I think this question was incorrectly put on hold:

For the reaction A<----->B + C

The reason given was: "Homework questions must demonstrate some effort to understand the underlying concepts."

Not only did the student demonstrate effort, he also demonstrated enough understanding to properly calculate the value of Q. He posted the question in part to determine if his calculation was correct.

One commenter on the post itself said the question wasn't sufficiently clear, but to me it was certainly clear enough to answer. Perhaps the concern was that it wasn't posted in a way that it was clear enough to act as a resource for future students. But that's often the case with student questions on this site.

Further, given the question had already been asked and answered, what is the purpose of subsequently putting it on hold?


1 Answer 1


Regarding the question itself, I saw it yesterday, and I agree that it should not have been closed, so I have reopened it.

In cases like these, a substantial edit can and will go a long way towards reopening. I would encourage everybody to do this as a first step towards getting the question reopened (or equally, preventing it from being closed!).

This question, although well-formed in its essence, could do with some rephrasing. The title is not helpful. The image could be typed out as well. And there is quite a bit of extraneous text, like the opening sentence of "So I was doing this question of assertion and reasoning". All this takes around perhaps 5 minutes to do.

Regarding closing after an answer is given: although the most obvious purpose of closure is to prevent answers, there are probably several other minor purposes which one could come up with. For example, it shows future visitors what the site guidelines are. It is also one of the few ways in which askers can get direct and unambiguous feedback on their questions. Also, if something is off-topic, it is off-topic, whether it has gotten an answer or not. Although none of these may apply in this case (by virtue of the close reason being wrongly applied), it holds in a general sense.

  • $\begingroup$ As proof: I've edited the question pretty thoroughly, which took exactly 6 mins (the time between this answer and this comment). $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ I think there should be an option, for those putting it on hold for clarity reasons, to say something like "On hold until the question is edited for clarity." That would avoid the miscommunication of saying "Homework questions must demonstrate some effort to understand the underlying concepts." Is there an option for this and, if not, is this something that can only be added at the SE level? I ask because I don't have experience with Chemistry SE review queues. $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 0:11
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @theorist if the question is truly unclear, then there is an unclear close option. The issue then becomes one of whether people choose the correct close reason. It's one that we've debated a number of times on meta... My general feeling is that for the most part, most question closures are OK. Some of these inevitably end up being inappropriate, because the close reasons are inherently subjective. (Of course, further discussion is always welcome.) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ Rather than seeing the majority close reason, I think it would be helpful if, when a question is closed, all the reasons, and the number of votes cast for each, were displayed (this could be anonymized to remove user names). This would give a more accurate picture of the thinking that led to it being closed (thus improving transparency) and, in particular, avoid giving the misimpression that there was uniform agreement on why to close when in fact there was not. I gather this information is currently not accessible until one attains "see close vote" privileges. $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, I don't remember what normal users can or cannot see. I imagine it is tied to the privilege, although somebody else may correct me on it. Anyway, I don't like being defeatist, but there is nothing we can do about it. It is one of the more popular feature requests on meta.SE, but the reply has always been "no". $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 0:57

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