I downvoted because

no attempt was made

It appears no attempt was made

We all have jobs to do. It may be homework, or for assigned work at our job. No matter what, it’s our responsibility to get it done. Even when it seems like our task is too hard or we don’t know where to start, it is always worth the effort to at least try.

Why this is a problem

We can’t rely on other people to do our work for us. Asking others to do our work for us can also be seen as rude. If we try for ourselves, we may succeed. If we did try and don’t share our efforts with others, those attempting to help may duplicate our efforts instead of providing a working solution, wasting not only our time but theirs as well. When we have no idea where to start, we must search and research our problem. Researching before asking for help is very important.

Why this is worth a downvote

It can be seen as very rude to ask other people to do our work for us. People will look and see if we made any effort at all, and if they see none, they may look upon us as lazy, and act negatively toward us, downvoting our question and voting to close. Without making an attempt, we may not even know where our real problem lies. People may spend time answering our question, suggesting things that we would have already been able to accomplish, and not things that we truly would have needed help with. This wastes the time of those volunteering to help us, and doesn’t solve our problem at all.

At a minimum, we must research our problem before asking for help. Sharing this research with those who would help us with our question can reduce the effort they must expend to answer it. Describing what we found and why it didn’t help will prevent others from suggesting these very same solutions, increasing the chance we get a correct solution to our problem.

If we have made an effort, but we failed to detail exactly what we did in our question, it can result in duplicated effort on the part of those trying to help us. That’s a waste of their time, and makes it harder for us to get a proper answer.

And, in some cases, our question may itself be a waste of our time. The effort to fix our problem may have been less than to ask the question in the first place! A simple search, a little debugging, and it would have been solved. If asking our question was a waste of our time, it was definitely a waste of the time of people trying to help us.

What to do next

If we have made an effort, we should immediately edit our question to detail exactly what we did. Adding “I googled and found nothing” is not helpful. We should detail what we researched for, and point to any links that were helpful but that did not answer our question. If we’ve tried to code a solution, that should be added in an edit. Our attempts should be turned into a minimal, complete, verifiable example so it is clear to read and understand.

If we have not made an effort, and no one has answered our question yet, we should delete it immediately. Keep the link to the question, as we may need it again. We should go and make an attempt to fix our problem. Research more, and keep track of what we looked for, what we found, and why it didn’t help. We should create a small prototype that isolates our issue. Make one or more attempts to accomplish our goals. If we still cannot find a solution, return to the question. We can edit it and add these details in. Once finished, the question can be undeleted–it has enough information for people to answer it correctly.

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