Guidelines Summary

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Super Moderator
Staff member
Oct 6, 2005
Welcome to our tutoring boards! :) This page summarizes some main points from our posting guidelines.

As our name implies, we provide math help (primarily to students with homework). We do not generally post immediate answers or step-by-step solutions. We prefer to help by having a conversation, just like tutoring! Please begin the conversation by telling us about your situation. The more detail you provide, the better our responses will be. Unless you say otherwise, we will treat you like a student working on a school assignment who is stuck at one of the steps. We don't do homework, but we might post a worked solution to a similar example, if you ask for it.

NOTE 1: If you understand Order of Operations, then be sure to type grouping symbols in your math expressions where needed, to prevent confusion.

For example, typing x+80/x-10 means \(\displaystyle x + \dfrac{80}{x} - 10\)
But typing (x+80)/(x-10) means \(\displaystyle \dfrac{x + 80}{x - 10}\)

NOTE 2: The first few posts from each new member will not appear on the boards until after they've been approved by a moderator.

Here's what you need to do, to get good help more quickly:

1. Why are you interested in the math you're posting about?

It really helps to know why you're working with math or what math class you're taking or the topic you're studying. There are many ways to find the same answers. We'd like to discuss a method that you're learning and to explain at your level of study.

"I'm in seventh grade. We're doing algebra tiles"
"I just started college calculus, and we're reviewing limits."
"I need help understanding a formula on my bank's website."
"I'm self-studying with an online book. What does this geometry theorem mean?"
"I'm an older student reviewing for a math placement test; please check my work."
"I'm programming an app, and I need help finding an angle."

2. Post the exercise or your question completely and accurately. Start a new thread for each exercise.

The easiest way is to copy exercises word-for-word (including the instructions). PLEASE use the Preview button to check your post before submitting it. Students waste their time when they submit posts containing typographical math errors, unreadable images or lost formatting.

3. Show work that you've already done (even if you think it's wrong), and try to explain why you're stuck.

Simply posting an exercise statement without showing work or asking specific questions is not enough for us to help you quickly. As tutors, we need clues about parts you already understand versus what you find confusing, so we can determine where to begin helping you. The sooner you show efforts or share what you've been thinking, the sooner we can get to the heart of the matter. If you cannot begin an exercise, then please tell us why (eg: unknown concept, confusing example, unfamiliar symbol, missing definition, unclear language).

4. We may respond by asking you questions (if we think something is missing or unclear).

Please respond to our questions; this saves you time. If you're not sure how to answer, say so. When people skip our questions, we might think they're not paying attention, don't care or need a face-to-face tutor, instead.

💡 If there's anything in a reply that you don't understand, let us know what it is, and we'll try that part again.

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