Questions tagged [etiquette]

This tag is aimed for discussions about etiquette: how to behave on the site and the chat.

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189
votes
8answers
39k 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 ...
110
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0answers
5k views

Main Chatroom Guidelines

Welcome. Hello friends. My online handle is anon, and I will be your guide. Associated with the Mathematics StackExchange is the main chatroom. I am chatroom co-owner alongside current moderator ...
66
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2answers
2k views

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

When I want to comment on an answer that I received for one of my questions, I get the following reminder: "Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid comments like "+1"...
58
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11answers
3k views

What is the site etiquette about (i) asking and (ii) answering questions in a language other than English?

We have a new user who has recently both asked and answered questions in French. I think we should discuss the appropriateness of this practice.
53
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8answers
2k views

Is “playing dumb” considered un-helpful?

It is fairly common for someone to post a question with an easy-to-fix notational error, for example, writing an integral and forgetting to put $dx$ at the end. Some users will just edit the post and ...
51
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5answers
2k views

No offense intended, but…

I haven't been a member on here for all that long of a period of time, but I would like to point out some things that I have observed that some may be overlooking. I have visited the site a large ...
51
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2answers
1k views

Questions with “accidental” trivial answers

Suppose that you ask a question, and field some answers. After reading them, you then unexpectedly realize that your question admits only trivial answers, due to some edge case you didn't realize you ...
45
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6answers
3k views

Are answers that have no explanations useful?

As those of you who have been participants in the integration debates over the last few days (see here, for example) may know, we have been essentially debating over the nature of the content we ...
45
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2answers
1k views

Has the upvoting really gone down?

For past few days I feel as if upvoting an answer and "answer accepting" (the green tick) has really gone down. I saw many questions with multiple answers with lot of explanation and none of the ...
43
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2answers
1k views

Is it rude to change which answer you accept?

Let's say you post a question, and someone answers it. The answer seems reasonable, so you accept it. Then, later, someone else comes along and provides a much more thorough and detailed response, ...
41
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2answers
2k views

Joke answer to a joke question?

I came across this question recently. This guy was literally asking what is $1+1$. I knew this was a joke question so I returned the joke by answering $42^{0}+42^{0}$. I thought that this is not ...
40
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2answers
2k views

Clarify an old answer

Today I went to ask a question, but I discovered that somebody else had already asked the exact same thing. Goody for me, right? Well, the trouble is, the question got several answers, but I don't ...
39
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2answers
1k views

“Context” vs. “your work” redux

Recently, we (once again) discussed the practices of requiring context and asking for someone's work on a question. It has been quite an established principle these days that people ought to include ...
38
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3answers
1k views

Responding to questions of the form “My professor said $X$, but $X$ is false!”

From time-to-time a question of the form "My professor said $X$ is true, but my book says that $X$ is false. Is my professor wrong?" is asked. For example, I've seen questions similar to: Question 1. ...
37
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6answers
2k views

Is it rude not to reply?

Suppose that I posted, as an answer, a fairly good hint to a question, but the OP still can't solve it on their own, and they ask me for further details. Would it be rude if I did not reply? The only ...
34
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7answers
2k views

Policy on smileys?

Is there a policy about using smileys in questions/answers? I am especially concerned by the colored icons, rather the more traditional ascii combinations. I only started to see smileys recently on ...
34
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4answers
2k views

Where is the fine line between using and misusing?

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that we have a no-names policy on the meta. However due to recent events I am sorry to be the one to break it on such a delicate topic. Willie tried to do it without ...
34
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4answers
3k views

Rude and Sarcastic comments

I find the comments made by a moderator here to be rude and sarcastic. Though what the OP asks might not make complete sense and needs to rephrase his question in a better way, I believe that it does ...
33
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7answers
1k views

Is it okay to never accept any answer?

I just joined MathSE and it's beautiful here, except for the fact that some unregistered users ask a question and never come back. Most of the time these questions are trivial, though they still ...
31
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2answers
1k views

Is it Discouraged to Write 'Thanks' at the end of one's Post?

I recently had my post edited by an MSE member. The editor removed the 'Thanks' I had put at the end of my post. This happened sometime earlier too. Is it discouraged to write 'Thanks' in our posts? ...
31
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1answer
495 views

Formulating the problem helps solving it -> self answer or delete question?

More than once it happened to me that I got stuck in a derivation. Formulating the question on MSE with nicely formatted TeX and describing step by step how far I got then helped me to get forward and ...
29
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6answers
708 views

Is it bad to edit your own answer several times?

I often need to edit my answers several times to fix errors or maybe to answer more directly the questions asked. But each time I edit my answer, the post will get a bit higher in the top questions ...
29
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2answers
2k views

Is it okay to leave stupid comments?

I have a knack for leaving stupid jokes on a lot of posts. They don't add anything to the question except (hopefully) a little humour. I am not sure if I should leave these comments because they might ...
29
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4answers
808 views

Is sharing the site among fellow students helpful/desired?

I'm a first year student in Computer Science and we all have big problems with math here. We study real analysis, elementary set theory, linear algebra and discrete math and we seek help wherever we ...
29
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3answers
612 views

Courtesy is a priority?

I looked at a question to be answered and found a number of unpleasant comments to the OP. Apparently he was new, and his formatting wasn't to everyone's satisfaction. If the commenters had wanted to ...
29
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1answer
1k views

Dealing with zero effort questions

A lot of questions on the site are asked by one time users who think that this is a magical place where all homework gets done with no effort put into it. Usually, the users prompt the question author ...
28
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10answers
2k views

How “civil” should we be?

Our FAQ states: Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Recently I've come across a user flag complaining about a potentially "rude" post. The post in question included ...
27
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2answers
1k views

I think I'm the target of a rude joke in chat

Today, in our In praise of Math.SE site and its users chatroom I saw the following message: in Mathematics, 2 hours ago, by Behaviour Just stopping by to say this user is awesome. Great ...
26
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2answers
980 views

How to handle insistent OPs?

You sometimes meet OPs asking a question that you are eager to answer by providing the sufficient hints, possibly in a condensed way or by linking to published solutions, but in a way that is deemed ...
26
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0answers
485 views

Retire localized meta.MSE acronyms including PSQ and its variants

Earlier in 2013, for a short time a volcano of postings about basic homework questions took over practically the entire meta.MSE, with the same 20 users rapidly exchanging what seemed to be thousands ...
25
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2answers
612 views

What is the appropriate way to post conjectures on Math.SE

My hobby is to seach for closed forms of integrals that cannot be evaluated by modern CAS like Maple or Mathematica. Sometimes I can intuitively find the right way to transform the integral and can ...
25
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2answers
721 views

Is too much self editing frowned upon?

I have found myself re-editing quite a bit until I feel a question is right, either I got things wrong (oops) or just get in a perfectionist mode, and have wondered what happens whenever I press the <...
25
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5answers
822 views

How to make users follow a better etiquette?

We've all seen it. A question of a new user, copied from a problem book, 5 people answering it with one-liners within 10 minutes, the user saying maybe a "thankx" and either picking a best answer ...
24
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4answers
540 views

Editing someone else's question to add context

I recently came across a problem statement question about a block matrix inverse. The original author did not include context, and the question got put on hold. I personally know a lot of situations ...
24
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2answers
886 views

Trying to keep students from using MSE to do their homework

I'm working as a counselor at a summer math camp, and have been tasked with giving challenge problems for the campers outside of their classes (see this post at MESE) for more details. I am almost ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Centralized solutions to textbook problems considered harmful?

Recently I've been toying with the idea of going through Crandall and Pomerance's Prime Numbers: A Computational Perspective cover-to-cover, to the best of my ability. However, it's a very difficult ...
23
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3answers
2k views

What is the etiquette about leaving short thank-you comments?

I left a brief question in a comment, and got a helpful reply, also in a comment. Then I wanted to leave a reply that said "Thank you.", but the comment system will not accept a comment of fewer than ...
23
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4answers
1k views

Is it OK to automatically downvote homework questions that show no effort or etiquette?

I have seen a lot of very similar questions here, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. There is a related question at Closing questions that show no effort - official policy? I see this very often ...
22
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5answers
599 views

About not upvoted, answered questions

A few minutes ago I saw a question with at least two standard answers, I mean, plain answers to the question, without warnings/cautions/etc. The weird thing (at least to me) is that such question had ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to answer a poor quality question?

I recently came across this question posted by a new user which has no context and shows no effort. I left a comment suggesting the user show their work and add context. I also down voted the question ...
22
votes
3answers
716 views

Typing out a short answer, and then editing it

I have observed a very established user (10k+) practicing this: They first write a one line answer to be the first answer, then edit it changing the whole meaning of the answer adding a lot ($10$ ...
22
votes
1answer
914 views

What's to stop someone asking the same unanswered question again and again?

What's the thing to do in a situation where rather than improve their question someone has just asked the same question again lightly disguised? The case in point is formed by these two: https://math....
21
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2answers
1k views

Editing Other's Answers Etiquette

You see an answer which is incorrect in formatting or content, but is easily fixable. What do you do? I see three reasonable (active) options: 1) Add a comment explaining the issue and the suggested ...
21
votes
3answers
736 views

Is it okay to ask for proof assistance frequently as you self-teach a topic?

I'm self-teaching algebraic geometry, and obviously the problems get hard fast (for a hobbyist at least) and I can't be 100% sure if I solved a particular problem. Initially I found Math SE to be very ...
21
votes
1answer
559 views

Positive reinforcement for comments to unmotivated questions showing little effort.

I have refrained from posting here to address my chronic dismay at the frequent sarcastic tone (even blatant sarcasm) on main, in response to unmotivated questions showing little or no effort. Others (...
20
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5answers
824 views

Courtesy/Etiquette: Writing an Almost-Identical Answer just After the Previous.

I'm curious as to whether there is some implicit/explicit etiquette re writing an almost-identical answer just a few minutes after a previous one. I'm thinking about the issue in general, but the ...
20
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2answers
1k views

How much (self) editing is too much?

(N.B. not to be confused with this question) We are all aware of editing being a core value of the part-Wiki nature of the Stack Exchange websites. We are also all aware of the website providing a ...
20
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2answers
419 views

Should answer votes be cast based on their accesibility to the asker?

I occassionally see answers to questions which appear to require a greater level of knowlege than the asker has. Should votes be cast on answers depending on how understandable they are to the asker? ...
19
votes
3answers
591 views

Up-voting a question while simultaneously voting to close it

Sometimes — most often with opinion-based or soft-questions — I see a question that I actually think is a good question but which does not fit on MSE. I will vote to close it, but other people will ...
19
votes
1answer
543 views

Is deletion of unnecessary comments a common practice here?

I have the habit of deleting my comments whenever I find them unnecessary anymore (for instance, I notified the OP that there's a typo, and it got fixed). Mostly, the user replies with (something ...