This is a proposal to add the following new close reason.

no prior research/work
The question refers to a complex problem where the asker has shown no evidence of prior research or work.


Recently, Stack Overflow has been victim to a lot of questions where students post full homework questions or employees basically post complete assignments without showing any sign of prior research or work (give-me-the-codez). Right now, those questions are being closed as not a real question but that reason seems not specific enough.

  • 11
    Recently? really?
    – juan
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 15:49

5 Answers 5


"Not a real question" looks to cover it.

If you want to drill down as to why they're wasting other people's time (except for those users who enjoy posting shots in the dark/full answers to homework) then leave a comment as to why it's not a real question.

  • They never understand those comments only get angry. Many don't even understand what is wrong with them abusing the community.
    – user136634
    Commented Mar 19, 2010 at 8:45
  • 1
    I agree with @Developer Art. How about renaming it to "Not a reasonable question"? Even better, presenting new users getting several closed questions with a page explaining what they're doing wrong.
    – moinudin
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 12:39

I think it is a great idea.

This close reason will tell them baldly what was wrong with their question. Some will adapt their asking strategy the rest will leave. Everything will be fine.

Leaving comments seems to only help on occasion. Most seem to sincerely believe the community is there to compensate for their laziness.

In general, I believe it's important to help everyone and not scare people away from our great community. As they say, no question is stupid. Somebody may lack experience, knowledge or even the basic understanding necessary to compose a meaningful question. It should not be a problem, everyone has its own learning path.

But when I see something like "Hi need help how send email from java pls help send me the codez [email protected]" I treat it as spam. Good chance somebody won a project on rentacoder for $15, has no skills to do it and wants to combine code pieces provided by helpful people. Close & delete.

  • 2
    I agree too. It would save me writing a comment every time I vote to close these questions. Since it is mostly N00Bs who I could see them thinking "Not a real question? Of course it is a real question!" and missing the point entirely.
    – JohnFx
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 13:36

Note that we updated not a real question a bit, so I think it covers:

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

Additionally you can make a pretty good case for too localized as well

This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

Mix to taste.


I often post a question without doing any work to find the answers!

However I only do this if I can come up with a title that is clear.

  • I then start to look for the answer and update the question with the progress.
  • Sometimes someone else know the answer and quickly types it in.
  • Sometimes I find the answer and post it as the answer.
  • Often my work looking for the anser and refining the question, leads to a good question that gets a good answer sometime later.
  • 1
    "I then start to look for the answer and update the question with the progress"... Really? It's not worth your (or everyone else's) time to formulate the question properly at the start?
    – Basic
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 0:44
  • @basic, Mostly, if I know how to ask a simple question, then Google gives me the answer. At least 50% of the process is often refining the questions in response to comments and the early answers. Often someone that know the answer understand the problem better than I do while asking the questions. Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 10:03

I don't agree that we should close them. While I do agree that some questions show little research, and I myself don't like that and usually avoid those questions, we should not close them for that, because it could still be useful for other people. And usefulness for other people should be the main concern when closing a question.

If the question is, on top of poorly researched, not likely to be useful for anybody else, then it should be closed as too localized.

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