How do we feel about requests for learning materials?

I'm tagging this as and since there was already previous discussion about the topic, but recent events may need further discussion.

The proposal is composed of two changes:

  1. Explicitly add in the help center, on/off topic help pages and tour that we don't like learning material requests.
  2. Add an off-topic reason that specifically address this issue (exact wording could be found in SU/Programers and other SE sites, so we could just copy them).

Do you see the worth in this change? It's necessary? Do you have another idea?

  • 5
    Yes! Please! I feel the most important thing is to specify this on the help pages since we can't expect new users to be aware of the close reasons. Having a dedicated close reason would be great as well, but the help should come first.
    – terdon Mod
    Apr 14, 2014 at 19:07
  • 1
    I'd like something like this in almost all sites I frequent here..
    – vonbrand
    Apr 16, 2014 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Why should we have a specific close reason for this?

Ok, that's the suggestion on Meta Stack Exchange. But I disagree, because this is not a site-specific policy, it's a general thing everywhere on Stack Exchange that tutorial requests don't work.

While none of the built-in close reasons are a perfect fit, I go with “too broad” or “primarily opinion-based” with an explanatory comment.

There is already a help center page: “What types of questions should I avoid asking?

avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”


Constructive subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers


  • Maybe that question should be re-asked but with a "feature request" in MSO, since you got a MSO answer.
    – Braiam
    Apr 21, 2014 at 1:17
  • The point is that requests for learning materials are not explicitly off topic in the help pages. New users cannot be expected to know this and this ignorance can lead to tensions. Stating that such questions are off topic would be useful.
    – terdon Mod
    Apr 28, 2014 at 15:03

This sentence has now been added to the on-topic help page. I don't think a specific close reason is needed, too broad should serve fine.

Please note that requests for learning materials (tutorials, how-tos etc.) are off topic. The only exception is questions about where to find official documentation (e.g. POSIX specifications).

  • That wording looks weird. Instead of not isn't "note"
    – Braiam
    Jun 28, 2014 at 13:45
  • @Braiam Argh! You're absolutely right. That was a typo of course. Luckily, slm has already fixed it. Thanks.
    – terdon Mod
    Jun 28, 2014 at 13:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .