that that wasn't actually what I wanted to ask. Sometimes I'm a little confused and the ultimate question I want to make isn't ...
14
votes
1answer
601 views

Can I ask the same question twice?

I asked a question but since it was very long, nobody answered me. I'm wondering if I should ask it again as a new question again (Of course I will make it much simpler than before) or should I just ...
14
votes
1answer
409 views

Answered Questions With Mistaken Calculation

Suppose I ask a question which includes a mistaken calculation, such that if the calculation were to be corrected, the question would be uninteresting. The question receives an answer, indicating the ...
14
votes
2answers
421 views

What are the rules for posting an image with my attempts to solve my question?

Hi guys not sure if this is the right place to post this but just wondering what is the rules regarding posting images of individual attempts for a question you have asked, i.e. if I have a question, ...