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I was reading the meta post on coping with downvotes in which ColleenV made an excellent point about how receiving multiple downvotes warrants a closer look at the post in question.

Earlier today I posted this question, which has since gotten two downvotes (both of which were received after the two edits I made for clarity). I tried examining the question myself but was unable to find anything wrong with it.

As such, I would appreciate any input pertaining to how I could have done it better.

Addressing existing criticisms:
Some criticisms that were received as comments in the question include (1) why I couldn't just use multiple words and (2) that the question was trivial.

I'd argue the first point is not a valid fault with the question because single-word requests are one of the most common topics on this platform and it's not like I was asking for a bizarrely specific concept. For the record, I did provide an explanation as to why I wanted a single word, but the impetus for a question shouldn't impact it's validity.

The user who made the second point apparently did not understand the question as the suggested "obvious" answer was not valid.

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    SWR questions are a very controversial issue on this site. There are users who would happily ban such requests from this site because they think they generally are poor quality questions of quiz-like nature. Anyway one way to improve a question, any question, is to show your research by adding links to dictionaries explaining why your findings don’t answer your question. In your case you could google “from scratch” and look for synonyms and see what the results are. – user067531 Jun 3 '18 at 6:10
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    Well, the points you are making now, if included in your original post, would have helped understand the nature of your question and possibly attracted less objections. Always show your “research efforts” and explain why they didn’t bring the results you are looking for. BTW, I am personally in favour of SWR questions. – user067531 Jun 3 '18 at 6:30
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    The question is appropriate as long as you post your research. The fact that a number of user don’t like SWR questions doesn’t make them off-topic and as a matter of fact SWR questions are regularly posted. – user067531 Jun 3 '18 at 6:45
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    Downvotes and misunderstandings are just part of the game. Don’t feel too frustrated about that. You don’t need to. – user067531 Jun 3 '18 at 6:46
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    @Zachary "Also, to be honest, I suspect it was a single user who used a secondary account to downvote my question (and upvote the comment posted by the main account) because the 2 downvotes (and comment upvote) happened almost simultaneously." If you believe that's the case, custom mod flag it and ask for an investigation because that's an abuse. Otherwise, better not to assume anything. – Andrew T. Jun 3 '18 at 7:52
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    @Zachary moderators can't, but they can escalate the issue to SE staff to investigate further. – Andrew T. Jun 3 '18 at 8:17
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    @AndrewT. Then it's not worth it. I do believe that it is true because (1) two downvotes and one convenient upvote occured way too close for me to believe it was a coincidence and (2) I really don't see why anyone (other than the user) would upvote the comment because it--to be frank--was a really bad answer. But just because I believe it doesn't mean I think it's worth the moderators', SE staff's, and my time. If it is true then I feel sorry for that person. If it's not true then there's nothing to say. To be honest, I already feel stupid enough letting such a small thing affect me so much. – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 8:23
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    @Mari-LouA Thank you for your input! Just a few things: (1) I agree that providing some evidence of research is a good idea, but I don't see why a user has to provide the reason for SWRs. You don't question a user asking about, say, the etymology of a word why they want to know that, right? If the question doesn't interest you (generic you, of course) or you don't see why someone would want to ask it, just ignore it because that doesn't automatically make it a bad question. – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 12:58
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    Sometimes a word does not exist but we often get similar requests e.g.: I need the word that means "the niece of my ex-husband's youngest sister-in-law" and also "What's a single word for feeling disappointed but happy at the same time?" A human and natural response is to ask "why?" :) – Mari-Lou A Jun 3 '18 at 13:06
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    @Mari-LouA (2) Just to clarify, are you saying that my question was very clearly off-topic (Your explanation, which by the way, I think requests for naming things (programming) is off-topic, was very clear.)? Because if that's the case, I never asked for a name in the question; I just asked for a single-word verb that means "to do from scratch". In fact, I no longer need it for whatever I was doing, but I still want to ask the question out of curiosity: for such a ubiquitous concept, is it really the case that there isn't a single lexeme for it? And it turns out there is: bootstrap! – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 13:07
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    @Mari-LouA I agree that it's natural to ask why, and I'm not saying people shouldn't ask, but I don't think it should be a requirement either. I mean the same goes for etymology questions, right? Most people asking about where a word comes from wants to know for the sake of knowing, so why can't the same apply to SWRs? – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 13:09
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    @Mari-LouA "I need to label ..." is the impetus behind my asking for the word, not the question itself. And that is why I didn't include it in the original question; it doesn't add to the question but detracts from it (the last thing I want is people giving me camel case terms or other naming suggestions)--I just want to know if there's a word for what seems to be a very common concept. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the reason naming requests are frowned upon is because they're too personal and others don't benefit from it. But my question was phrased as a general SWR. – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 13:16
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    @Mari-LouA I think there's a misunderstanding. First, I'm not using the term in anything related to computer engineering; I'm using it in a paper on educational policy (or "was using"--I've gone with something else). Secondly, dictionary.com defines it as a non-technical term meaning "to help (oneself) without the aid of others", even providing this example: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college. Thirdly, as I mentioned to another user, it doesn't matter if the term isn't widely known; if we're only allowed to use terms at least 80% of people know reading would be so dry :D – Zachary Jun 3 '18 at 13:26
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    @Zachary - RE: to be honest, I suspect it was a single user who used a secondary account to downvote my question (and upvote the comment posted by the main account) because the 2 downvotes (and comment upvote) happened almost simultaneously. I rather doubt that’s the case. There have been plenty of times I downvoted a question shortly after someone else left a comment that echoed my thoughts, and then I upvoted the comment as well. That seems more likely than a sockpuppet doubling one individual’s wrath. – J.R. Jun 3 '18 at 20:53
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    @Zachary - I think you're being paranoid. How do you even know when the second downvoter got a look at the question? It could have been right after you made your comment. Beside, Jim (the only person with an upvoted question on your comment) has been here for like 7 years. Based on past contributions, I'd be shocked if he was involved in some kind of petty play like that. – J.R. Jun 3 '18 at 22:56
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All the following points are very good advice, follow these tips and your question should be "safe" and always appreciated.

SWR questions are a very controversial issue on this site. There are users who would happily ban such requests from this site because they think they generally are poor quality questions of quiz-like nature. Anyway, one way to improve a question, any question, is to show your research by adding links to dictionaries explaining why your findings didn’t answer your question.

the points you are making now, if included in your original post, would have helped understand the nature of your question and possibly attracted less objections. Always show your “research efforts” and explain why they didn’t bring the results you are looking for.

In your case, you could google “from scratch” and look for synonyms and see what the results are. @user3850720

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