It seems over past week or so that more and more questions are being posted on Main from young students seeking help with homework or test assignments. I am opposed to doing anyone's homework for them, especially those who appear to have put forth no effort other than typing the text of the question from their assignment(s) into the Body of the Question form on this site.

However, for those who come here for help after having done at least some work in trying to complete their assignment, I don't want to discourage them from participating and learning.

So what can we do to help the self-starters without discouraging them while also crushing the lazy little brats who expect others to help them coast through life?

Can the site be modified to require new users to complete the Tour and review the Help section (at least the topic on How to Ask) before being allowed to post a Question?


1 Answer 1


Downvote and vote to close questions that show no effort, and leave a comment prompting them to put in an effort.

e.g., for simple trivia requests, leave a comment redirecting the poster to Wikipedia (e.g. the Alamo one). Or, for questions on complex topics, ask them to revise the question to demonstrate their preliminary research, and narrow down their inquiry to a specific issue they couldn't resolve on their own (we don't want to write their essays for them).

Upvote questions that demonstrate the poster have made an effort. If the question is still an essay topic, vote to close as being too broad. Leave a polite comment asking them to pin point the problem(s) they are having with the topic - we don't want to write someone's homework essay for them, but we can help them get their on their own.

  • I'd also highly recommend we try to guide them (as well as our existing, long time users) to our updated Code of Conduct
    – Courtny
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 2:35

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