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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Just what is the Fluther policy on homework questions?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) September 15th, 2010

Are there any official policies forbidding it, or does most of the community simply refuse to do it? What will Fluther help with, and what won’t it?

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13 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Homework Questions
Feel free to ask for help on your subject, but simply posting your homework question verbatim and expecting an answer is rude! We’re not here to do your homework for you.


Seek's avatar

We’ll help, but we don’t answer for you. That’s what your mom is for.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@hawaii_jake So do questions asking for the answer straight out get modded? If users give the answer, are they modded?

wundayatta's avatar

The way I look at it, it’s mostly a custom. There is nothing explicit about the custom. If something smells like homework, there will be people who will sneer at it and tell the questioner to go to hell (only much more politely). There may also people who answer the question. It all depends on the individual.

There have been times when I have answered such questions because I thought they were interesting, even though others were complaining it was a homework question. Other times I’ve expressed my annoyance at the question.

I say ask the question, and don’t take it personally when people get on your ass. If you, in addition, say it’s a homework question, and ask for what help you can get without violating people’s ideas about what “doing” your homework consists of, I think most people won’t even blink an eye about it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@papayalily : I don’t know the answer to that. I suspect, however, that a moderator will be along momentarily to tell us…

Where is augustlan when you need her?

Seek's avatar

@wundayatta Has it there – oftentimes being honest about it is the best policy.

As for the helping vs. answering, there’s a big difference between

“The difference between Ionic and Corinthian columns is: A. Corinthian columns have lotus-shaped capitals B. Ionic columns are not fluted C. Corinthian columns have acanthus leaves on the capital.”


“My Humanities teacher is killing me with the eighty billion different kinds of columns. Is there a simple mnemonic device to help me remember which is which?”

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr D. A Corinthian column will kill you instantly if it falls on you, while an Ionic will let you suffer for a few seconds ;)

Seek's avatar

(Actually it’s the acanthus leaves thing, but I’ll let you go this time. I will never forget which column is which. Thank you, Mr. Eckstein!)

augustlan's avatar

@hawaii_jake Here I am! I see that you’ve already posted the official policy up there ^^. Thanks for that. :)

This is how the policy plays out in practice:

If the question is outright asking us to do the actual work or provide the actual answer, we remove it. If it’s asking for help, we let it stay. If a member provides the actual answer, we remove it. If they offer help, we let it stay. Of course, this is all assuming it’s been flagged or we happen to see it.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan It also assumes you know it’s a homework question and that you, the moderators, know the correct answer.

gasman's avatar

The official posted policy states: Feel free to ask for help on your subject, but simply posting your homework question verbatim and expecting an answer is rude! We’re not here to do your homework for you.

Now, as someone who likes to answer math questions, this sometimes poses a dilemma. Oftentimes the questioner is genuinely stumped on how to proceed to tackle a problem, and while it’s easy to just say, “Do your own homework and leave us alone, you lazy, clueless parasite!”, I think it’s perfectly justifiable and appropriate for me (the answerer) to completely work through certain problems, showing all steps for at least one of them, with the expectation that the questioner will thereby learn by example and be able to answer similar problems comprising the rest of their assignment.

Some Q&A sites are overly supportive of doing others’ homework in this manner (AnswerBag comes to mind—where kids routinely dump whole boatloads of homework assignments so they can go off & play video games while others toil at their work). Fluther, on the other hand, is IMHO a little too unreceptive—even hostile—to homework support.

I try to at least work a problem partway through, sometimes stopping short of the final answer. As they say in math textbooks, “the details are left to the reader as an exercise.” Other times I think a complete solution is necessary in order to help the questioner. As always, a good question makes its intentions clear and a good answer relies on judging what’s appropriate for the question.

Gamrz360's avatar

This is posted right out of the guidelines.
“Feel free to ask for help on your subject, but simply posting your homework question verbatim and expecting an answer is rude! We’re not here to do your homework for you.”

augustlan's avatar

@gasman I completely understand what you’re saying. Particularly with math problems, it’s an issue. What I’d like to see is you substituting different numbers when you work through a whole problem. Giving an example, but not the answer.

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