Some questions don't seem to have any research or attempt at answering done at all. On How to Ask says:

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Why are questions without any attempt/assumption/research not closed?

Some questions:

You can find other/more results from other search engines too like duckduckgo.com, bing.com...research doesn't have to be limited by google, or any of these search engines

  • It's a slippery slope. Just in your the examples, I agree the first two are lame, but the third is good.
    – user3961
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:51
  • @fredsbend the only reason I mention the third one is the OP says he did research but if the only research he did was in the question that's not much
    – depperm
    Apr 6, 2017 at 20:04
  • I tend to down vote them, and sometimes leave a comment if I am not pressed for time. I have also taken to more often recommending, or flagging for, deletion since we should not reward sloppy, lazy, or trollish questions to steal the limited time we devote to this fine site. Use the tools already at hand: DownVote/Flag/Delete Apr 13, 2017 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


On most sites in the network the criteria for downvoting and closing are essentially completely separate. Only a few sites, like ELU for example, make lack of research a reason to close a question.

This site has neither a high question volume nor is our topic one in which we get lots of homework questions. Our site actually has one of the highest closed questions ratios, but that's because of unscoped truth questions and pastoral care questions, not unresearched questions. If we made lack of research a reason to close questions then we would get very very few questions from new users.

But the main reason why we don't do that is just that we haven't thought it's needed. I'm not aware of any regular users who feel like the site is swamped with badly researched questions. Almost all our questions have answers somewhere else. Many of them have answers that are really easy to find elsewhere. Even for those questions many people in our community feel like they can provide a better, or more succinct, answer than what is out there, so you'll frequently see one answer which is mostly quotes from another source, and another answer which is an original summary or explanation.

So until the community feels like it is continually wasting its time answering questions like that (like the thousands of questions on ELU from people who are too lazy to use a Dictionary) we don't need to connect research and closing questions.

But if you think a question shows insufficient evidence of research please feel free to comment asking the question author to edit it to add their own research, and feel free to downvote it too. This is common and accepted practice.


The tools to hand suit the task/problem

I tend to down vote them (sometimes leave a comment if I am not pressed for time). I have taken to more often recommending deletion, voting to delte when it's in the review queue, or flagging for deletion since we should not reward sloppy, lazy, or trollish questions, or questions that have nothing behind them in terms of basic research, to steal the limited time we devote to this fine site.


Use the tools already at hand to Down-Vote/Flag/Delete, and leave a comment if you think you can encourage someone to put a bit more effort into the question. Use your judgment.

Caveat on comments: neutral tone is good

I added a comment, but it was badly phrased, on a question that a veteran user (brilliant) had posted which I felt showed little evidence of research. That comment, and how it was presented, ended up with us getting a bit crosswise until we eventually sorted out in chat.

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