Wikipedia talk:Do your own homework

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Just a thought. A question in continuity if you will. The top of the page has a nice little banner about how this is not a policy or guideline. A bit further in the reading where we get to the {{subst:dyoh}} template, I notice the following:

  • "... but it is our policy here to not do people's homework for them ..."

granted, it's a bit nit-picky - just something I noticed — Ched ~ (yes?)/© 18:29, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

That's actually a very good observation. Because {{dyoh}} links to this page specifically with the words "our policy here", so they click on the link and then at the very top they read "This is not a Wikipedia policy", they understandably would be confused. We must either promote this to a full-fledged {{policy}} or change the wording to something like "it is our rule.." or "custom". I don't see any reason why this can't be an official Wikipedia policy so I recommend the former and will propose it as such. -- œ 15:41, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course it could still use a little editing and improvement.. I'm not necessarily proposing as policy the page in this exact current form, moreso just the general idea that we don't do people's homework. I'm hoping the wording could still be improved and expanded, but the overall idea of us not doing people's homework for them at the various forums and noticeboards is long-standing consensus, so I don't see why we don't just call it official. -- œ 16:56, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose making this page a policy page, Support changing the wording slightly to remove policy and replace it with a suitable, less confusing term. --Jayron32 01:55, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
    Any particular reason why you think this shouldn't be called a policy? A little too unfriendly maybe? We obviously don't want to come off as hostile to newbies, but we do have other policies like WP:OWN, WP:MEAT, and WP:GAME that sometimes rub them the wrong way. Maybe it just needs some rewording.. -- œ 12:21, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I changed the template from "Essay" to "Information page". That should be good enough, I think? NW (Talk) 05:56, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
    {{infopage}} also contains the line, "While it is not a policy or guideline..." so that alone still doesn't solve the problem. Maybe if we now change the wording on {{dyoh}} to read, "but it is our communal consensus here not to do people's homework for them.." ? -- œ 10:28, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
    Although I still don't see why this can't be called a policy officially. -- œ 12:21, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep as essay While most may get annoyed by basic questions, I honestly do not see any reason why this should be a policy, or even a guideline for that matter. Even if it is "violated" (either by those asking for help or those willing to give help), there is no reason to take action against such "violations", such as a blocking. And looking at the two templates, I personally think they are bad form and should be deleted. There is no reason to tell someone asking a question or help that they will get no answer. Instead, the requester should be pointed to where they may find their answers. —Farix (t | c) 16:58, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
    Hmm, yes, that's a good point about 'enforcement'... someone who purposely chooses to 'go against policy' and does provide homework answers isn't exactly doing any major harm to the project, therefore the policy wouldn't be protecting anything. The templates however are only optional, anyone may word their response any way they want. -- œ 21:16, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Essay: moderately useful. I see no value to promoting it as a guideline or policy since it's mainly advising readers and lurkers, and would already be dealt with under WP:NOTFORUM. And even if I enjoyed instruction creep, I'm not sure this is good instruction. Shooterwalker (talk) 22:35, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose policy, support essay. Wikipedia should not have formal policies on things that are so loosely connected to the goal (which is writing an encyclopedia). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Essay, useful templates. I agree with the other editors above that this should best remain an essay. But I think the templates are really quite useful (occasionally even on talk pages, as long as not done in a bitey manner), and I think it would be good to make more editors aware of them. I'd suggest listing them at WP:TM. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:21, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep as Essay I wholeheartedly support the admonition, but do not want to see it as policy. If it is policy, we are saying we would be willing to block someone who violates it. However, to reach that conclusion, we would have to spend far too much time addressing some issues that aren't worth addressing:
  1. Definitional—where is the bright line delineating the distinction between giving helpful hints, and actually doing the homework? It's a continuum, as different people would draw the line differently. When it is an essay, it isn't important to have an objectively clear definition of what constitutes homework and what does not. However, if we are willing to block people over abusing it, we need to have objective definitions. If we aren't willing to block people over abusing it, then it isn't a policy.
  2. Rationale—Are we absolutely sure that there are no situations where helping someone might be a good idea? What if someone digs up some research showing that under certain circumstances, home work help is a positive. If it is a policy, then we have to debate the research and decide whether to incorporate the exceptions. Not a useful expenditure of time. As an essay, we can be much looser.
  3. Fundamental—In what way does it make the encyclopedia better to have a policy prohibiting homework help? The very existence of the reference desks bears a very weak connection to the purpose of the encyclopedia, and while I can envisage a connection, that connection rarely applies. I'm fine with having the reference desks, but they are ancillary to the project, and while rules related to the desks are necessary, they shouldn't be elevated to the level of encyclopedia policy.--SPhilbrickT 19:01, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Ok well it's pretty clear the community disagrees with it becoming policy. I admit I didn't give the 'blocking people over it' part enough thought. Thanks for the comments. I've removed the RfC tag. -- œ 22:44, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Dubious statement[edit]

You can't say that Wikipedia users will not do homework problems for others, because undoubtedly this does happen. At most one could say that Wikipedia users are asked to be careful when giving academic help to students, and then explain what the potential problems are (like homework completion, explaining things in an inappropriate way leading the student to learn things wrongly, etc. etc.). Count Iblis (talk) 16:59, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Oh, it does happen that some people who answer questions at the reference desk will answer a homework problem. As such, it is no big deal really. In general, however, insofar as reference desk regulars recognize that the value in homework, if there is any, is in the student challenging themselves to figure out the answer, rather than handing the homework over to someone else, getting the answer, and then just repeated the answer someone else gave them as their own. Given that many reference desk regulars feel that way, it is helpful to have a page which explains the general practice if for the only reason that it prevents us from having to type a long explanation of why many of us do not like to other people's homework. If you want to do other people's homework for them, be our guest. Just understand that there are concrete, pedagogical reasons why many of us choose not to, and know that we aren't doing so because we just want to be mean. --Jayron32 17:19, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

"click on this"?[edit]

I think the instructions would make more sense if "this" was actually a link to a source. As it is, the reader clicks on this and nothing happens. Jojalozzo 15:23, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

It is just a demonstration of what a footnote is. --Jayron32 21:30, 15 February 2012 (UTC)


The REAL reason why Wikipedia does not do the homework for you is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, the main goal of the volunteers is to write and expand articles. Only questions helpful to the expansion of the encyclopedia are answered, and the information from such answers are added into Wikipedia. In contrast, ask-and-answer sites (knowledge markets) like Yahoo! Answers or will do the entire homework for you, because the each person has to answer others' questions when possible - on an case-by-case basis. (talk) 02:29, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

If you're referring to the reference desks, as much as I'd like to see every answer to a question there be input into the encyclopedia proper in some way, in fact users ask all sorts of knowledge questions there, and some are dedicated only to posting there and not elsewhere on Wikipedia. -- œ 10:43, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia Reference Desk is also rightly listed among the List of question-and-answer websites. -- œ 10:45, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Fuck this[edit]

Yeah, I can't think of a more civil way to put it. I hope I'm not the only one who cringes when I see this principle referred to. Maybe it's just my professional ethics as a librarian, but if someone's asking a question at the reference desk, I don't think it matters why they want to know. If you personally don't like the idea of helping someone with homework, don't answer the query. Don't rebuke them for it or try to stop others from helping. --BDD (talk) 14:18, 6 August 2015 (UTC)