I think a legitimate reason to close a question is if it appears to be a homework question; for all we know it may be a take-home exam question. We're not helping them by answering the question for them, in fact they are not learning, rather trying to circumvent the learning process.

I would like to see under closing a question, an option for 'reason to close' a question -'the question appears to be a homework question'.

  • 2
    Users may of course choose not to answer questions they deem homework; but the fact that a question relates to homework does not necessarily seem like a reason for closing a question... Maybe you could share a little bit more about what might have motivated this? Are there specific instances of questions you might be responding to here?
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    May 4, 2015 at 15:51

2 Answers 2


There will never be a close reason for this for at least 2 big reasons that I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. StackExchange is about creating a knowledge library. It doesn't matter who asked the question or why the question is being asked, only that it is useful for people. There is nothing inherently against the rules with asking homework questions; the only people who have issues with it are those who have their own personal reasons (they don't want people to be lazy, they think people putting in their own effort makes for a better learning experience, whatever).
  2. It is virtually impossible to tell whether a question is a homework question or not, and clever people will disguise their homework questions anyways. I've asked some questions that people claimed were homework questions, but they were certainly not so I lost out on potentially good answers because people made the mistake of flagging it incorrectly. And even if it is written in a way that seems homework-like, you can't for certain know the origin or importance of that question in the asker's life — you may be wary of answering someone's final essay question required for passing their university class, but what if it's just a question an interested child saw on a faculty website at the university they are too poor to attend? What if it's a question out of their own GRE book they purchased to study in hopes of attending graduate school? Those people are likely asking questions because they don't know the answer after looking on their own, not necessarily because they are lazy. We can't know people's situations, and we shouldn't presume to judge them simply based on how "textbook" their question appears to be.

I sometimes see "homework" questions on this site that are off topic anyway, I feel like we close them out and everyone is happy with that. So let's focus on "homework" philosophy questions.

I would respectfully argue the opposite of you, Swami. We should want more homework philosophy questions. Why?

  • Questions coming from a homework assignment tend to be important, meaningful, and interesting.
  • Good answers to them tend to be more "objective." (For example, if the question is something about Kant, you might not agree with Kant, but good answers would say something similar.)
  • Seems very likely to be useful to many people.

Obviously we should not condone plagiarism, cheating, etc., but even within homework there are a ton of legitimate uses for the material on this site.

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