Inspired by this question on meta.cstheory.SE. The post at meta.Tex.SE is quite impressive.

We often leave generic comments to OP and answer posters such as: "if this is a homework, please add a tag," and such. Can we make this post a community wiki and add a big list of standard comments? Let's annotate the usage cases, so other users and copy-and-paste whenever applies.


As usual on meta, (down/up)vote if you (dis/)agree.


Update: To facilitate copy & paste, if your comment contains links and/or formatting, please enclose the whole text between single inverted quotes: `...` i.e. verbatim like this.

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The one used often for homework is in here. –  J. M. Aug 17 '12 at 4:29
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I think it is basically the same idea as given in a different discussion some time ago: CFV: Proposal for standardized meta-comments, to avoid main-site meta discussions. It received plenty of upvotes, but nothing was done. –  Martin Sleziak Aug 17 '12 at 5:58
    
I've added some comments I've been using. (And by doing that I've also given some examples of situations, for which I consider such comments comments useful.) I thinks it goes without saying that other users should feel free to change them or even rewrite them completely. (It is implied by the nature of CW, but I wanted to stress this. Be bold!) –  Martin Sleziak Aug 17 '12 at 6:37
    
Perhaps we could modify some of the templates given at cstheory. I went through their list and at least these situations appear at our site, too: "Question lacks motivation/background", "User crossposts a question on multiple sites", "User posts answer as comment", "User posts a question that is off-topic but may be on-topic on another site". –  Martin Sleziak Aug 18 '12 at 6:34
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I suppose a link to the AutoReviewComments script would also be useful here. –  Ilmari Karonen Apr 25 '13 at 13:38

17 Answers 17

Welcome to MSE

This is a comment Arturo used to add to questions of relatively new users:

Welcome to math.SE: since you are new, I wanted to let you know a few things about the site. In order to get the best possible answers, it is helpful if you say in what context you encountered the problem, and what your thoughts on it are; this will prevent people from telling you things you already know, and help them give their answers at the right level. Also, many find the use of imperative ("Prove", "Solve", etc.) to be rude when asking for help; please consider rewriting your post.

Welcome to math.SE: since you are new, I wanted to let you know a few things about the site. In order to get the best possible answers, it is helpful if you say in what context you encountered the problem, and what your thoughts on it are; this will prevent people from telling you things you already know, and help them give their answers at the right level. Also, many find the use of imperative ("Prove", "Solve", etc.) to be rude when asking for help; please consider rewriting your post.

Of course, this should be customized for the particular post. In particular, the examples of imperative words should come from the question itself. And you could throw in a sentence saying "Titles should be informative".

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It's not the imperative as a grammatical device that's rude -- the standard style of written mathematics uses imperatives all over the place. What is rude is writing a question that looks like it consists only of a verbatim quote from an exercise sheet with no thought of the asker's own to go with it. But the fact that such quotes usually contain imperative verbs is completely incidental. –  Henning Makholm Nov 21 '12 at 14:03
    
@HenningMakholm Feel free to rewrite and improve the template - that's why it is CW. (And I should also say that I agree with your point.) –  Martin Sleziak Nov 21 '12 at 14:27
    
It would be impossible for me to rewrite the comment here without making a lie of the attribution to Arturo. But if you can find something Arturo wrote without the ridiculous, misleading comment about imperatives, I would be all for replacing this with it. –  Henning Makholm Dec 16 '12 at 12:28
    
@Henning Something like this? (I am not entirely sure that Arturo was the first person to use welcome comment similar to above, but at least I have seen him using it plenty of times.) –  Martin Sleziak Dec 16 '12 at 12:47
    
I have removed the part mentioning homework tag. I had some doubts whether I should include link to How to ask a homework question? instead. –  Martin Sleziak Aug 9 at 21:52

How to write math

This might be added as a pointer where to find help:

For some basic information about writing math at this site see e.g. here, here, here and here.

For some basic information about writing math at this site see e.g. 
[here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/5020/), 
[here](http://meta.stackexchange.com/a/70559/155238), 
[here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1773/) and 
[here](http://math.stackexchange.com/help/notation).

Sometimes this explanation can be added if a post was TeX-ified by other MSE users:

Some MSE users tried to improve your post using TeX (for better readability). Please check whether these edits did not unintentionally change the meaning of your post.

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Accepting answers

After you ask a question here, if you get an acceptable answer, you should "accept" the answer by clicking the check mark ✓ next to it. This scores points for you and for the person who answered your question. You can find out more about accepting answers here: How do I accept an answer?, Why should we accept answers?.

After you ask a question here, if you get an acceptable answer, you should "accept" the answer by clicking the check mark ✓ next to it. This scores points for you and for the person who answered your question. You can find out more about accepting answers here: [How do I accept an answer?](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3286/), [Why should we accept answers?](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3399/).

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More descriptive/informative titles

Please, try to make the title of your question more informative. E.g., Why does $a<b$ imply $a+c<b+c$? is much more useful for other users than A question about inequality. From How can I ask a good question?: Make your title as descriptive as possible. In many cases one can actually phrase the title as the question, at least in such a way so as to be comprehensible to an expert reader. You can find more tips for choosing a good title here.

Please, try to make the title of your question more informative. E.g., *Why does $a<b$ imply $a+c<b+c$?* is much more useful for other users than *A question about inequality.* From [How can I ask a good question?](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/589/): *Make your title as descriptive as possible. In many cases one can actually phrase the title as the question, at least in such a way so as to be comprehensible to an expert reader.* You can find more tips for choosing a good title [here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/10144/).

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This question is of insufficient quality (Template arose from this thread)

If necessary, this can be preceded by Hello, welcome to Math.SE.

Your question is phrased as an isolated problem, without any further information or context. This does not match many users' quality standards, so it may attract downvotes, or be put on hold. To prevent that, please [edit] the question. This will help you recognise and resolve the issues. Concretely: please provide context, and include your work and thoughts on the problem. These changes can help in formulating more appropriate answers.

Your question is phrased as an isolated problem, without any further information or context. This does not match [many users' quality standards](http://goo.gl/mLWc8), so it may attract downvotes, or be put on hold. To prevent that, please [edit] the question. [This](http://goo.gl/PlJyVQ) will help you recognise and resolve the issues. Concretely: please provide context, and include your work and thoughts on the problem. These changes can help in formulating more appropriate answers.

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That template appears to still be in the process of editing and discussion, under the posting by Lord Farin. If LF does not incorporate the new suggestions it is likely there will be a separate thread to finish the edits. In addition to the comment text editing, there is either a plan or an undisputed request to have the "This" link eventually point to a "how to post good question" meta question and not to the "how to post homework question" that currently exists. –  zyx May 7 '13 at 8:31
    
@zyx I edited a link to the other thread and included your comment about the ongoing discussion. Feel free to improve this community wiki post here once you have reached an agreement on the other thread. –  Julian Kuelshammer May 7 '13 at 9:08
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I have the feeling LF might be tired of making edits on this constantly, so having a CW thread could make sense to let whoever wants to influence the text. It is potentially going to be used on thousands of questions. Then update this answer when it converges. –  zyx May 7 '13 at 9:18
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I was indeed tired for a few days; back now. The comment has gone through five successively smaller edit rounds. With two weeks of time to assess it having passed, I doubt there will be many people requesting further changes to it. IMO, the only thing that is still pending is a "good question" meta post. –  Lord_Farin May 7 '13 at 10:10

Multiple questions in one post

Please, post only one question in one post. Posting several questions in the same post is discouraged and such questions may be put on hold, see meta.

Please, post only one question in one post. Posting several questions in the same post is discouraged and such questions may be put on hold, see [meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/6464/posting-multiple-questions-as-one?).

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We can type this much every time we need to.:) –  Mr.ØØ7 May 7 '13 at 17:30

Similar to How to write math by Martin Sleziak, but a little more focus on the fact, that one self has edited a post.

Welcome to math.SE: I have tried to improve the readability of your question by introducing Tex. It is possible that I unintentionally changed the meaning of your question. Please proofread the question to ensure this has not happened.

Welcome to math.SE: I have tried to improve the readability of your question by introducing [Tex](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/5020/). It is possible that I unintentionally changed the meaning of your question. Please proofread the question to ensure this has not happened.

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Tags that are frequently used incorrectly

The tag is intended for questions about ordinary differential equations, there is a separate tag for s; see the tag-wiki and the tag-excerpt. (The tag-excerpt is also shown when you are adding a tag to a question.)

The tag [tag:differential-equations] is intended for questions about ordinary differential equations, there is a separate tag for [tag:pde]s; see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/differential-equations/info) and the tag-excerpt. (The tag-excerpt is also shown when you are adding a tag to a question.)

The tag () is intended for questions about limit theorems in probability theory and not for questions about determining limits of sequences or functions, see the tag-wiki and the tag-excerpt. (The tag-excerpt is also shown when you are adding a tag to a question.)

The tag ([tag:limit-theorems]) is intended for questions about limit theorems in probability theory and not for questions about determining limits of sequences or functions, see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/limit-theorems/info) and the tag-excerpt. (The tag-excerpt is also shown when you are adding a tag to a question.)

The () tag is for questions about representations of integers as sums of squares, see the tag-wiki and relevant discussion on meta.

The ([tag:sums-of-squares]) tag is for questions about representations of integers as sums of squares, see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/sums-of-squares/info) and [relevant discussion on meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/12411/what-is-the-tag-sums-of-squares-intended-for).

The tag () is supposed to be used for questions asking about exercise books and problem books, not for any question concerning exercises, see the tag-wiki.

The tag ([tag:exercises-and-solutions]) is supposed to be used for questions asking about exercise books and problem books, not for any question concerning exercises, see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/exercises-and-solutions/info).

The tag () is for questions about software designed for checking formal proofs or assisting with writing them, see the tag-wiki. It is not intended for all questions which are about proofs of theorems.

The tag ([tag:theorem-provers]) is for questions about software designed for checking formal proofs or assisting with writing them, see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/theorem-provers/info). It is not intended for all questions which are about proofs of theorems.

The tag () is intended for questions about proof theory as a branch of mathematical logic, see the tag-wiki and relevant discussion on meta. It is not intended for all questions related to proofs.

The tag ([tag:proof-theory]) is intended for questions about proof theory as a branch of mathematical logic, see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/proof-theory/info) and relevant [discussion on meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/11195/the-proof-theory-tag-is-misused-too-often). It is not intended for all questions related to proofs.

The tag () is supposed to be about finite sums (see the tag-wiki.) The tag () is for infinite series.

The tag ([tag:summation]) is supposed to be about finite sums (see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/summation/info).) The tag ([tag:sequences-and-series]) is for infinite series.

The tag () is intended for questions in a branch of mathematics called algebraic geometry (see the tag-wiki.) The tags () and/or () should be used for basic problems that involve both algebra and geometry.

The tag ([tag:algebraic-geometry]) is intended for questions in a branch of mathematics called algebraic geometry (see the [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/algebraic-geometry/info).) The tags ([tag:algebra-precalculus]) and/or ([tag:geometry]) should be used for basic problems that involve both algebra and geometry.

An integral domain is a commutative ring with no zero divisors. The tag () should be used for questions about such rings, not for questions about integration.

An [integral domain](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_domain) is a commutative ring with no zero divisors. The tag ([tag:integral-domain]) should be used for questions about such rings, not for questions about integration.

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Welcome/LaTeX help/Homework question

Something like this is useful when a new user asks what is almost surely a homework question without formatting anything into LaTeX.

Welcome to math.SE! Please consider taking the time to read the faq to familiarise yourself with some of our common practices. In addition, this page should give you a start at learning how to typeset mathematics here so that your posts say what you want them to, and also look good. As this question appears to be homework, please consider reading this page for information about asking effective homework-related questions. Cheers!

Welcome to math.SE! Please consider taking the time to read the [faq] to familiarise yourself with some of our common practices. In addition, [this page](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/5020/8348) should give you a start at learning how to typeset mathematics here so that your posts say what you want them to, and also look good. As this question appears to be homework, please consider reading [this page](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/1803/8348) for information about asking _effective_ homework-related questions. Cheers!

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Be cautious with creating new tags

From FAQ about tags: Try to avoid creating new tags. Instead, check if there is some synonym that already has a popular tag. It's not easy to keep balance between too specific tags and not having enough tags, but it is always good to search first and to ask yourself, whether newly created tag is not too specific. (Of course, you can disagree with the removal of the tag you've created, and there is possibility for further discussion, if needed.)

From [FAQ about tags](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/107/faq-for-math-stackexchange/128#128): *Try to avoid creating new tags. Instead, check if there is some synonym that already has a popular tag.* It's not easy to keep balance between too specific tags and not having enough tags, but it is always good to search first and to ask yourself, whether newly created tag is not too specific. (Of course, you can disagree with the removal of the tag you've created, and there is possibility for further discussion, if needed.)

The first part of the comment seems to be sufficient in cases when retagging or removal of tags is clear-cut.

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Formatting of title to limit usage of vertical space

Some -- especially new -- users employ display math mode (using $$ delimiters) and other TeX commands (e.g. \dfrac, \displaystyle) in their titles. After fixing this, the following comment can be used to explain one's actions.

I have changed the formatting of the title so as to make it take up less vertical space -- this is a policy to ensure that the scarce space on the main page is distributed evenly over the questions. See here for more information. Please take this into consideration for future questions. Thanks in advance.

I have changed the formatting of the title so as to make it take up less vertical space -- this is a policy to ensure that the scarce space on the main page is distributed evenly over the questions. See [here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/9730) for more information. Please take this into consideration for future questions. Thanks in advance.

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Meta-tags are not supposed to be used standalone

Big-list:

should not be used as a standalone tag; see tag-wiki and meta.

[tag:big-list] should not be used as a standalone tag; see [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/big-list/info) and [meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/2498/the-meta-tags).


Reference-request:

should not be used as a standalone tag; see tag-wiki and meta.

[tag:reference-request] should not be used as a standalone tag; see [tag-wiki](http://math.stackexchange.com/tags/reference-request/info) and [meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/2498/the-meta-tags).

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I would suggest that, rather than using this comment, you should simply add one or more appropriate tags unilaterally. –  Nate Eldredge Feb 26 '13 at 16:36
    
@Nate I think that it might be helpful (especially to inexperienced users) if the reasons for retagging are explained in a comment. –  Martin Sleziak Feb 26 '13 at 16:41
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...or, if not in a comment, then at least in edit summary. –  Martin Sleziak Feb 27 '13 at 6:51

Do not use titles consisting of TeX only

Please do not use titles consisting only of math expressions; these are discouraged for technical reasons -- see meta.

Please do not use titles consisting only of math expressions; these are discouraged for technical reasons -- see [meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/8891/title-and-latex).

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Making user aware of monthly/daily quotas

I've noticed that you have asked quite a few questions recently. I wanted to make sure that you are aware of the quotas 50 questions/30 days and 6 questions/24 hours, so that you can plan posting your questions accordingly. (If you try to post more questions, StackExchange software will not allow you to do so.) For more details see meta.

I've noticed that you have asked quite a few questions recently. I wanted to make sure that you are aware of the quotas 50 questions/30 days and 6 questions/24 hours, so that you can plan posting your questions accordingly. (If you try to post more questions, StackExchange software will not allow you to do so.) For more details see [meta](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/4770/).

Of course, sometimes it might be better to be more specific. (E.g. "I've noticed that you've asked 10 questions in last 3 days" or something similar.)

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Please convert comment to an answer

@... Please consider converting your comment into an answer, so that this question gets removed from the unanswered tab. If you do so, it is helpful to post it to this chat room to make people aware of it (and attract some upvotes). For further reading upon the issue of too many unanswered questions, see here, here or here.

@... Please consider converting your comment into an answer, so that this question gets removed from the [unanswered tab](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/3138). If you do so, it is helpful to post it to [this chat room](http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/9141) to make people aware of it (and attract some upvotes). For further reading upon the issue of too many unanswered questions, see [here](http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/143113), [here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/1148) or [here](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/9868).

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Write a good question: please add context

This comment seems to get a better reception in the fortnight or so I (LF) have been using this than the "insufficient quality" version, and is considerably shorter. I haven't used the "insufficient quality" blurb since I wrote up this one (mainly to reflect the new close reason).

Please read this post and the others there for information on writing a good question for this site. In particular, people will be more willing to help if you [edit] your question to include some motivation, and an explanation of your own attempts.

Please read [this post](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/9960) and the others there for information on writing a good question for this site. In particular, people will be more willing to help if you [edit] your question to include some motivation, and an explanation of your own attempts.

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New users who do not have enough reputation posting comments in the answers section

Welcome to Math.SE! This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation, you can comment on any post.

Welcome to Math.SE! This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have [sufficient reputation](http://math.stackexchange.com/help/whats-reputation), you can [comment on any post](http://math.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/comment).

New users posting another question in the answers section

Welcome to Math.SE! This does not provide an answer to the question. You should ask a separate question about your concern if you provide some background and formalize it as a mathematical problem.

Welcome to Math.SE! This does not provide an answer to the question. You should ask [a separate question about your concern](http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask) if you provide some background and formalize it as a mathematical problem.

Adapted from 40 votes' comment.

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I often see this comment posted, and don't understand why it is posted when most of the generic message is usually not relevant to the "answer" being commented on. I find generic messages especially off-putting when they are largely irrelevant. –  Jonas Meyer Aug 8 at 0:54
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@JonasMeyer I think it does not come from these templates, but from the Low Quality queue dialog for answers. It's true that the comment is often not applicable at all. Perhaps some reviewers don't realize that "no comment needed" is a perfectly good option. –  Thursday Aug 8 at 0:56
    
@900sit-ups: That is helpful, thanks! I haven't yet familiarized myself with all of the reviewing mechanisms. (Off-topic: I was really surprised to receive a reply to my comment so quickly by someone other than the post owner. How did you do that?) –  Jonas Meyer Aug 8 at 1:01
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@JonasMeyer One of my Chrome extensions for SE is Comments in Sidebar: I see all recent comments on the site in the sidebar. On the main this is usually useless, on meta this is often irritating, but also helpful -- for example, when SE developers tracking bugs seek clarification on ancient bug reports from users who are no longer active. –  Thursday Aug 8 at 1:04

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