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    I'd like to see a little more motivation in questions. I'd have a different approach to answering if the questioner said "I need this for my thesis" as opposed to "I was just idly wondering about this". Sometimes, especially when I write one of my long answers, I do wonder how likely it is that someone is going to read all of that so knowing how important the question was would help me decide whether or not to just give a short "This is basically cohomology operations" versus a long essay including a full biography of Frank Adams. Knowing that, I'd be more likely to answer questions since I'd be able to answer some quickly.

    What do others think?

    I agree, encouraging as much background and motivation as possible is desirable.

    What can we do?
    * mention this in the FAQ
    * comment and upvote when we see it happening
    * nag and complain in comments when there obviously needs to be more
    * edit questions to put it in
    * answer with motivation, even if you're not answering the actual question
    * make a good example by doing it ourselves...

    Not entirely sure which of these is the most efficient route to the world being perfect.