In this question, the author clearly states they are asking because they don't know the answer and it's part of their homework for school. I love to answer questions when I can, but should there be any kind of "ethical" or "moral" standard to what should or shouldn't be answered? It seems kind of shady to help someone cheat. I'm sure it happens more often, but when the admission is in the body of the question, that's a different story.

I'm no high-ground holier-than-thou type, but it gave me pause and thought I'd ask what the community thought.

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    I'd prefer that questions were treated on their own merits. Punishing a user for who they are or why/how they ask it detrimental to building good content. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 0:12
  • The OP claims to have checked Wikipedia: "Wow, I actually read the summary on Wikipedia for additional details," but missed the relevant bit they were searching for and upvoted the Wiki answer. This does not seem like good content, but I do take your point. The two SE's I'm most active on rarely mention that it's for homework; I'd imagine that math/science stacks encounter this with more regularity. The OP could have at least said "thanks for doing my homework." ;) Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 0:59
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    Yeah, but if it's a bad unresearched question then it's a bad unresearched question no matter why he was failing to do the research. And since General Reference is no longer a thing, I believe that means you should downvote and move on. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 1:42
  • I didn't even downvote, I was just curious if anyone else had thoughts on the subject. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 2:03
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    A valid question is a valid question is a valid question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 19:16
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    @Richard: ...but only between Ferengi.
    – jwodder
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 1:12
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    I generally choose not to answer homework questions. I pretty much only answer Harry Potter questions -- I'm not going to find merit in a question asking Help! I was suppose to read Goblet of Fire by today! What are the major plot points of Goblet of Fire? What parts of the book did you like best? This question was actually asked here a couple of years ago. I did ask that particular user to please do their own work, but mostly I ignore obvious homework questions. Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 1:53
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    @Slytherincess That's pretty much what I did, too. Didn't answer it, didn't downvote. (Whenever I see a HP question answered by someone else, I'm like "did Slytherincess die or something?" ;) Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 2:12
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    @MeatTrademark -- Haha, no, I'm alive and well, lurking in the Slytherin dungeons :)) If I don't answer an HP question, it's because either 1) it already has a good, solid accepted answer, 2) I think the question is silly, 3) the answer is easily Googleable, 4) the question is unclear, a duplicate, or clearly trollicious, or 5) I'm too lazy (a frequent occurrence, admittedly). No, I haven't kicked it yet (Sing it, haters!!!!). I'm far too stubborn for that ;) Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 16:39
  • +1 for at least following The Law of Fives. :) Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 16:53
  • I've amended the question title to make it easier for searching.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


The main SE site has gone over homework ad nauseum, but the official stance is summed up pretty nicely at How do I ask and answer homework questions?

I think we should pretty much mirror that stance.

Whether I'm asking about Wolverine's love life out of pure curiosity or seeking an answer for a paper has zero relevance on whether or not it is either a good question or if it is off-topic.

In this case, a downvote would be perfectly understandable since the asker even admitted to reading the same page I did and just missed the pertinent information.

  • Good enough. I was just curious what the consensus was as I hadn't seen both someone admitting it was for homework, and either missing the pertinent info, or lying about evening checking for it. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 20:58
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    I'd love to take a class that grades on knowing Wolverine's love life. Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 3:33

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