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Every question marked as "homework-like" will be pointed to How Do I Ask Homework Questions on Physics Stack Exchange. There are a lot of opposite opinions under the highest answer. Why do we still apply the current homework policy?

I have never posted my homework on Phys.SE, but my questions were sometimes marked as a homework and even downvoted. This situation makes me frustrated. I usually spend hours to search an answer before posting the question. I even asked ChatGPT for help when it was available. No matter how I worked hard to find an answer before posting the question, once some experts feel my question is trivial or simple my question will be closed. This culture is a little bit toxic.

The answer of the post I linked mentioned we should ask teacher, classmates etc for simple question (how to define simple? Lagrangian is not simple to high school students). It assume everyone is a undergraduate student on physics. That is not true. I graduated in computer science. If I have the resource mentioned in that answer, why I have to come to Phys.SE to use a language which is not my native language to ask a question?

We can see there are many comments with different opinions. Do we consider refer to Stack Overflow where seldom downgrades a question to make Phys.SE more inclusive to everyone who are not expert?

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    $\begingroup$ The word "simple" does not appear in the answer to the post you link; the reason we close homework-like questions has nothing to do with them being "simple" or not. I don't really understand what you're arguing against here: What gave you the impression that "experts" close your questions if they "feel [it] is trivial"? $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ @IvanaGyro I wholeheartedly agree. The no “homework policy” questions is especially hurtful to us self learners. $\endgroup$
    – user310742
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ Just to be clear: I voted to close not so much because it was a homework-style question but because this was blatantly “check-my-work”. This type of calculation is done in a multitude of textbooks so I do not see how it profits the site to ask for a check of elementary algebra. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind If the question is not simple and not homework indeed, why it was marked as homework-like? We seem to use "homework-like" to mislabel the questions and to contain too many different concepts. For example, you can see someone thought we accept homework which doesn't fit into the concept of "homework-like"! I had some questions closed due to being "homework-like" but no more information. I don't know who closed it, don't know why and don't know how to fix it. The two links shown with the label are rough concepts, not practices. There is no way to follow. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ If a question is too narrow, please label it "too narrow", not "homework-like" or "check-my-work". Why not set these hints as the label? $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ Your latest post says you're getting information from your professor, so it's kind of weird to tell us you don't have a professor in this post, while also telling us you do have one in your other post. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Kyle Kanos Not every professor have time to reply to students' question, and also not every question asked is related to my course. You were trying to say I lied and my problem doesn't exist. All your assumptions are not true. Not only me but there are also a lot of learners who is hard to get answers from the real world. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Kyle Kanos Not every professor have time to reply to students' question, and also not every question asked is related to my course. You were trying to say I lied and my problem doesn't exist. All your assumptions are not true. Not only me but there are also a lot of learners who is hard to get answers from the real world. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanaGyro Little late to the party, but your message resonates with me. I'll gladly give this and your former post my upvote! Who knows, if this comment doesn't get deleted and some newer users see it, your votes just may rise out of the negatives :) $\endgroup$
    – Bongo Man
    Commented Jun 5 at 17:12

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There is in fact massive consensus for closing most homework-like questions. The most recent expressions of this consensus are found in this post and this post.

Every so often someone complains about this and the community overwhelmingly reaffirms the general policy that this is not a site to get help with homework or checking work of others. Indeed one closing reason is for "homework-like question or check-my-work question": both reasons are in support of the policy. If these questions are not closed the site will be rapidly taken over by people asking for homework help, when there are already sites specializing in this.

This does not make the "homework" tag useless, nor does it mean all homework questions should be disallowed. However, some tend to forget that posting a good question is actually quite hard.

If the specific case of this post, it is difficult to believe that you spent "hours to search an answer before posting the question" since this is discussed in very many textbooks. Nevertheless, I will take your word for it, and suggest that next time you are in this situation, insert details of your search, such as "[this textbook] approaches this problem in this way , whereas [that textbook] solves the problem in that way". This will provide additional context to your question and will make it easier to pin down the conceptual problem you are facing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Homework does not fit homework-like. What is "homework-like"? If there is no concrete rule, we are building a world everyone judges and punishes (the question can not receive an answer anymore) others by their subjective opinions. I don't know what's the problem to see homework. On Stackoverflow, which is the first site of StackExchange, people are not afraid of homework, even more, OPs post their questions with the title "I have homework..." Replying "homework does not fit homework-like", if I tag all my questions with "homework", will my question prevents from "homework-like" label? $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ "since this is discussed in very many textbooks": People have problems because textbooks are too hard. Many textbooks mention the content doesn't mean OP didn't spend hours on those textbooks. You imagined an assumption that people are lazy, and wrongly assume people whose native languages are not English feel easier to write question than reading resources. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ "since this is discussed in very many textbooks": People have problems because textbooks are too hard. Many textbooks mention the content doesn't mean OP didn't spend hours on those textbooks. You imagined an assumption that people are lazy, and wrongly assume people whose native languages are not English feel easier to write question than reading resources. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ @IvanaGyro with due respect: I do not assume people are lazy and have not used such words. You are fixated on “homework-like” whereas in the same sentence “check-my-work” is on par with homework-like. If you find textbooks (plural) too hard (and it does happen!), then I again I recommend you highlight where in the textbooks you get lost so people can pinpoint your conceptual difficulty. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ I encourage you to check the excellent answers to this question: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/14274/36194 $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Not like doesn't mean to close. Everyone has the right to ignore any homework question. I don't see any helpful thing in your link. I only see people using downvotes to express they dislike the person wanting to make a change. The rules always work like an aggregator aggregating people who loves the rules and "be empowered" by the rules. If a question is not clear, just label it "not clear" instead of "homework-like". The intention to ask others to prove their effort in an online question is a kind of power. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ Why am I fixated on “homework-like” whereas in the same sentence “check-my-work”? Because they always show together when someone's question is closed. It's impossible to distinguish between them. Rules are there. If you also feel "homework-like" is not a problem, let's remove it. And the community can focus on the rule about the "check-my-work". If we don't remove the rule, someone, not you, is still using "homework-like" to judge questions. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanaGyro with due respect, these answers are clear. If you want help with a homework question, go elsewhere unless you have a conceptual problem. We can certainly agree that, in your case, the question was of a “check-my-work”variety, which this community also rightfully chooses not to answer as checking for errors in individual calculations is profitable for the site. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ again with due respect, looking at how the community votes on your and other related questions, it seems clear that indeed the policy of closing homework and check-my-work question is the one that the community favours. I made it clear that not all such questions are automatically closed, and the tag is valuable as there are good questions in this category. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, you are correct. You just reflect what I claimed: "the rules always work like an aggregator aggregating people who love the rules and "be empowered" by the rules." The people who didn't survive under the rule left this site as you expected. I am not surprised at people's intent to vote you up. The person arguing to make a change is me. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your time in discussing this kind of periodical complaints. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ or maybe (just maybe) most users actually like that the site is largely free of homework-like and check-my-work questions. Maybe the reason you like this site rather than others is precisely because it’s a good resource where the focus is on conceptual problems. [Aside: you are unlikely to be banned based on your question history.] $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ It is interesting. You feel I am unlikely to be banned. But I actually have been banned twice. 15% of my questions were banned. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry this might be semantics but users are banned, not questions. I am not a moderator and cannot see if you have previous bans, but this could be because of deleted posts. I highly recommend you not delete questions (or answers): there’s a secret algorithm to evaluate the contribution of community members and deletion counts against you. Much better to edit or seek help via the hbar chat forum (to which you have access), and try to get your question reopened. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:56
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The Stack Exchange is designed to be run mostly by its members. As soon as your site reputation reaches 3000 you can vote to close questions, to leave them open or to reopen closed questions.

Although the site has some general principles about homework questions, as discussed in the question you linked, every site member can vote to close, leave open or reopen as they wish. There is no obligation on individuals to vote in a specific way.

So the simple answer is that your questions are being closed because that's how the site members feel about them. Or at least, it's how the site members who can be bothered to vote feel about them. The sad reality is that only a few of us care enough about the site to vote regularly.

I had a look through your questions and as far as I can see only one of them has been closed:

Why the first-order derivative is missing when composing a Hamiltonian of simple harmonic oscillator by the lowering and the raising operators?

I personally wouldn't have voted to close this as I think there is educational value in questions like that, but then I have only one vote (like all site members). However I see you did get your answer and have now resolved the problem so it has worked out OK.

I am reluctant to criticise anyone for voting to close questions because we get a deluge of blatant homework questions and it's a significant amount of effort for the few dedicated site members to go through the review queues weeding out the questions that really should be closed. If sometimes questions get closed when they shouldn't that's an unfortunate side effect of those few dedicated site members having to review a lot of questions. The fix is for more people to get involved with reviewing. Remember that ultimately this site works the way you want it to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank for answering. About my questions, in fact, I deleted some and re-posted to make them open, so you just see the most recent marked question. One question deleted by me got an answer by a journal articles in ten years. It is a hard question indeed, but it was recognized as a homework, and I failed to reopen it by editing. I don't have enough knowledge to answer unanswered question to get 3000 points now (I guess even I get 3000 point, I still cannot change the culture.) I will keep going if I haven't been wiped away. Thank for replying me. $\endgroup$
    – IvanaGyro
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ Just for your information: deleting a closed question and reposting it is considered bad form. More than once, when someone noticed that a question pops out several times in a row, they warn about it in comments or when the question is flagged, and the usual result is another closed question (and the corresponding user being remembered for this). It's better to edit your original question, as this can trigger a vote-to-reopen. $\endgroup$
    – Miyase
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ @IvanaGyro Looking at your account, you have only 2 deleted questions in total, and only one of them was closed before you deleted it. The only other question of yours that was closed for being homework-like (and then quickly reopened) is this one. I am thus confused about your claims that you deleted/re-posted several questions or that your questions are often closed. What are you talking about? 3 questions closed out of 15 is not a lot, really. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 14:37

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