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Thread: forum guidelines

  1. #1 forum guidelines 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    it just occurred to me that the forum guidelines are not very clearly displayed, seeing as they're hidden in the 'general discussion' and the 'site feedback' section

    would it be possible to display them as a supersticky at the top of the main page ?

    as an aside, i notice that megabrain's homework thread has been removed
    you may disagree with the fact that the rules were drawn up unilaterally by one person, but i think it would make sense if the admin made up their collective mind about what their attitude towards homework is, and possibly display them as part of the forum guidelines - this way newcomers would not be caught out + think that members were just being unhelpful


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I agree. I'll explore the possibilities.

    I'm not sure that MB's homework thread didn't disappear when he deleted his orginal account.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I agree. I'll explore the possibilities.

    I'm not sure that MB's homework thread didn't disappear when he deleted his orginal account.
    No, I explicitly deleted it. As it is, questions about homework can just as well as any other thread talk about the subject up for discussion. There certainly is no obligation to reply, and considering the relative low amount of those threads, I don't think it is that much of a problem right now.

    As for the rules, I suppose it is possible to make it a more general announcement, but I doubt homework-posters will read the rules first.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    As for the rules, I suppose it is possible to make it a more general announcement, but I doubt homework-posters will read the rules first.
    It'd still be a convenience for John Q. Contributor.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpicojr
    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    As for the rules, I suppose it is possible to make it a more general announcement, but I doubt homework-posters will read the rules first.
    It'd still be a convenience for John Q. Contributor.
    Most science forums (all fields) have a good staff of qualified people to address home work issues. Are you sure there are such people on this forum???
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Few people actually read the rules. Although a lot of forums I've known DO put the rules as a sticky on all sections, and some even put it in the acceptance agreement when they register, people still ignore them.

    In the end, ignorance of the rules does not mean immunity...but if people didn't ignore the rules, we wouldn't need hammers...
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I personally think a homework thread could be very helpful, and I posted a thread about it here a little while ago. Not too many people seemed interested, though, and I guess the mods see little need for it.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  9. #8  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i've always thought that if someone new came to this forum in the expectation of getting help for nothing, s/he could always be reminded of the forum rules, if the latter contained a reference to the issue of homework

    besides, there is no need to use forbidding langauge such as "thou shalt not ask forum members to do thine homework" - instead you could give it a more positive slant by giving advice such as :

    "you will find that members are more likely to be helpful if you show that you've made a concerted attempt yourself but are now hopelessly stuck despite your best efforts"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I personally think a homework thread could be very helpful, and I posted a thread about it here a little while ago. Not too many people seemed interested, though, and I guess the mods see little need for it.
    I am all for the idea, but HU seems to think it is not necessary. He is fully entitled to that viewpoint, but I am pleased to take this opportunity to repeat that I think it could be valuable: a proportion of the students we help out are likely to stay on as members - they gain, the forum gains. It is a win-win situation .

    Marnix, I also liked your suggestion for specific comments in the forum rules. We should be dismissive of those who front up looking for answers without putting in any effort, but equally - as you say - we should guide them as to how to ask for help properly.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    I will add a link on the main page this weekend.
    Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I personally think a homework thread could be very helpful, and I posted a thread about it here a little while ago. Not too many people seemed interested, though, and I guess the mods see little need for it.
    I am all for the idea, but HU seems to think it is not necessary. He is fully entitled to that viewpoint, but I am pleased to take this opportunity to repeat that I think it could be valuable: a proportion of the students we help out are likely to stay on as members - they gain, the forum gains. It is a win-win situation .

    Marnix, I also liked your suggestion for specific comments in the forum rules. We should be dismissive of those who front up looking for answers without putting in any effort, but equally - as you say - we should guide them as to how to ask for help properly.
    I agree completely, and it's something I mentioned in my earlier thread. A lot of the people coming here who ask those sorts of inappropriate questions are probably younger students who might just not be aware of forum etiquette. The highly negative responses they sometimes get leave them a bad impression of this place and it's members. I see no reason why they can't be dealt with civilly.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  13. #12  
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    I think its also a good way forward.
    Most science forums (all fields) have a good staff of qualified people to address home work issues. Are you sure there are such people on this forum???
    Even if there aren't qualified people and staff, there are many students who have faced similar homework problems in the past, and know how to do the problem. who says they cant address these issues? [/u]
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    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    I used to watch for the folks asking homework questions (mostly because I wanted something to annoy my brain with).

    I don't see a problem with people asking for help with their homework.

    I only see a problem when they just plaster up their questions and expect us to do all the grinding.

    I'll only consider answering a question if the person shows they did some work. For example, if they keep getting the wrong number and don't know why. If they show us what they did, we can help them figure out how to do it correctly.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Much as I hate to quote myself,

    Quote Originally Posted by Paralith
    I thought that it might help if there was a homework help forum, probably stuck at the top of the homepage somewhere, so it's easy for newcomers to see. We could keep a big ole sticky thread in there that says with capital letters READ THIS BEFORE YOU POST! In which we could explain what we will and will not do when it comes to homework help.

    Examples - We will not do your research for you, but if you need tips on how to do research then we can point you in the right direction. If you've done your research and still have trouble understanding certain issues or concepts, you can come and discuss them with us. If you want critiques of your already written answers, you can ask us. Etc.

    And, even for those complete newbies who simply don't get it and still post the unacceptable questions anyway, at least they will (hopefully) be localized in a single forum and not spread across the different forums.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  16. #15  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    although i can see where HU comes from - it took me a long time before i read the forum guidelines
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  17. #16  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    although i can see where HU comes from - it took me a long time before i read the forum guidelines
    I haven't yet. :-D
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  18. #17  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    where are they?
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  19. #18  
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    The probably won't read rules before posting. It’s Kind of a general thing that many never do, and it’s only when they step out of line that they realize that they should have read that sticky.

    If there was a clear place, wither they read it or not, our patrons can point it out in a nice fashion. "Kindly read the guidelines and edit your post" as opposed to "aggg we don’t do homework - go away "

    I havent sat down an read the guidlines in detail, i have read them, but that was a long time ago. From what i gather they are about a fair safe forum.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    where are they?
    It's a sticky under General Discussion.
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  21. #20  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    where are they?
    It's a sticky under General Discussion.
    and - funny enough - the Site Feedback section :wink:
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  22. #21  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I opened them, but then saw all these rules. I quickly closed them again.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    where are they?
    It's a sticky under General Discussion.
    and - funny enough - the Site Feedback section :wink:
    Well, the original idea was to have them locked in the General Discussion, and have a Discussion of the Guidelines in here. I may one day move the posts in the general discussion thread to that one.

    As for homework, I certainly have not rejected the idea, it's that we have a lot of sections already, and I believe that if discussions can flow from an original question, the thread is more suited in the original section. I'll think about it.
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  24. #23  
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    I believe that if discussions can flow from an original question, the thread is more suited in the original section. I'll think about it.
    which is very true, homework questions have taught me in the past.

    and to think about it, is all we ask

    (to make all my points about a home work section clear - i belive it could remove the negitivity about homework here)
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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