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Majesticmerc

Asking for help with your assignments...

26 posts in this topic

Moderator note: this thread was stickied by moderation, and moderation will enforce these rules on this forum. 

Thanks, Andre S.

 

It seems to be that we've got a lot of people in this subforum at the minute looking for help with school/college programming projects at the minute. I thought I'd share my 2 cents for both askers and answerers.

#1 WE WILL NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR YOU.
See below...


#2 WE WILL NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR YOU.
While I don't think anyone here will refuse to help a struggling student, a certain amount of offence is taken when you try to take advantage of our help to get your homework done without putting in any effort yourself. If you copy and paste an assignment without evidence that you've attempted it yourself, you're likely to get hostile responses (see here).
 
 
#2a Show Your Work
If you're struggling with an assignment, show us what you've done so far (or at least the relevant portion). If we can see what you've done, we're going to be able to help you more easily!
 
 
#3 Use Code Tags
Reading unformatted code is a pain in the bum. Using code tags will make your code easier to read, and make it easier for other members to help you with your problem.
 
This:

int main()
{
    if (true)
    {
        std::cout << "TEST" << std::endl;
    else
    {
        std::cout << "WUT" << std::endl;
    }
}

vs this:
 
int main()
{
if (true)
{
std::cout << "TEST" << std::endl;
else
{
std::cout << "WUT" << std::endl;
}
}
 
 
#4 Simplify
Sifting through piles of irrelevant code makes debugging a pain. If you find a bug, make an attempt to reduce it to it's simplest possible form before posting. Remove any functions or variables that don't contribute to the bug. You never know, you might even find the bug yourself in the meantime ;).
 
 
#5 Ask a Question
We've got some talent in this forum, but none of us read minds (AFAIK :shiftyninja:). Dumping a load of code and announcing "it doesn't work" is likely to leave your topic unanswered and/or ridiculed. If you ask a specific question, you're likely to get a proper answer.
 
Examples:

If you are unsure how best to ask your question, stackoverflow.com offers some great advice on how best to ask questions and stack the odds in your favour getting the appropriate answer.


#6 Give Us All The Information
Like was mentioned above, saying "it doesn't work" isn't enough information for us to solve your problem. If you're getting errors, either from exceptions or from the compiler, tell us what they are. We could spend all day guessing the specific error, or you could just tell us and save hours of wasted time.


#7 We Won't Do All The Work For You
Sort of related to #1 and #2 above. While we'll try to help as much as possible, it's counter-productive if we help you with your homework and you don't learn anything from it. If we modify your code for you to solve your problem, you didn't learn anything! In some more encompassing questions (e.g. here), we might provide pointers and help, but leave the actual coding for you to do. You wouldn't give us your diploma, so we won't give you it either ;).
 
 
#8 We're Not Avoiding Your Problem If We Tell You To Ask Your Teacher
If someone says "you should discuss this with your tutor", they're probably not trying to avoid answering the question. It's probably because you're missing some fundamental knowledge. If you're lacking basic knowledge that's required for the assignment, you're likely to struggle later too, so asking your teacher is for your own good. If they're unaware that you're struggling, they might leave you behind and you might end up failing! Nobody wants that, even us on this forum.
 
Teachers are paid to help their students, and most professors will have time for students to ask questions (some will have an open door policy, others will have allocated time for you). USE THEM IF YOU'RE HAVING PROBLEMS.
 
 
#9 There are No Stupid Questions
Guys, we're being pretty harsh on some of the newcomers. While it might be hilarious or frustrating seeing some poorly started topics, we should still strive to be helpful. Berating newbies for asking questions poorly or lacking fundamental knowledge or not asking a proper question makes us appear hostile, and this is a quiet subforum as it is! If we're going to shun homework topics, at least do it politely.
 
Salutations!

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Great post. Mods should sticky this.

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Yeah I've been thinking we need something like this for a long time. Might be worth putting a link to http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask as well. The problem beginners have is often that they don't even know what a good programming question is, i.e. they don't know what others are likely to know or not know.

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If they need help, tell them to ask their friends that they go to school together or ask their teachers for help. That simple.

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Great post. Mods should sticky this.

Seconded.

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Stickied

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Yeah I've been thinking we need something like this for a long time. Might be worth putting a link to http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask as well. The problem beginners have is often that they don't even know what a good programming question is, i.e. they don't know what others are likely to know or not know.

Good idea, I've added the link.

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I think this is a wonderful idea. Should've been implemented long ago. Good job mods!

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Excellent!

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I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 

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I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 

 

Your one question I saw was exactly what they are talking about doing it the right way, you explained your issues, showed the code you had, at least from my perspective

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I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 

 

As z0phi3l says, you did as much as you could yourself before asking, and that's all we ask; that you try.  What was annoying people was the folks who just joined, dropped off a bunch of homework questions, and then f***ed off again.

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As one of many people here who have been to Uni/College/School to learn computing - I would attest that you are not given assignments that you are not prepared for if you actually studied and read as you are supposed to.  The further you progress within your academic life, the more you are meant to understand "self-directed study".  Meaning that you are given an assignment that may not be 100% related to what you have been taught, but you have been taught enough to know how to find out.

 

When I was learning back in my uni days, heck even before then - there was no really useful Internet to find the right information, we relied upon books and asking for a little guidance off people who knew (including lecturers - they are a resource).  Now you have the web, and it's a REAL boon for you - it helps you massively.

 

So why are there so many lame idiots who don't even know how to ask a question correctly, and rather just want someone to do the work for them.  Learn to ask the right questions!  Ask about the theory behind what you want to know, not just the answer.  When someone helps, thank them rather than come back begging because they didn't provide 100% full code!

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So why are there so many lame idiots who don't even know how to ask a question correctly, and rather just want someone to do the work for them.

I'm not going make the sweeping statement "it's a generation of laziness," as that wouldn't be true. But just like the media makes you think that the world is a worse place than it was in the past (it's not, it's just that the media is all around us compared to the past, and shocking events get more air time than happy events,) the Internet makes it easier for lazy people to be more viewable to us. That's my thinking, anyway.

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I argue that IT as a sector has grown, and more people are going to uni (some that I genuinely believe shouldn't).  As such, the percentage of laziness has grown.  But as an employer I don't think it's as bad as people make out.  Also as an employer it's on me to make sure I don't employ these people.

 

I value the ability to ask (THE RIGHT) questions very much!

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I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention.

From what I've seen, your questions have been fine, don't worry about it :). We've got no problem offering help if you're genuinely stuck and have tried at least. Hell, we've all been there :).

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Agreed.  The way I see it, asking for help is great.  I encourage it of my developers, it's how people used to learn and still do.  Doing all of someones work for them is not actually helping them.  You structure your requests well!

 

This is why my answers to people's questions are not answers but pointers such as "XXXXXXXX is your friend" or "google: xxxxxxx"

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I argue that IT as a sector has grown, and more people are going to uni (some that I genuinely believe shouldn't).  As such, the percentage of laziness has grown.  But as an employer I don't think it's as bad as people make out.  Also as an employer it's on me to make sure I don't employ these people.

 

I value the ability to ask (THE RIGHT) questions very much!

 

Grown? It's changed beyond all recognition from the old days.  More than half the programmers at my work can't even count in hexadecimal or binary, and some of them don't even have home computers!  I swear, the guy I sit next to is a Luddite...  He doesn't even have a cellphone... Oh, and our head dba is a hippy, literally.. He plays the sitar, has hair down to his ass, and wears red lensed shades in the dark.

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I value the ability to ask (THE RIGHT) questions very much!

Amen.

I've brought people "in to the fold" as it were, and I've always been wary. But at the same time, I know the people that I've brought in. The problem on their side is that I bring them in and they find themselves on the back-foot compared to the rest of the team. On my side I know that they will be there from the beginning, learning, and I am happy to answer their questions.

The issue I then have though is that they start going quiet. In their mind they are asking too many questions, they want to know "instinctively" like the rest of us. In that situation I say the same thing every time. "I will tell you when you're getting on my nerves for asking the same thing over and over again. Otherwise, ask away."

The same applies here. I am happy to help, but I will lead you towards the answer. I won't give it straight, because that is not the way that I learn.

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I ask for help with assignments, personal projects and even work all the time ... I am bad at asking questions but I can normally keep a post going and respond with information people want to know to help me fix my issue, the only thing that annoys me about people asking for help with their homework on this site is when they do not try...

I have learnt so much from the people on this site, even if it has been homework help, because I take in what has been taught to me ...I never copy and paste, and a solution given to me has always been reprogrammed so I understand the structure..

 

(in note to those who have helped me with all types of projects I must thank you but especially budman and asik)

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Write a program that, given the number of kilometers traveled and the gallons of gasoline consumed, produces the kilometers per gallon and the kilometers per liter. In your program you should define a function for kilometers per gallon, and another function for kilometers per liter. This program should repeat as many times as the user wishes.

1 Liter = 0.264172051 Gallon

1 Gallon = 3.7854118 Liter

please help me i want to  solve the question :cry:  :cry:  :cry: now now :(

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please help me i want to  solve the question :cry:  :cry:  :cry: now now :(

Hi afnan,

This is a good example of what we are talking about in this thread. You have provided the community with the question, you have asked for help, but you haven't explained to us what you have done so far in making the program. We will not write the program for you. If you are having issues with your code then you can show us and we can try and see where the error is, but just providing the question and not showing any of the work that you have done will not work with us.

You should also start a new thread with your issue rather than taking a different thread off-topic. I'm going to keep your post here because it's a good example of what we are talking about in this discussion, but please open a new thread to receive help from the community. No one will reply to you in this thread with regards to the problem.

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This is not the right place to be asking problems, this thread is about asking problems, create a thread in this forum with your question please. Thread Cleaned.

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Speaking as someone who has gone back to school to get his degree and who is approaching the end of a C++ programming course, I have to applaud this topic. Being near the top of my class I'm extremely annoyed by the 'bottom-feeders' who want to copy-paste their way to an 'A'.

 

Online courses are the best way to flush out the ones who are lazy. We'll be given a topic and be expected to write anywhere from 100 to 250 words on the subject and you'll see the majority of your classmates submitting 20-30 word submissions. To be fair, I'm the nut on the other end of the curve throwing out 350-400 word submissions because I really get into this stuff.

 

And the FloatingFatMan gets a vigorous head nod from me!!! OMG!! You have hit the nail on the head with the state of things today. I'm in the U.S. btw, so the trend is not UK only.  I don't see how anyone in the field of technology can NOT know hexadecimal or binary and yet...there they are. At least my college tries to do its part by throwing a HUGE hexadecimal/binary wave of learning towards new students and that does a pretty good job of flushing out the ones who are just there in class because they think an IT degree will equate to an easy, fat paycheck.

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Questions moved to a new thread, since this topic is NOT for the purpose of asking questions, its a guideline on how to create question threads. The thread is visible here: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1186909-write-a-function-multiple-that-determines-for-a-pair-of-integers-whether-the-second-integer-is-a-mul/

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