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My main issue with how the site deals with 'homework questions' is about assumptions. I am an A level physics student and I never ask homework questions on this site. However I will ask questions about things I am struggling to understand. However these questions are often about basic things I need a greater understanding of but because these are basic questions people instantly assume it's a homework question and there for I get the old 'this isn't a homework help site' and then a homework tag is added, etc. When my question wasn't a homework question but purely a question most on this website would see as basic.

This could potentially drive away people such as myself who are learning physics at not an advanced level but still would like to ask genuine physics questions on SE.

There is lot's of talk on meta about how the 'quality' of questions must be improved which makes it sound like we're trying to push the site into an elitist form where a question has to be a certain level of complexity to be deemed 'high quality'

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    $\begingroup$ So... what are you actually asking? (Also, some examples of the kinds of questions you're talking about would probably help) $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 16 '16 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Please note that we use the word "homework" to refer to any question which asks for a specific calculation to be done. We know this is confusing and we're working on rewording the rules to get rid of the word "homework". $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Oct 16 '16 at 20:49
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I don't understand why you are complaining. I looked at your account. You have only two questions, and both are not on hold and they are answered! Not only that, both are homework questions. Before you yell at me for being prejudiced too, please let me explain real quick.

Both of your questions are looking for answers that are sort of "calculate for me, do my work for me" questions. It doesn't matter whether or not they are actually homework, it is about the type of question they are: "do my work" type problems (which is why we are trying to reformulate the policy, because the close reasons aren't as clear as we'd like). That is why people are asking you to read the homework policy.

Finally, I'm not sure you've quite been on this site long enough to see what sometimes comes up. We get questions saying stuff like "solve this problem" with nothing of their own work. Once, we got a question asking for users to come up with "new and innovative ideas" for a project for school. We get some pretty bad questions. When we say on meta "improve quality of questions" we mean trying to make it more clear that that stuff is not allowed.

It's not about being elitist, or forbidding basic questions. Actually, some of the most upvoted questions might be considered "basic" by a good number of users on this site. Further, some of my questions have been well-upvoted, not closed, and answered, but they've been kind of basic sorts of questions. So the whole elitist thing isn't true at all.

So please, don't go off making accusations without actually considering what is going on. I hope that makes sense, and I hope your future on this site is a tad more pleasant.


At DanielSank's request, here are two questions I've asked that in my mind are simple (especially in their respective areas of physics) questions which are both upvoted and answered. In fact, the first one got 27 upvotes (!) which surprised me.

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  • $\begingroup$ Heather, this is a nice answer. It would be even better with some links to examples of your good but basic questions. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Oct 16 '16 at 20:50

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