I created an ad hoc tag for What role does UNESCO play in India? .

However, I'm not sure if this is a kind of tag we want to preserve. Tags are generally for filtering questions, and I'm not sure why someone would want to only view homework questions.

On the other hand, other sites have opted to treat homework questions differently than normal questions (for example, Cross Validated).

Should we have a homework tag?

  • Would the tag change how the question is answered?
    – K-C
    May 26 '17 at 16:34
  • @K-C - I don't know - I'm asking for input from the community because it isn't clear to me which direction to go. Do we want to treat them differently? May 26 '17 at 17:13
  • Ah, got it. I can't think of how we would treat them differently.
    – K-C
    May 26 '17 at 17:19
  • Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/334822/… May 26 '17 at 19:20

Stack Overflow used to have a homework tag, and they decided that we ought to treat homework questions the same as we treat any other question, so they got rid of it.

This approach makes sense because one of the goals of an SE site is to be a reference for future people who have the same question. Answering a question differently because it's homework undermines this goal.


The intended use of tags is that these are tools for organizing questions.

Not every problem can be searched by employing a site search. This is one reason why we have tags.
So typically, you come up with a certain problem/question, identify the key "topics" what your problem is about, and then browse the site for these "topics" hoping to find an answer here.

"Homework" tag adds nothing to your search. Arguably, you never browse for because it is orthogonal to the way the questions are organized here at StackExchange.
Some people (like myself) maintain a (quite complex) list of favorite tags that I'm subscribed for (via the RSS). Ask yourself if you would ever subscribe for "homework" tag.

Think of a (quite ridiculous) tag . While it can be absolutely true, it would add no value to the question. The very same applies to .


The argument in favor of a questions tag is that some people may want to hide them. For example, some users hide because otherwise it dominates the page. Similarly, some people may want to not see homework questions.

It also expresses that the question will be in a slightly odd form and pushes back at the asker to make that homework question like others.

Example homework question:

Name five countries with constitutional monarchies.

Obviously that's a horrible question. The user hasn't done any research, as that's a trivial question to answer via internet search. We could mention that in the tag wiki excerpt.

For questions relating to class assignments. Please show what work you've already done. If none, do some first. Questions should be narrow and specific, covering just what you weren't able to learn by research. Do not expect us to write your answer for you.

Perhaps the text could be polished more, but I think that expresses the basic idea.


I would be careful about this. On SO we have a LOT of this and there's two problems that arise

  1. Drama about cheating.. Now, cheating is not inside the SE scope. If you're dumping your homework online there's a good chance you're violating some academic policy, but that's not our problem. So the questions themselves aren't the problem, it's what happens when the posters realize they can't delete them anymore (i.e. mod spam and vandalism)
  2. Code Barf, or "Gimme teh codez". Similar to #1, but #1 involves an otherwise good question. Here, someone just dumps the question (often without any context), hoping for an answer. Less likely here (people aren't posting blocks of code), but it results in poor questions that need closure.

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