I solve physics problems from a textbook that I enjoy. However, I am not a student and my questions are not "homework". I am a hobbyist. Do I need to tag these as homework questions? (I was directed here because this is a meta-question about the site.)
I am not a student and my questions are not "homework". I am a hobbyist. Do I need to tag these as homework questions?
2$\begingroup$ Here are our canonical meta questions about the site's homework policy: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6093 & physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/714 $\endgroup$– PM 2RingMay 17, 2022 at 17:45
1$\begingroup$ I assume you posted this question in response to a comment on this recent question. physics.stackexchange.com/q/708170 You don't need to show what you've tried. In fact, that may make your question look more like the kind of homework question we don't want. But you should tell us your thoughts on the topic, and why the equation doesn't make sense to you. $\endgroup$– PM 2RingMay 17, 2022 at 17:50
1$\begingroup$ I’ve hidden a number of comments that belong on the linked question about physics, rather than on this question about policy. $\endgroup$– rob ModMay 17, 2022 at 21:54
$\begingroup$ @PM2Ring, our meta answer regarding homework (physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/714/…) suggest that you do want to show your work: "The best way to produce a focused, specific question is to show your work." I don't mind answering homework questions, but I do mind doing someone's homework for them. Also, showing what OP has already done lets the answerer know some context regarding what OP knows. Sometimes it's like: how can I even start explaining this since I don't know what you don't know? $\endgroup$– hftMay 18, 2022 at 6:48
$\begingroup$ @PM2Ring But anyways, I guess this question is more about the homework-and-exercises tag, and the answer to that question seems to be: yes tag it if homework-like. Regarding my comment on the original (non-meta) question, I said "You need to show what you have already tried..." but I guess what I should have said is "You need to show what you have already tried, if you want me to help..." $\endgroup$– hftMay 18, 2022 at 6:53
1$\begingroup$ @hft I agree that we need the OP to give us some idea of their current knowledge level, so we can write an answer appropriate for that level. OTOH, answers should be useful to a wide range of future readers, not just the OP. We want to see their conceptual work: the thought processes that they've gone through in their attempt to solve the homework-like problem. If they merely show us a bunch of mathematical work, the question is likely to attract close-votes for being a "check my work" question. $\endgroup$– PM 2RingMay 18, 2022 at 8:23
We don't know if you're a student, and it doesn't really matter to us if you are. Tags are to inform the community about the question. This specific tag tells users that the question is "homework-like".
Some people really like answering homework-like questions. Others really hate it and would prefer to not even see them on the site. If you tag homework-like questions as homework-and-exercises, you make both groups happier and increase your question's visibility to the people who are most likely to answer it.
The point of the homework policy is not to discourage homework questions from students, but to avoid encouraging homework-like questions irrespective of the status of the poster.
Homework-like questions (as opposed to conceptual questions) tend to be very specific in that they tend to have limited use beyond the specificity of the actual question.
Thus, if you feel your question can be worded as conceptual and appeal to the community beyond the specific numbers or setting of the cadre of the example you necessarily need to use, then it’s totally legitimate to ask such questions.