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This question already has an answer here:

In the stack overflow site where people post questions on programming, it makes sense to have a policy where the question asked should state the efforts made by the asker to solve the problem and the problems he is facing in that implementation. But should this policy be applied to the the Stack Physics site as well? I've seen people pontificate on this one point on many questions. The problem with physics is that there are many questions which aren't application oriented and are more theoretical in nature. Further, many of the askers are new to the subject or are just rookies. Should such a policy be encouraged in their cases too?

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marked as duplicate by John Rennie, heather, Jim, rob, user36790 Aug 17 '16 at 17:54

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The point, in my view, is that it is an insult to just quickly spit out a question and expect for someone to take the time and effort to answer it. If someone tells me or shows me the effort he has made or the research he has gone through, this is, for one, a basic form of courtesy. Further, it makes sense because in case of research questions, I myself know where not to look. In case of more calculation based questions, I can tell him where he went wrong or astray. Both of these are actually helpful for the process of obtaining a good answer.

But apart from this, it is just more motivating to answer a question which shows that there has been thinking, time and interest included. I have recently spent quite a bit of time on an answer to a question I would normally probably have flagged for closure if it had not stated concisely what the problem, the interest and the motivation for the question are. I think apart from it being a rule that is more or less inforced here on physics SE, this is also just a good strategy to make potential answerers want to deal with your problem and answer your question.

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In my opinion, there are no large differences between PSE and SO in this sense.

Both on the SO, and also here, there is a requirement from the OP to show his attempts to solve his problem.

On the SO, most of the VLQ questions are coming from beginner programmers in a strong need to provide the software what they are incapable to produce.

On the PSE, most of the VLQ questions are coming from physics students in a strong need to provide the homework what they are incapable to produce.

In both cases is it possible to show, what you tried. A similar requirement would be also a useful defense on the PSE against its degradation to an online, free homework solving service. But there is a such requirement already, and I've seen a lot of homework questions closed on this reason (what I agree in most cases).


A remark: people likes to solve problems, despite that they know, it makes them like a w*. People motivated by such urges, can become later productive users of the site. This is the probable reason, what makes the MathSE a well-going site. And, although the OPs of the VLQ questions don't seem really useful content producers of the future, their answerers do.

Yes, this behavior of the MathSE clearly worsens its mean quality, but if there is a finetuned, predictable way to deal with the help vampires and the repwhores (*), to use their significant content-producing power to serve the site, it can help more as it harms.

(*) I link here a MSO answer, describing the main sociological structure on the SE on a quite funny way :-) I didn't link the question (what is irrelevant in our current context).

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