I couldn't find info on whether this question has been asked before, but here @fileunderwater says (for homework tag):

It is used a lot, it is clearly informative, and some people (myself included) use it to filter questions. It also categorizes questions, which is arguably what tags are for. The tag is also the second most used one at Chemistry-SE and Physics-SE

Recently, there has been a flood of homework questions on Biology.SE and many of them have been closed as off-topic too, but I've seen some homework questions with homework tag which are still open and have almost no research effort (or maybe I couldn't notice any effort shown).

So, my question is Does putting a homework tag in your question make the question less likely to be closed, even if it has no research effort?

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    $\begingroup$ Good question. It shouldn't make a difference but I suspect that including the tag might decrease the risk of closure. Users probably become more hostile if you ask a poorly researched homework question and don't even have the courtesy to tag it as 'homework'. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2016 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater you're correct. To me, it seems to have more psychological influence than (man I can't remember the word)... maybe diplomatic. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2016 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ This would be funny if it's true. On Chem, it makes questions more likely to be closed. :P $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ For me, in questions that have attempted answers, the homework tag can be a sign of good faith. This should not be a substitute for making an effort at answering, or the quality of the question. The tag is to help people filter your question. A minor thing that the tag should encourage is a less jargon-y answer, with learning resources included. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @james yeah but that's about those questions which have shown research effort. My point is what shouldn't be correct according to you i.e. substituting the tag for effort. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 3:02

2 Answers 2


No. Adding a homework tag makes no difference to the closure conditions. It is just a relevant tag that can help classify the question.

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    $\begingroup$ That's what I'm confused about. Just imagine: somebody asks 'which of the following is the preferred genetic material?' & writes "I'm a tenth grader", we put it on hold. In same post, if OP puts homework tag, then question is not (or at least after much delay) closed as off-topic. I want to say, as @fileunderwater points, its influence might be subconscious, even for mods. $\endgroup$ Commented May 21, 2016 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ @another'Homosapien' I think for me at least the tag has no psychological effect. I would generally consider homework tagged questions as on-topic questions with little usefulness for the general scientific community. They are genuinely homework. A homework tag cannot not be used to justify lack of effort. Effort is always necessary. Also, one should not tag any poorly researched question as homework (which is like soft flagging). Lack of research is only acceptable if the question itself is of great interest to the scientific community. $\endgroup$
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 6:32

Certainly some users are abusing the homework tag in attempt to get away with zero effort questions. We have to stamp this behaviour out. Adding the homework tag does not excuse a lack of research effort and we need to remember that as a community.

Please continue to close questions as homework if they show insufficient research effort, regardless of whether it has been tagged as homework.

From what I can see, adding a homework tag is reducing the likelihood we will close a question, and it should not. Adding the tag does not change the closure conditions.

" Homework questions are off-topic on Biology unless you have shown your attempt at an answer. For more information see our homework policy."

The answer to your question in adding the homework tag should not make a question less likely to be closed, but currently it does seem to (to me) to reduce that likelihood.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah that's what my question is all about: this condition is not as ideal as it should be. $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2016 at 14:52

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