Confusing the ask box for a search boxEdit
Sometimes questions seem more like search terms than questions. This may be because people are used to typing in just the keywords in a "Search" field without unnecessary words filtering down the results. They might not be expecting to actually create questions.
Perhaps the ask box looks too much like a search box.
They are just doing what tends to be the most efficient approach when looking for answers on Google.
If people use the search box, it doesn't submit a question. However, questions added using the Ask bar are submitted as questions as long as they are not single words. Some people do confuse it with a search box, which means the title may need to be rephrased to be an actual question.
Asking questions with obvious answersEdit
Some people ask very simple questions such as "what is 5 + 5?". This is likely because they are testing the functionality of the site. If you see such a question, you can ignore it or answer it. It's best not to leave sarcastic remarks about the question as the questioner won't then get a good impression of the community and want to join it.
Asking questions that can be answered by WikipediaEdit
Often questions are asked that could have been answered by Wikipedia or another reference site.
There could be many reasons:
- They find it difficult to search there.
- The question is general enough that many potential answers are given when searched for.
- They don't realize the information is available on Wikipedia.
- They prefer a personal response to their question from a human.
- They find it fun to ask questions on Wikianswers.
- They want to track which questions they've asked as these show on profile pages.
- They want to be part of the Wikianswers community.
- They just want a short exact answer rather than an answer hidden in a few thousand words of an encyclopedia article.
Other ways this question was asked:
- Why can't people do a little research for themselves, but can post a question here?
- Why do people still seem incapable of understanding the difference between a question and an item name with a question mark at the end?