Stolen from this meta.physics.SE thread by @ChrisWhite

As per this blog post, the close system has been overhauled. Some of the changes are that:

  • not a real question,
  • not constructive, and
  • too localized

will no longer be reasons for closing, replaced instead by

  • unclear what you’re asking,
  • too broad, and
  • primarily opinion-based.

Furthermore, it appears off-topic will now include sub-reasons for closing. As I understand it, this will include a site-specific standard list of reasons, though any close-voter can write in their own wording for that particular question (which will be subsequently turned into a comment).

What will our list of default off-topic reasons be? Is there a network-wide starting list of reasons, or do we need to come up with something from scratch? In either case, it can't hurt to discuss amongst ourselves what would be best for this site.

In general, what is not covered by the three new reasons (plus duplicate, which is still in place)?

In particular, I think we use the now-obsolete too localized reason for closing copied-and-pasted homework questions. Certainly none of the new options seem to address that, so perhaps we need a we-don't-do-your-homework-for-you off-topic category.


1 Answer 1


IMO, the only one we need is the homework close reason:

Our policy expects homework and homework-like problems to have some effort put into them, and deal with conceptual issues. Please edit your question to explain what you have tried and highlight the concepts.

(proposals for alternate wordings encouraged)

We may want a non-mainstream-chemistry one (yes, that exists), but IIRC we've only had one post (deleted posts: 2k users only) of that type so it may not be necessary.

The Stats.SE one is also nice:

Homework questions must seek to understand the concepts being taught, not just demand a solution. For help writing a good homework question, see: [How should we deal with obvious homework questions?.]

  • $\begingroup$ With the consent of our other moderators, I'll edit this into the system in a few days if it gets votes. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2013 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Cross Validated has a good phrasing of it. I like yours better, though. Maybe something like "Please edit your question to include your initial reasoning about the problem and at which step you are getting stuck" $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Jun 26, 2013 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca :) How about [...] highlight the concepts, as well as where you are getting stuck? $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2013 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca Also, note: It takes two moderators to approve a custom off topic reason. (And don't activate the non-mainstream one, that was just a test) $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2013 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ I like that, but I'm not so sure "highlight the concepts" is clear to someone for whom English is not their first language... $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Jun 26, 2013 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca We can remove that part, for that matter; it's already listed in the beginning of the sentence. Yeah, the Cross Validated wording is quite nice. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2013 at 14:24

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