It's long overdue that I make this post revisiting our policy on "check-my-work" questions. These are questions, often (but not necessarily) homework-like, that present a complete mathematical or logical derivation and ask whether it's correct.
Historically our homework policy has rendered check-my-work questions off topic. However, we're currently in the (very long) process of revisiting that policy. According to the poll on homework close reasons (answer 1, answer 2), the community seems to be generally in favor of keeping such questions off topic, although not obviously so.
It was brought up in a chat session a while ago that perhaps people would support making only certain kinds of check-my-work questions on topic. When deciding whether a given check-my-work question is on topic, we might take into account factors such as
- the level of the question (basic or advanced)
- how much prior research the asker has demonstrated (have they tried asking colleagues?)
- whether they have a reason to believe they have made a mistake at all
- whether they have an idea of what the mistake might be
and others to be suggested.
So the point of this question is to resolve the issue for whenever our homework policy gets revamped.
Should any kinds of check-my-work questions be on topic?
If so, how do we distinguish the on-topic ones from the off-topic ones?