Can we ask for help on homework problems we've already turned in?

I’ve a doozy of a problem that I got on a pre-calculus take-home assignment. It was extra credit so I’m not worried about losing points, and I already turned it in today. However, I don’t really want to wait until next week to find out the answer, so can I ask in GQ, or does the rule apply to all homework problems, regardless of whether or not it’s already been turned in?



And how exactly would we know that you’ve already turned in your homework?


How do we know anything that anyone says here is true? For the most part, we don’t. By your “logic” we should ban any GQ questions which might be homework questions, since we have no way of knowing they aren’t.

So, Q.E.D., do you think homework questions should be answered on the board?

Tricky question. But, of course, you knew that when you asked. No, I don’t think we should just GIVE people the answers to their homework problems. OTOH, if someone posts for help with homework, shows an effort at trying to come up with the answer and asks for help in getting on the right track, I have absolutely no problem giving them that help. This case is no different. I, for one, would prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who says they already turned in the homework and just wants verification of their answer. When Qadgop says he’s a medical doctor, I believe him even though I’ve never seen his sheepskin. You want to appoint yourselves the arbiters of truth, you go right ahead. But ask yourselves where the line should be drawn.

So, answer my question: should we ban any questions that MIGHT be homework, since we have no way of knowing they aren’t? If not, then what’s the difference here?

Could Agent Foxtrot present the answer he came up with and ask for verification? I thought the ban – which I support, BTW – was about not letting people use us instead of doing the work.

I think that if a question looks like homework, it shouldn’t be allowed at the board. Like you said, anything might be homework, so it’s up to the moderator to decide what looks like homework and what isn’t.
Clear-cut cases:
the poster says “this is a homework question”
the question is so specific that it’s obviously homework (e.g. the poster doesn’t ask “how do you solve a quadratic equation” but says “what are the roots of 3x[sup]2[/sup] - 27x + 13”)

My answer to the OP would be “wait a week to get your answer in class or post what you think is the solution, along with the steps you took to arrive at your answer, and ask people if they can poke any holes in it.” Of course I’m not a moderator.

Suppose he gave us the problem and how he tried to solve it and the solution he got? Are we allowed to help him check his answers?

Take your example of 3X[sup]2[/sup]-27X+13. He says he applied the quadratic formula, and gives us his answers (I’m way to tired and lazy to work it out right now, plus I don’t know how to code the necessary symbols).

Are we allowed to show him where he was wrong, or to confirm that he’s right?

I absolutely agree with your clear-cut cases. But what about not-so-clear-cut ones? More importantly, why take the default position of disbelieving someone when he saysw “This was homework, but I turned it in already and I just want to know what the right answer was”? That just seems excessively distrusting. Especially since he asked if he could post it first.

It also seems to me that in most cases, if someone wants an answer to a homework question, he can find a way to word it that won’t raise any alarm bells.

Because of board performance it is entirely possible that he will already have submitted his homework, received a mark, graduated, got a job, met a nice girl and raised a family in the time it takes for him to submit his question and receive an answer.

That’s why we have moderators.

If the person has already turned it in, then s/he can show us how s/he answered the question and ask “is this right?”

I wonder why Czarcasm couldn’t have just said that in the first place. I thought that’s why we had moderators, too. To actually give a straightforward and meaningful answer to member’s questions like the one asked here. All the OP wanted was, y’know, an answer. Not a snotty and unhelpful remark.

Where you see “a snotty and unhelpful remark”, I see a straightforward query.

Diff’rent strokes, I guess. Even if you were genuinely interested in the answer, why didn’t you just say what Arnold said, too?

Because I’m not Arnold? :confused:
Believe me, if I wasn’t interested in the answer to the question, I wouldn’t have responded in the first place. My question was a sincere attempt to see if Agent Foxtrot had some specific ideas as to how we could tell if someone had actually already completed their homework assignment.

If you’re saying that it never occurred to you to suggest that, well, ok. I can accept that. It just seemed rather obvious to me. But, you’re not me, either. :slight_smile:

Assuming the official stance is as stated, I’m relatively satisifed.

Just answer the damn question.

The f’ing “college” ain’t gonna sue the reader.


This board is about fighting ignorance. I personally don’t care if the question relates to Harvard University, the College of Lake County, Warren Township High School, Viking Middle School, Gurnee Grade School, or Sarah’s Home School for Adult Illiterates.

If you ask me, this whole ban on homework is bullshit, and I’m very far removed from any and all formal education. (as if you couldn’t tell)
I just think that if we explain how to reach the answer, the reason for the question (ie. homework) should be completely irrelevant.

If you refer back to the OP, the question wasn’t about providing a process that might lead the questioner to the answer, it was about providing the answer itself.

Again, completely irrelevant.

He didn’t even ask the question yet.