How to ask a homework question?
- Can I ask a homework question here?
- How do I ask a homework question on this website?
- What information should I include in a question about homework?
- Why don't you provide a complete answer to my question?
Can I ask a homework question here?
There are actually two factors involved here, one is on your end, and one over here on this website.
As a general rule, we do not discourage any specific category of questions, as long as it is mathematical. But please do make an effort to search through the list of previously asked questions. In our experience homework questions are usually not very imaginative, and tend to fall in one of the abstract categories of commonly asked questions. We will close duplicate questions, especially if they are of homework type.
On the other hand, whether your learning institution (middle school, high school, college, etc.) and your teacher or professor allows you to consult other people, or to post the exact question on the internet, is something that is usually addressed by your institution's honor code or rules and regulations, and any specific class policies. You should ask your teacher whether asking a homework question here is appropriate before posting your question.
How do I ask a homework question on this website?
Please use the homework tag. This serves several purposes: the most important of which is to let the answerer know to give an answer that more clearly explains the underlying concepts. In other words, we believe in the "teach a person to fish" philosophy.
Also, please put some work into formulating your question. Please do not just copy and paste the exact question text from your homework sheet. In particular, when you are asking for help, writing in imperative mode ("Show that...", "Compute...", or "Prove or find a counterexample: ...") is at the very least impolite: you are, after all, trying to ask a question, not give an assignment. It also turns many people off.
If you feel that it is somehow just so much more straightforward to copy and paste, then it is generally good real world advice to both quote the question (because you are copying after all) and give a reference to the source (so that others can refer to the context of the question). (For example, if the question is taken from a textbook, please include the title, author, and edition.)
You should also volunteer all relevant information (see next section). It is a waste of everybody's time if someone has to ask for what you should explicitly have given.
What information should I include in a question about homework?
The following are some things that may help your question get better answers, or at least answer more tailored to your situation.
Why don't you provide a complete answer to my question?
We've had another discussion from the point of view of the answerer, and you should see that for a more complete discussion. To quote the accepted answer in that thread, we feel that