" Please read the FAQ and post some code. People will assist you here, but you must show real effort first. "

After a few weeks of picking low-hanging fruit questions - ones I can answer quickly - I find to my dismay that I've been pasting the above or similar very consistently ... to the point that I almost asked to have a "gong button" as a feature-request. NO! Now that would be silly, since ctrl-v or command-v is far cheaper :)

And I can imagine that users who've been here longer might skip such questions (?), just hit downvote, or request the question be closed. (See references below.)

I'd like to hear your opinon / feedback, not necessarily just an up or down.

Is it better to:

  • paste the above as an initial comment, giving the user the benefit of the doubt ?


  • downvote and let the user figure out they need to read the FAQ an work harder ?


  • do both comment AND down vote ?

( Forgive me if there is a dup on this rather obvious line of thought. I did search a lot. )



Not a dupe of What respect should we give to arbitrary restrictions in homework questions?

And don't forget The Unicorns of Death (tm):

Please add “homework” to the one-click comment flagging list

  • 4
    did you consider "Needs to demonstrate research" pro-forma comment? "Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you've tried and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer! Also see how to ask"
    – gnat
    Sep 6 '13 at 18:52
  • @gnat - thx - cool ... didn't find the pro-forma post, but did read 'how to ask' --- problem is a novice wouldn't necessarily find that. Useful links! Sep 6 '13 at 18:53
  • 1
    There's a sub-reason of offtopic for this. Sounds like you should be using that. Flag if you don't have sufficient rep to vote to close.
    – Servy
    Sep 6 '13 at 18:56
  • @Servy - yes, understood. These two recent posts exemplified what I'm getting at. In stackoverflow.com/questions/18663608/… the user posted only "what am I doing wrong" or "how do I" ... or similar... Then I posted the first comment ("show us!"), he did so and is now getting an answer with comments. Also there's this one, which may stand as an anti-example :-| stackoverflow.com/questions/18622817/… Sep 6 '13 at 19:04
  • 4
    @HowardPautz I just wish there's a button I could click that meant This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful Sep 6 '13 at 19:27
  • @SomeHelpfulCommenter yes, that's what I was thinking with the "gong button" ... but judging from the mix of up and downvotes even this either-or question is getting, that probably would have nose dived quickly :-P Sep 6 '13 at 19:32
  • I remember a "nuke it button" feature request, where users wanted a single button to downvote, vote to close, and flag all in one shot :) Sep 6 '13 at 19:34
  • 2
    @AdamRackis Sounds like a good user script.
    – Servy
    Sep 6 '13 at 19:34
  • @AdamRackis lol - I'd have nuked a few already. But that also doesn't help the novices who really want help and try when read the Riot Act... yes, yes, they should read the FAQ, or at the very least the "How to Ask" <-it really is pretty EVIDENT. Yet, they might not do so because they're in panic mode - nuking their panic would be one solution, but they'd probably would never know why their question turned into a wasteland... Sep 6 '13 at 19:39
  • 1
    @HowardPautz - Some Helpful Commenter was being sarcastic. S/he was quoting the downvote button's tooltip.
    – JDB
    Sep 6 '13 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Cyborgx37 & @ Some Helpful Commenter DOH! now that IS funny. Just goes to show I need to get out more often and down vote - Never hovered over it long enough to notice. (OK, Helpful One, I'm watching you now ;-P ) Sep 6 '13 at 21:08

I usually post a comment and downvote, but after a while, I get fed up and just downvote and let other people add a comment. As for what to do, a comment and a downvote is best. If there is already a comment explaining the problem, just downvote.

If it's a question that should be closed and you have 3k rep, you should vote to close also.

  • thx Cole - I appreciate the reply as you've got a boat load more rep on SE than I. So, a sort of "oh this is homework" fatigue set in for you? Would a "gong button" be of more assistance ? Sep 6 '13 at 19:35

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