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I asked a question some time back (after the deprecation of the homework tag) that was for homework. I didn't want to write a dorky sentence at the top of my question that said "this is a homework question" .

So, rather than waste text, I added to the body of my question (not the tags). My post was edited pretty quickly - the homework tag was removed and the kludgy sentence was added to the top of my post in its place.

What is the correct/preferred way of signaling that my question is indeed a homework question?

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You really shouldn't be writing anything indicating that it's homework. If I ask a question, it doesn't matter if it's for my job, my personal curiosity, or any other reason. It adds nothing to the actual question and degrades quality (as it's noise), therefore, it shouldn't exist. –  casperOne Oct 28 '12 at 1:51
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@casperOne In general I agree, but there are exceptions. This question, for example, where both answers completely miss the point that the OP is trying to learn something new, and their subjective opinions on the topic are irrelevant. –  Yannis Oct 28 '12 at 4:29
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The homework tag wasn't effective: it was more a kind of insult than something really useful for the asker or the community.

The reason why you'd want to indicate it's homework is normally that you don't want a complete code but some hints and/or explanation. That's not obvious for everybody, so prepend it wit a clear sentence. Moreover, this would be appreciated by users fed up by too many of the unacceptable kind of homework question — "Please do my homework" as compared to "Can you give me some hint?" or "What strategy use here ?".

If you want the same kind of answer given to other questions, don't specify that it's homework, because then it's not relevant. More generally, don't just add "This is a homework question" because this doesn't really mean anything useful. That's noise just like "I'm a noob", "I hope you won't think I'm stupid" or "I spent three days on this problem".

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Write a dorky sentence at the top (or bottom) of your question that says "this is a homework question".

Stop abusing formatting and don't be lazy, you are asking for free help, just write all the relevant information in the question's text.

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Fair enough, I guess. I wasn't being lazy. I just wanted to add as little "noise" as possible to the post so that any reader would have to ignore less text. –  inspectorG4dget Oct 27 '12 at 20:15
    
@inspectorG4dget "This is a homework question" is not that much text. Also, take "don't be lazy" as general advice to every potential reader of this answer, wasn't really addressed to you (typing This is a homework question takes almost as much effort as typing [tag:homework]). –  Yannis Oct 27 '12 at 20:22
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