For example, this questions has just been asked... How to connect nodes...

We only parenthetically mentioned homework in the discussion about What's On-Topic. In the context of questions with multiple choice answers, we clearly marked multiple-choice Off Topic.

  • 1
    Link doesn't seem to work....
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 21:31
  • ...yes, the OP deleted the "How to connect nodes..." question. It's not critical to this Q and its answers. Commented May 23, 2014 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


Certification questions have been deemed off-topic since before beta. In my mind, there is little difference between certification and homework questions, and they should be off topic whether they are multiple choice or not.

Personally, homework questions are a bit worse to me as I am not here to do some college student's homework for them. Getting an answer here will not help the student in gaining understanding of the concepts, nor help them if a similar question comes up on a test. Further, it may be considered cheating depending on the school's policies and/or the stance of the instructor.

If someone doesn't understand the concepts behind the homework question, or the homework question causes them to wonder about other aspects of the topic, then asking specific questions about the concept/topic may very well fit in here, but not the homework question itself.

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    I'm sure any student who doesn't care to do the work themselves or at least put a questionable answer forward with some explanation deserves an "F". Who would want such individuals lacking any drive, knowledge, or research ability responsible for their net gear? Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 7:04
  • So, "protocol theory" questions are considered on-topic, and IMO the question asked that Craig linked could very well be a collegiate-level math/graph theory 'homework' question as well as a 'protocol theory' question. I think context matters here - similar to rewording conceptual questions to remove "home/consumer/etc" in them when the core concept applies broadly, maybe the same stance should be taken with "homework" type questions - I initially voted to close the linked question because it did feel like "homework" to me, but I changed my mind because I felt it was a grey area. Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 0:57

I mostly like YLearn's answer; indeed there are some things about homework questions that are risky:

  1. First, the site is for professional network engineers. The last thing we want is a flood of undergrad (or lower) questions that are trivial for any aspiring CCNA. Physics.SE already has this problem; they started accepting homework questions, and now there are concerns that the site is more about homework than real work.
  2. As YLearn mentioned, there are ethical issues as well, which I am fully on board with. We do not want to become a question / answer repository for homework.

All that said, I see a lot of experienced network engineers who still struggle with the basics. As long as the question has a very well-documented attempt at solving the problem inside their NE question, I do not object to homework questions.

However, if we allow them, we have to be extremely disciplined about closing off-topic stuff. And when we do, there will be additional workload to explain over and over again how to document their question correctly. I'm not sure the site is ready yet, because we still don't get a lot of close voting.

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