I recently asked this question. That was a homework problem; the response people gave was very nice, but in one answer they basically solved it for me. That was the most useful answer. I think there is no mechanism such that people are encouraged to use spoiler tags.

Ideally I would like that the person just gives an intuition of the answer and post the solution within spoiler tags. So when I or other people looking for similar questions could have the ability to try it ourselves first.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Robert Longson, Jenayah, Sonic the Anonymous WizHog, Ward, Pierre.Vriens May 16 at 4:33

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • There is already a mechanism for this. You can use >! in front of the text you want to keep invisible until it is hovered over. Making sure that people use spoilers is something else entirely. – Jason Bassford May 15 at 20:13
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    I think Maria already knows how to do spoiler markup, but wants other users to actually use it. – Glorfindel May 15 at 20:15
  • @Glorfindel That's not clear from the question—and you mentioned the same thing in your answer. – Jason Bassford May 15 at 20:16
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  • I agree, @Glorfindel. Furthermore, this question is as clear as day. The close reason is quite a stretch. – Namaste May 16 at 16:56
  • Maria: I would suggest you ask this on the meta site for math.se, being careful to make clear how you can encourage answers which provide hints, using spoilers against which to question your answer. Many folks here (and many of the downvoters) aren't familiar with the use of spoilers in answers, and so "unclear what you are asking" reflects their confusion, not yours. – Namaste May 16 at 17:00

If you want just a hint, not a complete solution, just state so in the question. Other users don't know you want just a hint until you tell them; most users are looking for complete solutions (up to the point where Math.SE has a special close reason for problem statement questions without context, but I digress ...)

I can imagine that there are still users who want to give a complete solution (remember that they're not just answering for you but also for other people who want to know the answer!). For them, you could include a link to this answer which explains how to do spoiler markup (not everybody knows this, it's a rather hidden feature until you see it being used).

Your question only says "How should I think about this?" but that's IMHO too vague. Something along the lines of

Please note: I'm first of all just looking for a hint. If you do want to give a complete solution, use spoiler markup (>!) to hide it. For more details on how this works, see this answer on Meta.

would be fine, I guess.

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    I'm of two minds on this; questions are supposed to help more than one person, so deliberately not solving the problem at the behest of the asker seems to do a disservice to our future readers. – fbueckert May 15 at 20:30
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    @fbueckert Hints can help others too. – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog May 15 at 20:47
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    @fbueckert A description of how to solve a problem, rather than a dump of the code from the question but with some small change to fix a problem, is often more likely to be applicable to future readers. – Servy May 15 at 21:08
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    @Servy Hints and how to solve a problem can be two very different things, depending on who sees it. It can often be just giving a vague direction, describing a step or two, or giving the full explanation of how to solve a problem. I agree that explaining how to solve the problem is going to be more useful than just solving the problem. I disagree that is always what a hint means. – fbueckert May 15 at 21:18

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