In the following question I actually cannot see a plausible reason to apply the homework policy: Does adding pure water affects Buffer Solution pH? It is a quite basic question and the presented approach is wrong, but overall it seems to fit into the spectrum of allowed questions. There might be a case that the question is better answered by thoroughly studying a basic chemistry textbook, but that should be its own reason I think, or a broader discussion.

Some insight would be nice.

| |
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Well, you can change it to a duplicate of chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/58607/… or chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/32176/…, or maybe there's another. I felt it's more of a misunderstanding with dilution not considering pH of water, that is for me sth of an abomination to be razed from the face of the world :D $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jun 12 at 21:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I agree with Mithoron, this seems a certain duplicate (essentially "what is a buffer" or "how does a buffer work") if not necessarily a bad question in the sense that it is clear and focused. It also seems that if the OP had done appropriate homework (by looking into the definition of a buffer, say) the question would not have arisen. Similar complaints can however be raised against many questions (and numerous ones I have answered), so it points once again to a flaw with the "homework" close option. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Jun 14 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn Since this post is not getting much discussion in the way of the actual question, I don't feel so bad about hijacking the comment thread. What improvements do you think we (as a community -- not the mods) could make to the "homework" close reason? I have a meta post to be made soon about it, with a proposal to change the text displayed in the close vote interface, but that is merely a tiny cosmetic change. Also, apologies if you've written about this before; feel free to point me to an old post / comment if there's one. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jun 16 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Yes, indeed, duplicates, and not a good question; we still need to figure out how to better treat them in way of closing. So I wouldn't have brought this up, if it were closed as duplicate or something else. But since it was closed with the homework reason (and in sight of that other meta thread), we need to figure out how to adapt this, so that the close reason will actually (fit and) be helpful. I know we have had this discussions a few times, but I guess we'll need to have it again. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Jun 16 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol As Martin says, feels like we've been down this road before ;-) Pointing out a problem is easier than finding a solution. Perhaps we should rely more on the duplicate close option and choose the homework close option to target other problems. Many "homework" questions can be argued to be duplicates if enough effort is made to find a duplicate. Sometimes a good match is hard to find and a new post might be justifiable, but we circle back to the question "is it homework?" There is a list of minimal quality criteria, a violation of this should suffice to identify posts for closure $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Jun 16 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Having revisited some of the info available on the homework definition on chem SE I went ahead and posted a separate question. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Jun 16 at 15:17

I agree it is an interesting question.

I voted to close because, in my opinion, it's a combination of an AMIRITE question as well as an invitation for others to explain aqueous acid-base chemistry and the vagaries of autoprotolysis, as evidenced by the comments.

That said, if the approach is not covered in our existing corpus, I would not be opposed to reopening it if the OP digests the comments and reframes the question.

| |
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your insight. This is indeed less about the question itself, and as others have pointed out is likely to be a duplicate, but it is more about that we should be consistent with what we expect, and maybe need to extend on what we don't want. It is basically about the reason that was applied and now to figure out how it was applied, and possibly how to change it so that it covers such cases. So your insight will be very helpful. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Jun 16 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン I know what a sticky wicket this "homework" business is. I appreciate the opportunity to share my rationale, warranted or not. I believe that the issue is usually black and white, but the gray area will continue to be troublesome. I'm not at all sure I have a solution, much less a suggestion. I will, however, ask the community to flex their collective voting muscles when possible, as I and a handful of others remain the arbiters of closure. $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Jun 16 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ AMIRITE questions, despite having a justifiably bad rep on chem.SE, are technically not closeworthy. The old meta discussion we had on it didn't actually lead to a conclusion. Mind you, I'm not complaining about your opinion on this particular question! It's just that... in my opinion, this is one example of why we may want to update some of these guidance to better reflect what the community actually thinks. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jun 17 at 8:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .