Why was the question How does ph depend upon temperature closed for lack of details/clarity?
I had no problem understanding the original question, but it was poorly written, so it received downvotes.
I thus edited to it to make it clear. Even after this, it continued to receive downvotes, and thus was ultimately closed for insufficient details/clarity. I don't understand why my edited version was judged to lack these.
I thought I made the question quite clear. And I don't believe it needed any more details to be understandable beyond what I supplied. It's actually a really simple question: Increasing temperature yields two competing effects, and the OP wanted to know which one wins.
The criterion for insufficient details or clarity is: "As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking". So, as I've edited it, how is it hard to tell exactly what's being asked?
Granted, I didn't use very sophisticated language in rewriting it — I kept it deliberately simple — to try to stay true to the "voice" of the OP. But I don't believe that made it unclear.
Finally, the site explains that one of the purposes of having close votes is to encourage users to edit that question to improve it, so it meets site standards. But what's the point in doing that work if the evaluators are going to close that question anyways for seemingly non-applicable reasons?
Thanks for everyone's comments and explanations. It helps to understand the thinking that underlies these close votes.
I. A couple of responders said they viewed the question as lazy b/c the OP didn't put in any effort on his own. I would say there are two aspects to effort:
1) Coming up with the question. 2) Trying to answer the question.
With this question, I acknowledge there was no effort made with respect to #2. But the reason I decided to answer it anyways is because there was effort with respect to #1.
Most student questions on this site aren't novel -- they're from students having the usual confusion about the subject. This question was different -- it was from someone who was putting effort into going beyond the standard material (relative to his or her level). I.e., rather than just accepting that [H+] increases with T in pure water, s/he noted that water (yes, above 4C) expands with T, and that this expansion would tend to reduce concentration. I.e., it was from someone who was trying to put effort into thinking more deeply about the subject, rather than just the usual, "this doesn't make sense to me, can you help me understand it..."
That's why I decided to reward it with an answer, in spite of the lack of post-question research effort. And that's why I think this puts the OP's effort into a gray area.
II. Some responders mentioned they thought not specifying constant-p, and T>4C, made the question unclear. I think those are red herrings. I think it was implicit in the question that those were the conditions, since the OP was referring to a regime in which water did expand with T, and in which water could expand.
Given this, I don't think their absence made the question less clear; rather, it made it less technically precise. If I were writing the question myself, I would have specified the conditions precisely; but it wasn't my question, it was a student's question, and some latitude needs to be given for a lack of technical precision. And as I said, I tried to rewrite it in that student's "voice". I believe that, if the student knew enough to specify the conditions that precisely, the student would have been at a level where s/he wouldn't have needed to ask that question in the first place.
To give a concrete example, there are several questions on the site about the van 't Hoff equation and $\Delta$H. Many of them don't explicitly specify that the reaction conditions are constant T and p (which are needed for the van 't Hoff equation to be valid), and I'd be surprised if more than a very few also specified that the system is closed (another necessary condition, which I might not bother to specify myself, since this is implicit from the fact that we're talking about equilibrium). Does this mean the question is unclear?
Finally, I suspect if you went back through questions to which you yourself have given answers, you will sometimes see an equivalent lack of precision in specification of conditions (indeed, I often find that those answering questions don't precisely specify conditions).