I'm not big in giving away answers for those doing homework, but I do think that questions with the "homework" tag on them cause, for me at least, a bias against the asker.

This has been brought up in other Stack Exchange sites and there are varying policies across the network. I personally think that the Chemistry SE shouldn't have a homework tag.

Some questions may sound homework-y in nature and so answerers may not wish to help, but I think the askers should be responsible for their own learning. If they want to get all their answers off the Internet and not actually try, that's their choice (and they probably won't do all that well on tests.) If they wish to actually learn, they can take home what they learned through various answers to their question.

I can understand why some of you (or maybe all of you) may disagree with me, but this is just my take on the homework tag.

Here is Stack Overflow's policy on it

Note: I'm new to this SE. I didn't want to come in here and be all like, "This is the way it should be," but I noticed a heavy(ish) usage of homework tags. If the homework tag works really well in this SE, then yeah, that's awesome. If the Stack Overflow policy would be a better fit, then we could consider it.

  • $\begingroup$ Just some data: the usage of homework is low (3 questions out of 62). I think that having questions tagged only homework is a bad thing, and we can decide on a policy to avoid it. Because questions don't have this tag alone, I don't agree that getting rid of the homework tag would “really add more questions to various tags instead of throwing them all in the homework bin”. $\endgroup$
    – F'x
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 19:33
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's perfectly acceptable to bring things like this up, regardless of your experience on the site (and I appreciate that you took the time to write a meta post about it). The science-oriented sites tend to view these issues of homework a bit differently, and I think we've taken a lot of cues from Physics.SE. See their meta post on it for a frame of reference. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


The point of the tag is to create "bias". Well, not really, but close enough. It tells the answerers :"this question is of the homework type, DO NOT give a full solution, instead give some hints or a partial solution".

Also, it may be applied to questions that are not HW but are of the HW type (numerical problems, etc).

Yes, it is a meta tag, but, unlike SO, it has a use since we have a homework policy on how an HW question ought to be asked, and how it should be answered (no complete answers, etc). Which is why the SO policy won't fit, programming doesn't even have a homework "type" (well, sort of, but not really).

Though I personally am ambivalent about removing it as a tag (keeping the policy). I don't think it has much of an effect, good or bad.

Also, don't ever be afraid of posting on a meta, even if you feel you don't "belong to the site". Input is appreciated, wherever it comes from :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have since changed my stance on this, I feel that it's better off deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 22:33

Regardless of whether you ultimately decide to allow homework questions or not, such background and contextual information should be included in the body of the question itself. You should not create nor use a tag to label them.

Tags are there to describe what the question is about. Labeling a question as "homework" is not what tagging is for. It is largely meta to the question. See:

The death of meta tags


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