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I'm wondering what the standard procedure for getting my homework's solution verified by the community is.

I was thinking of going through the following steps:

  1. Posting the original question.
  2. Showing the effort I've made to solve the question by providing my own calculations.
  3. Asking kindly for solution verification at the end of my post.

Is this acceptable? Should I do anything else, such as use a specific tag or add anything to my post's title?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should also tag it as Homework \$\endgroup\$
    – mhaselup
    Dec 29 '20 at 6:51
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Well, ideally you would find a way to check your own solutions. That's the best way to develop a good understanding.

If you ask "is this solution correct" it will be very hard to give you a good answer that is not just "No." without providing a correct solution. So, asking "is this solution correct" is almost the same as asking "What is the correct solution".

If you were my student I would not "pre-grade" your work. If you have specific questions about methods then ask those specific questions, but don't ask me to tell you if your work is correct before you hand it in.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As a college student, there's no way for me to check my solutions; there is no answer key I can refer to, and since the people who grade the assignments check if students copy the answers from each other, other students don't have the time or will to help with solution verification - so the only way I can check my own solutions is using online forums, such as this site. As for your second point, if I provide a detailed attempt at solving the question, it will be very easy for others to point at a mistake I made, and nudge me in the right direction, helping me arrive at the correct answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – uriyaba
    Dec 24 '20 at 9:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are likely several ways to check your solutions. For example, if you are doing dc circuit analysis problems try solving the problem using a different method. Use mesh analysis instead of superposition. Or, calculate that power is conserved by calculating the power in all of the circuit elements. If you are not allowed to collaborate with other students then I am pretty sure that asking for help on the internet is cheating. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 12:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ And asking someone "Is this answer right?" is no different, in the final analysis, from asking someone to provide the solution. You can keep making blind attempts and asking "Is this right?" until the answer is yes. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 12:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Expecting someone on the internet to "point to a mistake I made" is cheating. Expecting someone on the internet to "nudge me in the right direction" is cheating. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to develop confidence in your knowledge and skills. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Asking for solution verification isn't the same at all as asking for someone to provide the solution. It is, by definition, simply asking for validation of the solving process at best, and a hint pointing at a mistake at worst, no more and no less. Additionally, asking for help with homework isn't considered cheating anywhere, and claiming otherwise is utterly ridiculous. Finally, I never said I 'expect' people on the internet to help me, all I did was inquire about the proper way to do so, and you're not contributing to the discussion by self-righteously arguing in bad faith. \$\endgroup\$
    – uriyaba
    Dec 24 '20 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ If asking for help isn't cheating, then why don't you ask your fellow students? Can you ask for help in the middle of an exam without cheating? And your comments made it clear that you wanted more than verification, you wanted someone to "point to your mistake" and give you a "nudge" in the right direction. You can call me self-righteous but I'm a teacher. If a student cheats they are effectively stealing from students who don't cheat, and part of my job is to make sure that doesn't happen. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 14:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS SOLUTION VERIFICATION. There's doing the work to the best of your ability and handing it in, and there's cheating. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 23:27
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If you think you've gotten your homework right, turn it in for a grade.

If there's something you don't understand about the question, ask about it cogently, showing what you do and do not understand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If I was sure I solved a question correctly, I wouldn't be in need of solution verification, and I'd just turn it in for a grade. The thing is, with my homework it's quite impossible to be sure of that, for the reasons I've mentioned under Elliot's answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – uriyaba
    Dec 24 '20 at 10:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @uriyaba Many times, pro engineers don't have a pre-built solution and that means wading through a bunch of math to calculate this or that. But, at that point you can't be sure you have it right without performing some independent check that might be some form of simulation or digging that bit deeper to analyse stuff in a different way. Then, when the "multi-approach" methods all come back with the same answer, you can be confident about your solution. Real-life means you can't always rely on stack exchange and you just have to dig that much more deeply. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Dec 24 '20 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I generally agree with you - but I'm not anywhere near being a pro engineer - I'm still a student trying to wrap my head around the basics. I'm here to learn, not look for a pre-made solution! Getting my efforts to solve an assignment looked at, is immensely helpful to my understanding of the topic it's about, and the feedback is also teaching me how to approach similar questions in the future in a good, efficient manner. \$\endgroup\$
    – uriyaba
    Dec 24 '20 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Now you make it clear that you are not just looking for a yes/no answer to "Is this correct", you actually want "feedback" to teach you "how to approach similar questions". If you ask for this "feedback" when you are supposed to be working on your own then you are cheating, and your reluctance to talk to other students suggests you are indeed expected to work alone. If you want to ever be a professional engineer you need to learn how to check your own work. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 21:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're here to learn, then you would be looking for the right answers after your own work has been graded \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '20 at 23:29
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Would it not be much better if you could ask

How could I verify solutions to problems like these?

instead of "Please verify my solution"? Because that is what I would do, for the following reasons:

  • There are many tools like simulation tools, scientific computing softwares which you can use to verify your solution/design. A search using a search engine can reveal what tools are used.
  • Choosing the right technique/methodology to verify a problem may not always be obvious, and would depend on the type of problem.
  • Verification is an important part of engineering, and gaining the skill of verifying your designs (or someone else's design) would definitely be an asset.
  • You are less likely to find a complete stranger on the internet willing to verify your solution for you, for free. On the other hand, I would be happy to suggest techniques for you to verify your solution, depending on the problem you are solving. This would also be much more useful than verifying your solution for you.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime

This is a famous quote. Once you learn the art of verifying your solutions, debugging and troubleshooting you would not have to upload them on Stack Exchange sites and wait for someone to do it for you. We can help you with suggestions for verifying, debugging and troubleshooting. This skill can be acquired through practice.

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