Most of the time when people ask Homework Related questions they are put on hold.They ask for our work on the question. Sometimes we all face the situation that we don't even know how to proceed further in a question and its impossible to show working in such cases. Why most of the people don't understand it and put our questions on hold? I think it would be better if they just give some hints to proceed and not even the entire answer .


Note that showing your work has barely nothing to do with the on-topic-ness of the post. If the question is off-topic, it will be closed whether you show your work or not. Some people tend to suggest OP to show their work because that might lead to a conceptual question, if one exists within the post (at least implicitly). But this is not an official policy: it might help, but in general it does not.

If your question is closed as off-topic, make it on-topic by turning it into a conceptual question (such that it will be useful to a larger audience, that is, to other users not working on the exact same problem as you).

If you see someone else's question closed as off-topic, don't suggest them to show their work - that rarely helps. Instead, link them to some of the manifold posts here on Meta where the on-topic-ness of homework questions has been discussed. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Dont you think that they must just ignore that instead of putting it on hold or close so that someone else may help! $\endgroup$ – DarkSideofPhy May 17 '17 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ Hi @HocusPocus 1) who are "they"? note that most close votes come from standard users like you and me, not from the mods. 2) can I ask you what do you think the purpose of closing questions is? why would a particular question get closed? to what end do people vote to close questions? $\endgroup$ – AccidentalFourierTransform May 17 '17 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ @HocusPocus If it is off-topic, it should not be ignored; it should be put on hold. We don't really want someone else to come along and help. That help is also off topic by answering an off topic question. From a learning perspective, you could argue it doesn't help the person asking much; because it just feeds them solutions. Even more importantly, it does not help this site. By allowing people to answer these questions, it gives more incentive for people to come here with them. This leads to even more off-topic questions; which we obviously do not want. $\endgroup$ – JMac May 17 '17 at 21:22

This is not a site for providing homework help. Fundamentally, that's why a lot of homework questions get closed. If your immediate reason for asking a question is that you are trying to solve a problem on a homework assignment (or contest, exam, review, any sort of educational exercise) and you want help getting to the solution, this is the wrong place to be asking. We've decided on this policy because there are plenty of other homework help sites there already (we try to keep a partial list), because low-quality homework questions tend to drive away a significant fraction of the experts who we really want to participate in this site, and because the question-and-answer model of Stack Exchange is not particularly well suited to actually helping most people who are working on homework-like problems.

Now, we can't always tell whether someone's motivation is really seeking homework help. We've tried to make some more concrete criteria that allow people to tell (with some accuracy, hopefully) whether this is the case, and that's why you'll see all this discussion about showing work and asking conceptual questions. But at its core, the reason for the hostility to homework questions is that we are not in the business of helping people in that way.


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