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Forum Rules

No bumping. Bumping a thread is posting a reply to that thread solely to raise its profile and return it to the top of the active threads list. This is forbidden at MHB. If you want to draw attention to an unanswered thread, then post something of value such as further progress. It is also forbidden to bump one thread by drawing attention to it in a different thread.

No double-posting. Double-posting is sending the same post to the same or several subforums. This can lead to duplication of effort. Please post your question once only and in the correct subforum. As a courtesy, if you post your problem on multiple websites, and you get a satisfactory response on a different website, indicate in your MHB thread that you got an answer elsewhere so that our helpers do not duplicate others' efforts.

No flaming. Flaming is hostile and insulting interaction between users. It stems from a variety of issues including misunderstandings, frustrations, perceptions of unfairness, or simply desires for attention and entertainment at others' expense. It is not tolerated at MHB, so be mindful of what and how you post. If you think a particular post is inappropriate, report it using the Report Post tool (a button at the lower left corner of all posts - it looks like a triangle with an exclamation mark inside it) and so ask a moderator to review it.

Show the nature of your question in your thread title. The title of a post should be a brief and accurate description of what your question is about. Since we assume everyone needs help, usually urgently, titles such as ‘Urgent help needed’ etc. are pointless, annoying, ineffective and lazy. You should also avoid using symbols such as ? and ! excessively in a post title for reasons already given. An effectively titled post will get more views than one with a useless title. The thread title should be at least one level more specific than the forum in which you post. For example, do not title a thread in Calculus "Calculus Problem", but "Differentiation of a Function" or "Force on a Tank". Do not use \( \LaTeX\) in thread titles, as this strains our server and hinders thread searches.

Choose the correct subforum. The key to posting a question in the correct subforum is to consider the content of the question, not its origin. Post questions in the subforum most appropriate for their content. For example, post questions about differential equations in the Differential Equations subforum, NOT Calculus. Post questions that are pre-calculus in content in the Pre-Calculus subforum, NOT Calculus. When in doubt, report your post using the Report Post tool (a button at the lower left corner of all posts - it looks like a triangle with an exclamation mark inside it) and so ask a moderator to review your thread location. Use a different title for each new thread.

Do not cheat. Teachers expect graded assignments to be the work of that student and not others. Therefore, MHB policy is not knowingly to help with questions in such assignments. If you present a question in such a way as to suggest that it falls in this category, a moderator will close the thread and explain why. The original poster can always PM the moderator to discuss the situation, but if the moderator is unconvinced, the thread will stay closed. When a moderator is certain that a particular member is trying to cheat, he will ban that member and remove the offending thread. Where possible, the moderator will notify the institute at which the member studies and provide a copy of the thread. This may sound harsh, but MHB places a high premium on academic honesty and integrity.

Do not edit or delete questions after getting help. When you edit or delete a question after getting help, you subvert the context of the help and the thread becomes difficult to follow. Moderators will close threads vandalized in this way, restore the deleted question, and infract the offending member. The material posted on MHB is a valuable resource for everyone. It is unacceptable to vandalize this resource. Note that a member who deletes a question after getting help casts suspicion of cheating upon themselves. Be careful what you post. The public can view whatever you post - including all staff and students of the institute at which you may study - and your posts may show up on Google searches. It is good etiquette, if you mark your thread as [SOLVED], to post your solution so that others searching MHB will be able to see the solution and not waste their search time.

Do not ask more than two questions in a thread or post. It is better for forum organization, and better for you to get your questions answered in a more timely manner, if you start new threads as necessary for remaining questions. E.g., if you have five questions, post four of them in two threads (two questions each thread) and start a new thread for the remaining one. And if the question has more than two parts to it, it is best to post only that question and its parts in one thread and start a new thread for other questions.

Start a new thread for a new question. Don't tag a new question onto an existing thread. Otherwise the thread can become confusing and difficult to follow (follow-up questions are OK).

Do not post part of the question in the post title and the rest in the main body of the post. Post all of the question in the main body of the post. Otherwise it can cause confusion and delay getting a useful answer.

Show some effort. If you want help with a question we expect you to show some effort. Effort might include showing your work, learning how to typeset equations using \(\LaTeX\), making your question clearer, titling threads effectively and posting in the appropriate subforum, making a genuine attempt to understand the given help before asking for more help, and learning from previously asked questions. Moderators reserve the right to close threads in cases where the member is not making a genuine effort (particularly if the member is flooding the forums with multiple questions of the same type). You also should remember that all contributors to MHB are unpaid volunteers and are under no obligation to answer a question.

Post in English. Avoid text or leet abbreviations. DO NOT SCREAM (it is rude). Avoid swear words or any other improper language. Do not make racist or bigoted comments.

Help only with questions you are quite certain you know how to do. Before posting help, ask yourself: Is what I posted clear and impossible to misunderstand? Does it help the poster? Is it useful?

Do not explain hints prematurely. When you see someone already helping a member and waiting for the original poster to give feedback, do not give more hints or a full solution. Wait at least 24 hours for the original poster to respond.

Stay on-topic. Do not make totally pointless threads. It is okay to make jokes: without them the forum would be boring. But do not interrupt a serious discussion with something completely off-topic. Do not ask for help in Visitor Messages, Private Messages, or Live Chat. Post your question in the appropriate math forum and then be patient and wait for a reply.

Links in signatures to commercial websites are forbidden unless an administrator specifically approves them. Overtly evangelical or political statements are forbidden in signatures. The administrators will remove or edit inappropriate signatures.

Do not use a pornographic picture as your avatar or as an image upload. Do not post pornographic content or links to pornographic material.

In posting on Math Help Boards you agree that MHB may reuse your posted work in any way that the administrators or moderators deem appropriate, without seeking any further permission, but with due attribution where appropriate to the originator. This in no way effects your rights to reuse any such material for any purpose you see fit.

This list of forum rules is not necessarily exhaustive. The duty of the moderator is to enforce forum rules and manage the day-to-day affairs of MHB as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of MHB in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users. You can readily observe the unpleasant consequences of neglect of this duty at other websites. All posts are subject to review by the moderators and administrators. Moderators and administrators may edit and delete posts and close threads, issue warnings and infractions, and perform any other actions and interventions necessary to perform their duty.