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Homework Help: Ask a Northern Expert

    For those of you in school, homework and exams probably seem to take over your life at times! I know that most of you enjoy the challenge that homework offers - - but even so, it's sometimes handy to have somebody to call on to help you get started on a project or to get past a tough point in it. You're in luck - there are lots of people on the Net who are offering to help out.

    Before you ask for help, though, there are some really important ground rules to keep in mind:

  • don't ask The Expert to write a paper for you;
  • don't try to replace research with one note to An Expert;
  • always remember that The Expert has a life and probably a job - there is no obligation to answer you;
  • ask a specific question - not something like "What can you tell me about the Inuit?"
  • it may help if The Expert knows what the purpose of the question is - a school project, just curious, or somewhere in between;
  • sign your note - The Expert wants to be able to say "Hi Sarah", not "To Whom it May Concern" (you're more likely to get an answer, too);
  • make sure that your return email address works - I often get notes that I can't "Reply" to;
  • each site works within different timelines - some say they will answer within 2 days, other within 1-4 weeks. If you need an answer within a week, don't write to ones that probably won't answer in that time. If you need to know the answer "tonight", you are unlikely to get an answer;
  • if you get an answer, even if it isn't as complete an answer as you would have liked, thank The Expert for their time;
  • The Expert will often be willing to answer follow-up questions, but the same rules apply;
  • most of The Experts would like to know that their efforts have helped you - otherwise they wouldn't have offered to do it. If you get an "A" in the paper that they gave you a hand with, drop them a note and say so;
  • although most of the people listed below are recognized as Experts, some may not be - see if you can find out whether the information you get is reliable (without insulting The Expert, of course). Some sites make it easy to check.

Have fun!

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