Now that the site has graduated, it is attracting a lot more attention from newcomers to Mathematica, as well as frequently receiving migrations from StackOverflow. I suppose I don't have to point out to anyone that some of these questions provide limited evidence of sincere effort on the part of the asker. Fortunately, we seem to be closing a lot of these questions promptly. However, a lot of the time one must choose between NaRQ and TL as a reason for closure, even though, objectively, neither of these options is particularly suitable.
A few of the questions we might like to close are not far from RTFM territory, but many more simply demonstrate a lack of research and (dare I say it) independent thought, in that the answer sought may be little more than a trivial generalization of what is directly stated in the documentation, or the composition of a few simple concepts that are discussed separately in adequate detail. Alternatively, the asker may be an absolute beginner who simply does not know where to begin or hasn't yet arrived at a coherent conceptual model of how Mathematica works.
To be clear, the questions I am talking about are of the type not quite bad enough to warrant a downvote, but where one still has the feeling that not much of any lasting value can be added over what has already been said elsewhere--in the documentation, on this site, on MathGroup, wherever: the point is that a thorough treatment has already been given. Moreover, they are the kind of questions to which anyone with any familiarity with Mathematica already knows the answer without even having to think about it, but where a new user may need a push in the right direction.
A related question was asked by Szabolcs some time ago, but this focused on blatant RTFM cases which most people agreed are not really legitimate questions in the first place. In contrast, I want to concentrate here on those that, while they at least deserve answers, don't really contribute anything to the long-term value of this site. To address Mr. Wizard's suggestions in the other thread:
If the only answer to a simple question is a quote form the documentation[,] ... I think this shows a lack of imagination.
I agree, but some questions by their nature do not call for imaginitive answers. Personally, I usually either answer in the comments or ignore such questions, confident in the knowledge that many others are willing to give an (unimaginitive) answer, perhaps including a simple example at most. The asker will definitely get their answer, but unless someone comes up with something spectacular, or a lot of competing approaches come to light, nobody except the OP particularly cares. If enough people think that a question has no real value, I think it makes sense for it to be closed with a view to eventual deletion.
If the question is really so drab and clear-cut that no other answer is appropriate edit the question into something better, and answer that.
I don't agree with this. Firstly it usually isn't helpful to the poster, who is normally starting out with Mathematica and doesn't expect or want an answer complicated or subtle enough to appeal to experienced users. Secondly, it's difficult to be imaginitive, especially given an uninspiring idea, and in doing so one runs the risk of producing a question/answer that nobody cares about--not even the OP. Rather, I think the question that was asked should be answered honestly and then closed.
I know that at least one other site has an additional reason for closing: "covered in standard sources". (I forget which site this is; perhaps someone else can recall.) This is ideal for both RTFM questions and marginal cases that perhaps aren't addressed verbatim in the documentation but relate to such fundamental concepts that what is needed is not so much an answer but a tutorial (or simply more experience on the asker's part in order to be able to formulate a useful question).
I'd also like another option, for questions so uninteresting that nobody would be sad to see them disappear. I'm not sure what this could be called: perhaps something like "no archival value". But perhaps I'm jumping the gun--maybe most people don't agree that this option should exist at all. If you have any thoughts on this, please add your answer below.
ref/Foo(and the site automatically completes the link structure to match WRI's online ref page)
E[Comment] = I Like This... but I can't plot it