It appears no attempt was made
There’s work to be done, whether it is homework or an assigned task , the person to whom it was assigned is expected to complete it. Even if it seems the task is too hard or there isn’t a clear starting point, an effort should be made.
Why this is a problem
Asking other people to complete a task as if they were assigned it in the first place is seen as rude. Putting forth the effort to attempt solving a problem, even if the attempt is not successful, results in new knowledge and experience that can’t be had otherwise. If an attempt was made but the details of that attempt were not provided it may result in answerers duplicating effort, which is a waste of everyone’s time. If there isn’t a clear starting point to even attempt a solution, this indicates that more research is required before the question should be asked.
Why this is worth a downvote
It can be seen as rude to ask others to complete tasks that are not their responsibility. If a question fails to demonstrate that effort was put forth to find a solution before being asked, it may be down-voted or closed because of this. Questions lacking effort tend to be hard to answer since it takes work to identify where the problem is. Questions lacking details lead to unhelpful answers which fail to address the core issue. Such answers waste the time of both those asking for help and those seeking to provide it.
If effort has been made but is not detailed in the question, those who try to answer it are likely to duplicate effort, wasting their time and making it less likely that a proper answer is given.
In some cases, simply asking the question may be a waste of the asker’s time. Many times the research and effort required to properly prepare a question results in the asker finding the solution with less effort than would have been required to get the answer by asking a poorly-researched question. A simple search, a little debugging, and it would have been solved. And if asking the question would have wasted the asker’s time, it certainly would have wasted the time of anyone who tried to answer.
What to do next
If an effort was made, edit the question to detail exactly what was tried. If research was done, adding this research in the question makes it easier for the question to be answered. Describing what was found and why it didn’t solve the problem helps to prevent others from suggesting these same solutions, increasing the chance that a satisfactory solution is provided quickly.
Stating that nothing was found when “googling” is not helpful. Instead, list search terms used and include links to anything that seemed helpful but did not solve the problem. If a code solution was attempted, edit the question to include it. Attempts should be turned into a minimal, complete, verifiable example to make it easy to understand.
If no effort was made before asking the question and noone has yet attempted to answer the question, save the link to the question and delete it immediately. Edit the question and describe the effort to attempt to find a solution. Do some research, documenting what research was done, what was found, and, if it didn’t solve the problem, why. Create a small prototype that isolates the issue. Make at least one attempt at implementing a solution.
If the solution still proves elusive after taking these steps, return to the deleted question using the saved link. Edit it and add the details of the research done and solutions attempted. Then undelete the question. It now has enough information for people to quickly provide helpful answers.
Leave a comment!
Once you have done this, leave a comment to the person who sent you this link. They will be happy to retract their downvote.
Did this page help you?
This website is here for everyone’s benefit, most importantly yours! If this did not help you, or if you would like to leave feedback, please create an issue regarding this page on GitHub, or submit an improvement directly.