After reading the links provided by the mods in a question I recently posted with an answer, I believe that my question conforms in spirit the criteria that the moderators have tried to infuse in our site through their work.

While answering own questions is explicitly encouraged in the link right next to the box saying "answer your own question," some moderators seem concerned that naughty users may post solutions to the entire e.g., Sears & Zemansky book, using this format. And the general feeling is that people can post exercises and problems with educational purpose as long as: (i) the problem is not entirely trivial and (ii) who posts them also shows their work toward the solution.

Well, my question is not completely trivial: I did not know the result before thinking a lot while solving a similar problem. It is not from any book I know of. I agree the formulation is terse, but clear, and I put a lot of work in the answer of the question. I posted it just to share the effort and result. People is free to downvote it to oblivion if they do not like it, but closing it is something else: it is a penalty for something I did wrong.

  • $\begingroup$ -1 What is your question on Meta? $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2018 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ It was about showing a property about the flight times of minimum energy projectiles. $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2018 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ I am asking what is your question here, on Physics Meta? $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2018 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ Something in the line of "why was my question closed despite I worked and showed my effort to answer it?." $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2018 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Enredanrestos Not many people actively notice that you're answering your own question. New users who don't know the rules will see your question and your answer, without knowing that the same person answered both, and think that's it's acceptable to ask such questions. SE doesn't emphasize the value of a user's name: unlike in sites like Quora & Medium, where you follow individual users, and the author's name is in bold text on top of the answer, SE puts the author's name unobtrusively underneath. I usually don't observe who wrote the answer or question unless it was spectacularly good/bad. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Jul 2, 2018 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Something that I was told once: answers do NOT make a question on-topic. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Jul 2, 2018 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


The answer is pretty much irrelevant as to whether the question should be closed, particularly for homework-like questions: that determination should be done based on the question text itself, and the fact that you've also provided an answer to that question not a factor there.

In the specific example you linked to, the question itself is very poorly phrased, but it is pretty clearly a paradigmatic example of the questions the homework-and-exercises policy rules out. The extra layer of paraphrasing you've added on top of the exercise does not change that - all it does is make the question less clear.

It is perfectly OK to post Q&As on this site so long as the questions themselves are on-topic. If the question is a set-piece from a textbook (any textbook), though, then you really do need to have a core conceptual point that you want to write about, and the question needs to be very explicit in asking about the concept instead of just quoting (or describing) the set-piece whose solution you want to post.

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    $\begingroup$ Relevant to the first paragraph, I usually make a point of not looking at the answers to a question when deciding whether to close it. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Mar 4, 2018 at 8:14

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