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I have disliked a certain aspect of the meta-post about the home policy for a long time. So I'd like to propose a change. The meta-post in question:

How do I ask homework questions on Chemistry Stack Exchange?

Look at

  1. How should I ask a homework question on this website?" ...

    • Show your work and ask about the specific concept that gives you trouble.

      ...

      Don’t just copy the exact problem from your homework assignment or textbook. In particular, when you are asking for help, writing in imperative mode (“Show that …”, “Compute …”, or “Prove or find a counterexample: …”) is at the very least impolite: you are, after all, trying to ask a question, not give an assignment. It also turns many people off.

    • Write down your question.

    Write your question in the Body box. Your question should be clear even without the title. (Especially, do not write your whole question in the title and then put “title says it all” in the body.)

    Write your question out in full; do not post a picture of the question or your handwritten notes. If you really need a picture in your question (e.g. a diagram), make sure that the picture is clear and rotated correctly and has a reasonable size.


I want to move the part about copying the problem into the section about "Write down your question"

Frankly I'd like it if the poster provided the exact wording of the problem. Since the posters typically don't know how to solve the problem they also don't know what information in the problem is important.

My proposal:

  • Write down your question.

    Write your question in the Body box. Your question should be clear even without the title. (Especially, do not write your whole question in the title and then put “title says it all” in the body.)

    Write your question out in full.

    • Do not just post a picture of the question or your handwritten notes.
    • If you really need a picture in your question (e.g. a diagram), make sure that the picture is clear and rotated correctly and has a reasonable size.

    Copying the exact problem:

    • Don’t only post the exact problem from your homework assignment or textbook. You must show some work and ask a specific question about what trouble you're having with the problem.
    • Do consider copying the exact problem, and cite the source, if you don't understand the concepts. (No sense in us trying to guess about what the problem says.) Use a > character in the first space on a line with the problem statement to offset the exact wording.
    • If you're translating the problem from another language try to give as faithful and complete problem statement as possible.
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    $\begingroup$ Yea for the change. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    May 25, 2020 at 20:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nay for the change. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    May 25, 2020 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea, especially the citation part; we should probably add somewhere that my textbook is not a citation though. $\endgroup$ May 25, 2020 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Mart that's exactly what my textbook says $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    May 26, 2020 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yay for the change $\endgroup$
    – Chemist
    May 29, 2020 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Aye for the change! (Also upvote to the original comment given) $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 5:05

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