While any of us can need an explanation of some concept we need to get clear in our minds and can't quite grasp, it does seem sometimes that even the most basic step is sometimes lacking.

Could/Should a simple reminder be added above the text entry box saying e.g. "Please do basic research ( e.g. web search, wikipedia etc. ) before asking a question. Thank you."

There's already some guidance there, but I feel an explicit reference to this basic step is worth emphasizing ( in bold preferably ) to avoid some of the simple questions we're seeing ( that often get dealt with with comments directing people to Wikipedia or similar ).

Now I do think there's some educational value is dealing with even the simplest questions, but that's not the same as dealing with questions from people who seems to be unwilling to do basic reading.

Your thoughts please.


1 Answer 1


In a previous incarnation on this site, I wrote this meta question How do I improve the chances of my question being answered, and in looking for it now to add to this answer, I see quite a few others very similiar to it.

IMO, the question box should contain a link to whatever the community eventually decides on what constitutes a good question, (perhaps it already does), anyway the big problem is that it will probably be ignored by new users, as the homework link is currently ignored.

  • $\begingroup$ Hah, it's funny, looking at your comments over the last week or so, I had assumed you were CountTo10's new acct. Now I find out I was right, horray me. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ Hi TáMéCeart, I know that it is kind of off-topic here, but I have to ask: what happened? did you feel uncomfortable for some reason? In any case, welcome back! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos There is a joke that the CIA had to lay off people in some Internet survellance departments, they didn't need them, as people were giving away their secrets & identity freely on Facebook. It seems there's nowhere to hide on PSE either: ) I can tell from the opening lines of some answers who the writer is, but with comments: not so much. BTW, the words TáMéCeart mean "I am right " in Irish (Gaelic), but ahem........that has not always been true in the past, and I will try and keep the Kool-Aid in the bottle in future. $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform Thanks very much. I deleted the account because I wanted to lose the rep count, it was giving my answers, to newbies especially, too much weight that they did not deserve. The 11,500 (sigh) was from answers so nobody here lost out. I know my niche on this site, it's to help the informed layman. The science writing answer rather than the science teaching answer, if you follow me. $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 16:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What a most pleasant surprise to see you here again! About a month ago I was rather upset when I realized that you had suddenly left due to some difficult to understand actions by a couple of users here. This also damped my enthusiasm for this site and thus my participation significantly. I have always valued reading your answers very much and I am really glad that you have returned. $\endgroup$
    – freecharly
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @freecharly Thank you very, very much. This site has taught me about physics, (and physicists :) and how to keep my sense of perspective. But I think a nice idea would be if a user was able to receive emails based on certain tags and the title of the question. And THEN visit the site based on responding to an interesting question, rather than spending too much time browsing the site instead of the necessary book study and reading off-line, that is still the backbone of learning, for myself at least. I will reduce my activity here to twice a week. Thanks again for your gracious comment. $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 11:25

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