62 votes
Accepted

Asking questions with out answering any one else’s question

It's fine in my opinion just to ask and not answer questions, and conversely I think it's fine just to answer and and not ask questions. In time you will probably acquire enough knowledge to feel ...
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  • 50.5k
19 votes

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

The vast majority of people who write the most common low-quality questions are not going to read this page at all. I think the people much more likely to read this page are those, especially graduate ...
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  • 115k
17 votes

How to write a good MathOverflow question?

If you ask a question you're asking a favor (the eventual award of MO-points does not change this fact). This means that you should give the public something in return. The formulation of the question ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Should MathOverflow require registration to ask a question?

I do not see how registration will decrease the number of poor quality questions. From time to time I look at MathSE, and the number of poor quality questions there is larger than here, despite the ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Limiting the length of questions?

I'm sorry, but this idea seems completely wrong to me. Not just because 500 characters (less than a comment box) is too parsimonious, but because most questions could actually stand more in the way of ...
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  • 50.5k
11 votes

How to write a good MathOverflow question?

MO seems to be a place where a differential geometer may ask about general topological manifolds, a topologist about algebra, etc. (and everybody would love to ask about logic if they were not afraid :...
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10 votes

Writing a proper MathOverflow question

To write a good MO question, it helps to get into the heads of people answering questions - what attracts and motivates them, and what repels and discourages them. The best way to do that is to try ...
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  • 27.2k
9 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

Let me copy the discussion in the comments of Dominic's linked question. The pre-history of this discussion was Dominic's question posted March 6 6:02, 2018 (all times are GMT+1), followed by ...
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  • 51.2k
9 votes

Should I edit this question or make a new question?

Since your old question has two upvoted answers, I would recommend not to edit it. If you did, the good answers would become non-answers (or only partial answers), which can make the answerers ...
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9 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

The new Custom Ask Advice that is shown to new users is now live. Here is what it looks like right now on the site:
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  • 101
8 votes
Accepted

How to ask the same question with additional hypothesis

It is OK, if you attribute appropriately and you are not a hog about it. Although you can update a question, unless done very carefully, it can invalidate previous answers. One of the times I've ...
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8 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

Let me give some initial suggestion. (I hope that somebody proposes a better version - seeing many well-written posts both on main and on meta, clearly many MO users are able to do so.) I have tried ...
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8 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

Vote up / down if you would / would not prefer to add to Martin Sleziak's proposal some language about cross-posting. Voting for this change does not preclude voting for any other change as well; we ...
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  • 49.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Asking questions later

It doesn't matter when you ask the question. Yes, at 4am US time less people will visit the site, but there are less questions to compete with visibility as well. So deleting and undeleting 'at a ...
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  • 2,611
7 votes
Accepted

How can the question ban be removed:

Let's start again. The OP asks whether this question (which can be viewed at Mathematics) can be asked here, again. (There are two questions that OP asked at MO main that concern the function the OP ...
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  • 50.5k
7 votes

Why MO community forbide me and discourage me to do my research and to post my questions?

It's quite difficult to give an answer to your question. (At least to the part about reinstating the question ban after a positively received question.) One thing is that the algorithm for ...
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6 votes

Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Maybe we could go in a similar way as on Mathematics where the How to Ask page1 is shown to a user who asks their first question. But on Mathematics the How to Ask page is slightly modified to include ...
6 votes

Should MathOverflow require registration to ask a question?

Let me rephrase the suggestion as I see it. The problem: too many undesired questions asked by new users; suggested tactic: require new users to register before asking a question; the post asks for ...
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6 votes

How to write a good MathOverflow question?

A question (or an answer) is an exercise in communication. Thus the well known general suggestions will work most of the time, be it mathematics, prose, poetry, ... (granted that there are exceptions)....
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6 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

We used to have a page about how to ask a question on MO back on MO 1.0 that was quite good. The current one is kinda crap. I would suggest bringing back the old text explaining how to ask a ...
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  • 18.8k
6 votes

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

Vote up / down if you think Martin Sleziak's proposal should / should not be modified to use the phrase "research-level mathematics" rather than "mathematics at graduate level or higher&...
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  • 49.2k
5 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

In my opinion the best way to handle this is usually to accept the trivial answer and ask a new version question containing the correction. My arguments: If you didn't think of the trivial example ...
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  • 27.2k
5 votes

Editing a question admitting a trivial example

Sometimes an interesting question is spoiled because the poster forgets an important detail, or explains it ambiguously. Sometimes there is no mistake, but it simply happens that the first answers or ...
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  • 51.1k
5 votes
Accepted

"Scope" of being blocked from asking

The FAQ post "What can I do when getting “We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account”?" contains the following paragraph: Will a ban on one Stack Exchange site affect my ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Should I add a hypothetic solution of a partial problem in my answer or ask a separate question whether this hypothese holds?

Given that your first answer is already pretty long and full of (nice-looking, but numerous) diagrams, I would personnally prefer a new question with link to the original problem.
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  • 902
4 votes

Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Yes, we should have a page (or a box in the "ask question" page) filled with basic instructions, including "this site is for questions that are non-obvious to professional mathematicians" and "use ...
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4 votes

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

I'd add that the current help page on "What topics can I ask around here?" probably isn't helping. After the bolded phrase mathematical questions related to current research in mathematics ...
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  • 16.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible