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I was looking for guidelines, but the best I could find is this. Is there a better statement somewhere?

That was hard enough to find. Perhaps an entry could be put in the help to make it easier to find.

I thought this was a settled issue, but the comments to the answer I linked suggest otherwise. Do we have a consensus? If we are not a homework help site, I would think that we would want to discourage complete answers.

In any event, I think a clear statement in help would give us something to point to as a reason.

addendum: five years later

Is there any change that makes it easier to find the policy on answering homework-like questions? (N.B. answers, not questions)? Five years after submitting this question I still can't find a policy statement. If there is a statement it should be more prominent. We shouldn't be surprised that we see complete answers even from folk who have more than 100 rep. points.

addendum #2

In the help/FAQ section "How do I write a good answer?" please add a paragraph on answering homework-like questions.

addendum #3

"Don't post complete answers to homework-like questions." Is there some reason we don't post that in a location prominent enough that newcomers see it? I seem to be seeing more and more complete answers. Today there's a question with two complete answers. We're becoming an online answer key.

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    $\begingroup$ A request to update documentation is probably more likely to get a response if it's posed as a new Meta question, rather than as an update to a question from five years ago. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Jul 3 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @rob Ok, thanks. I thought the incessant updates might be a squeaky wheel. $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Jul 4 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Re "We're becoming an online answer key.": Part of a system where homework is commissioned on sites like Fiverr (for pay). $\endgroup$ Jul 6 at 22:01
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I was looking for guidelines, but the best I could find is this. Is there a better statement somewhere?

No, what you found is the official, authoritative policy on homework-like questions. You might find a post that explains a particular point of the homework policy more clearly, but in general, that is the best available.

That was hard enough to find. Perhaps an entry could be put in the help to make it easier to find.

You mean like this entry in the help center?

picture of help center

Between this and the fact that this post is linked from every question closed as homework-like, I think we've made it relatively easy to find. If there is a specific situation in which it would make sense to add another link to the post, we can do that, but we'd need more details.

I thought this was a settled issue, but the comments to the answer I linked suggest otherwise. Do we have a consensus? If we are not a homework help site, I would think that we would want to discourage complete answers.

What you don't see is the many weeks of discussion in chat and previous posts on meta that went into crafting that policy. Keep in mind that people who agree with the policy (and in particular, those who were involved in the discussions that created it) have no need to comment on the post. There is a selection bias which makes the comments under the post more likely to oppose it.

We should probably delete those comments as they are very old, and any changes to the policy inspired by the comments will already have been made. (This doesn't stop people from proposing such changes via new meta posts, of course.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I understand, but I'm struggling with an answer not a question. I'd like to point that responder to a specific policy statement, but if there is one, it's hard to find. To where do we direct people who are providing complete answers? There are guidelines directed toward those posing questions, but not for those providing answers AFAICT. BTW, I do appreciate the discussion around the policy. If it sound like I feel otherwise, I apologize. I'm just suggesting an entry in help something like "Guidelines for providing answers." $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Apr 2 '16 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see what you mean. Well, for now, the post you linked is the best we've got. It does mention a bit about what happens to complete answers, but that part of it isn't advertised nearly so well. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Apr 2 '16 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Well, he's offering to delete his answer. Should we suggest that complete answers be deleted? I'll make that a new question. $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Apr 2 '16 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ There is a sentence about deletion in the existing homework policy already, but I suppose that could be emphasized. Do keep in mind, though, that we're working on replacing the homework policy with something new, about low-effort questions. I think it might be better to wait on that new meta question until after the new policy is ironed out. The criteria by which we delete answers to homework-like questions may well be changing. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Apr 2 '16 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any change that makes it easier to find the policy on answering homework-like questions? (N.B. answers, not questions)? Five years after submitting this question I still can't find a policy statement. If there is a statement it should be more prominent. We shouldn't be surprised that we see complete answers even from folk who have more than 100 rep. points. $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Jun 1 at 21:26

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