Right now the homework tag says "a routine question....". To me, this implies a simple question, probably from an elementary text. Many homework tagged questions are, indeed, just like this.

But some are not. There are some homework tagged questions that involve quite complex reasoning; or long reports; or involved analysis.

Should the tag be changed? I think so, by deleting the word "routine".

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think that questions requiring complex reasoning or involved analysis probably should not be tagged as "homework." One of the chief uses of the homework tag is in identifying routine questions (which typically are not grounded in a real problem): I think that's the essence of it. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Oct 27, 2012 at 20:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @whuber, I agree that is "one of the chief uses", but another aspect might be that if it is HW, even if it's advanced, we try to provide hints to help the OP figure out how to solve it by themself. It seems to me that aspect would be preserved in the hypothesized situation. I'm not sure the tag needs to be changed, though. $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2012 at 2:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @gung The motivation for changing it is the frequent misunderstanding by newcomers of the use of the tag. Some take it in a pejorative sense: "my question is not homework--I'm studying this textbook myself!" So I agree that the tag needs little changing, but changing its name would be salutary. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Oct 28, 2012 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @whuber, so you want the same tag wiki excerpt, but a different tag name? Do you have something in mind? $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2012 at 15:15
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @gung study, review, and exercise all seem apt to me. We could create them all and make them synonyms of each other (and of homework). $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Oct 28, 2012 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ So the idea is that OPs would use those (b/c they felt like a better match for their situation), but then they would be re-mapped to homework? I think that's reasonable, if people want to do it. $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2012 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds sensible to me $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Oct 28, 2012 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ -1 to this old question just because our current policy still is that [self-study]/[homework] marks "routine questions" or exercises and that's the whole point of this meta-tag. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Oct 11, 2016 at 16:23


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