Question on Maths Stack exchange are often deleted or put on hold because the questioner doesn't provide thoughts about their attempt to solve the problem. An example is: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/850031/help-me-on-this-math-problem This hold is somewhat justified because it encourages learning.

In other places, however, questions may be put on hold or deleted because users believe that it's plagiarizing. For instance users on this question: Main male character description are contemplating if the question is plagiarizing or not. In this context what information should the user have provided to make their question genuine?

My thoughts: I feel refusing to answer that question because it has the potential to lead to plagiarism is somewhat unjustified. He/She is clear in what they want an answer for, so should they not get it just because some people want to "preach" ?

Is asking for ideas plagiarizing? In that case are we all not plagiarizing, we take ideas from books, movies, people etc. Using the ideas from 1 person is plagiarism, from 10, research, and from 10 000, an original work.

  • Doesn't your last sentence answer your question? If you already have your answer, this comes across as a rant. – user192661 Jun 28 '14 at 14:24
  • Also, the question you link to isn't deleted or on hold. In fact, it has several answers and upvotes. – user192661 Jun 28 '14 at 14:27

I don't see anyone objecting to the question you linked to on the grounds that it would be "encouraging plagiarism". (Indeed, I don't see the word "plagiarism" appearing anywhere on the page, although I suppose it may have been mentioned in comments that have since been deleted.)

What some users do seem to be objecting to is that, at least as originally phrased, the question seemed to come across as if the asker was expecting others to do their homework for them. Not only would this be academically dishonest, but it would also defeat the purpose of the homework — you don't build muscles by asking others to lift weights for you, and you don't build writing skills by asking others to write for you.

That said, the user who asked the question did reply in the comments, claiming that this was not their intent. Furthermore, the question now has several upvoted answers that provide the kind of advice the OP clarified they were seeking, without actually supplying the specific description the homework asked for.

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