Should there be a here like there is on SO to pertain to questions like this one?

The wiki there states that homework questions

are welcome as long as they are asked honestly, explain the problem, and show sufficient effort

. I think this technical requirement is what @IsaacMoses was getting at in his comment to the poster of the Jews in France question by asking for clarification, paring down, and demonstration of "taking it as far as possible independently" first. But aside from that concern I know that there are those on SO who look upon all homework questions with disdain (as echoed in item #3 here).

Should we consider the possibility of treating homework questions differently from regular ones and tagging them as such?


I don't think they should be treated differently from other questions. As you said, I think we should always require honesty, clarity, and care. Simply copying the homework questions into a Question is unlikely to be up to community par for original writing, but restating a particular point in one's own words should be fine.

There's a distinction to be drawn between programming questions and Judaism questions. In the former case, it's frequently possible to take a solution from the internet and, with very little effort (a carriage return before a curly brace here, a global replace of a variable name there), convincingly pass it off as one's own. Judaism-related homework, or indeed anything in the humanities, is much less susceptible to this kind of plagiarism, since the work tends to be in prose, where style is much harder to fake or refactor.

In addition, we believe that Jewish learning is valuable regardless of the original motivation ("mitoch shelo lishmah - ba lishmah"), so there's additional motivation to encourage people to bring their interesting questions here, whether they came from homework or not.


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