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Homework on StackOverflow

On SO, people sometimes treat questions differently because they are homeworkish. However, SO is a place to learn. Thus, whether questions are homeworkish or not is not an issue. Why, then, do some people cry "hey this is homeworkish question, close it"?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 10 '10 at 6:42

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marked as duplicate by fretje, John Rudy, Ether, John Saunders, random Mar 12 '10 at 1:15

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Because you don't learn anything when you have others do homework for you. –  Sergei Mar 10 '10 at 6:41
    
@erasmus people in SO wont cry... They are here to give suggestion and not for doing homeworks... –  Oscar Mar 10 '10 at 6:42
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2 Answers

Asking questions related to homework is not only fine, but encouraged. Asking us to do your homework will be met with much deserved distain. I am sure that you can see the difference.

Even then, we like to know because a good answer to a homework questions is one that leads you to the answer; because when you discover the answer you learn it better, remember it for longer, and can use the way of thinking that you developed to learn on your own later on.

That business about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish, 'ya know?

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"Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity." - Karl Marx –  waiwai933 Mar 11 '10 at 4:44
    
Good answer. Also, we like to know when it's a homework question so we can avoid answering in a way that might get the asker in trouble with his professor. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 6 '12 at 21:35
    
In particular, if they're studying a particular technique, the answer may have to use that technique. There's no point in giving an iterative solution if they're supposed to be learning recursion. If the question is "How do I do X using Y?", it's useful to understand whether it's really a requirement to use Y. –  Barmar Sep 7 '12 at 2:13
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because you learn by doing, we complain when someone simply submits the question word for word and then expects the answer without doing anything themselves.

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