The question I have in mind is something like this "Is this plan of university life appropriate", where I describe my current conditions as a student, and then describe the "outline of my life" in university including things like what to do about have little work experience and how to become a researcher etc.

By appropriate, I mean the following:

  • Is this a question on topic for this site?
  • Is it likely for me to have unbiased, constructive answers?
  • Would no amount of information be enough for a good answer?

1 Answer 1


This question would almost certainly be closed if you posted it exactly the way you described. However, you might be able to modify it in such a way as to make it on topic while still getting useful answers.

First, you have to ask a specific, focused question. You can't just ask for general feedback on your life plan. See "Here's my situation, any suggestions?" is not an answerable question for details. You should also avoid asking a question that is very broad, e.g. don't ask "How to become a researcher?"

You would have to make sure that you aren't asking more than one question in the same post - otherwise it will probably be closed as "too broad". For example, if you ask "How can I get a job as an undergraduate research assistant in physics given my lack of physics coursework?" and "Will undergraduate research experience in physics help compensate for a lack of relevant coursework in graduate admissions?" in the same post, you should split it up into separate posts, since those questions have independent answers. See Write one question per post or more information.

Then, you'd have to extract the fundamental situation in each post that isn't specific to you. From the help center:

Can I ask questions about my specific situation?

You should not ask "a question that will help only me," but rather "a question that will help people like me." If your question is so limited as to be useful only to you, consider broadening the scope so others can learn from your question as well. As a general rule, if you're asking about a particular institution, course, or journal, it's likely your question is too limited in scope. Try to extract the fundamental question from the specific problem at hand.

So, instead of asking "Can I get into Harvard astronomy PhD with a 3.21 major GPA but As in biology and physics?", you would ask something like "Do good grades in other science fields help compensate for a poor major GPA?" Also see Think about how to make your question a useful ongoing resource for the internet.

Finally, you'd have to make sure not to ask questions that depend very much on the regulations of your particular institution, the requirements of graduate programs you plan to apply to, or your own personal preferences. Otherwise your question would be closed with the following reason:

The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others.

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