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I've had a couple of questions where a comment has been made about not having done enough research. For example this one: Does the USA have more than 2 political parties (Democrat, Republican)?.

If the questions is answerable by looking through a couple of artices on Quora (after sorting through the fluff) on wikipedia should it not be asked here.

Guidance on Questions

Is your question about governments, policies and political processes?

We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed.

Provide details. Share your research.

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If you go to Google and type in

Does the USA have more than two political parties?

On the first page of results, there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States which lists more than two parties. That's why people are saying that it lacks research.

Of course, that search also has results suggesting that the USA does only have two political parties. If you had come by after doing that search and asked why the apparent dichotomy, that would have been a stronger and potentially more interesting question. In my opinion. Of course, then it might be closed as a duplicate of this question which has answers addressing that.

Note: I have not voted on your question one way or the other, so I can't explain any of the actual downvotes.

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Research is not so much a requirement of asking questions as it is a tool that you can use to make your questions as high in quality as possible. Focus on asking quality questions. You can research as little or as much as you want so long as the result is a quality question.

Here are some pitfalls that research helps you avoid:

  • If your question is a duplicate, or if it's very easy to look up, then your question is not very useful because it is obsolete. If you do research before hand, you can often find your answer without even needing to ask here. If an answer that does nothing but quote Wikipedia is sufficient, you know you failed on this point.
  • If you're unfamiliar with the basic premise behind your question, then it might not be very coherent research can help you ask a more meaningful question, and it can also help you preemptively address clarification questions that people will leave int he comments.

Your goal is to avoid those 2 pitfalls, and whatever level of research accomplishes that is fine.


On the flip side, if you cite research that is not crucial to the question you're asking just to prove that you're somehow worthy to be asking, that doesn't help your question. In fact it makes it less focused.

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