I think I might have answered a question that was somebodys homework; but I'm not sure. I haven't done an academic course in philosophy or similar, so I have no idea what one should look for to determine whether a question is a homework one.

The question I have in mind was simply a large lump of text with a simple question about resolving some apparent discrepencies in the text.

I wa tempted to answer it because it was a question in Islamic Philosophy which desn't come up very often. But perhaps I should have restrained myself.

What clues should I look for as to whether a question is trying to get someone doing their homework for them?

Is best practise just giving the questioner a few clues, and perhaps an indication that they've been rumbled?

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  • We are not called to judge ,be discerning yes. If you feel called to give, give freely. If you are called to parent do what is enabling. Noel,noel – Analogue girl Dec 25 '13 at 20:52

There is no fool-proof way of determining if a question is from a homework assignment. Anyone who is even mildly intelligent can rephrase a question to make it read differently than a homework assignment might read. At any rate, it's not bad to help those who need help on a homework assignment, in fact doing their homework entirely for them is really up to you (SE has no official policy on it). The problem I have is that in general homework questions are a bit broad and open-ended (esp. philosophy ones), and require significant focusing before they are a good fit for the site.

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  • ok, personally I feel uncomfortable doing somebodys homework for them, especially if they haven't pointed it out. Helping them out if they've been brave enough to say it is one - is fine though. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 19 '13 at 3:46

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