We close questions because they cannot or should not be answered:
Duplicate: we don't want to answer the question because it's already been asked and answers before.
Off-topic: we don't want to answer because the question is outside our area of expertise, so answers cannot be trusted.
Unclear: we can't answer because the it isn't clear what the question ...
(This issue has also been reported on the main meta.)
The off-topic list is different depending on whether you have more or less than 500 reputation, which is the threshold between flagging and closing. The list contains:
Reasons defined by site moderators. We have two: one that notes specifically “Questions about software development or programming tools ...
Any "this is homework" close reason must include something along the lines of "shows no work." "Unclear what you are asking" is fine, but in that case it should have an alternative of "Unable to find out where OP's problem lies" (or something such; I'm no native speaker).
The close reason “not a real question” was too broad and unclear. Bringing it back would solve nothing. It isn't any less confusing than applying the current “unclear” to problem statements that are clearly presented but where we don't understand what kind of answers are expected.
The guidance about “unclear” does explain that case (“add additional details ...
We all agree that questions about homework problems are fine, as per our policy. We have been quite rigorous about closing questions that are problem dumps -- homework, self-learning or whatever.
The usual process is:
Comments of the form "What have you tried? Where did you get stuck?"
Some close votes, mostly "unclear".
Sealing the close with e.g. the ...
I disagree with this proposal on the grounds that a new close reason seems unnecessary. Perhaps this isn't a very creative answer, since it's calling for what amounts to the status quo, but hear me out.
First, despite our homework policy (which, granted, may not be visible or intuitive enough for new members), questions which appear to be homework questions ...