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Homework Help Sites - Real Help With Percentages Or Just a Turkey?
Inaccurate Answers From Homework Help and Essay Sites
The use of answers fro some homework help web sites and pre-written essays from assignment cheat sites has become increasingly controversial for two reasons. One reason is that students who use there sites are often not doing their own work for classes, but relying on the quick fix of an online answer or essays that they can buy.
The second reason for controversy is that the answers to short answer questions or mathematics problems found on some Q & A sites and much of the information contained in essays-for-fee is incorrect. Thus neither type of web site is consistently of much help to students and students should, ethically, do their own classwork, book reports, and term paper assignments.
One researcher, Vernon Chatman, noticed the large number of essay writing web sites popping up and decided to test their writers' skills, with hilarious results. He posed highly convoluted and prank questions to these web sites to answer in essays for which he paid. Then he put the disastrous essays in a book and published it.
Mr. Chatman's book is Mindsploitation: Asinine Assignments for the Online Homework Cheating Industry, pubished in April 2013. A read of this book finds a convincing argument for avoiding essay writing cheat sites, as well as some Q & A sites on the Internet.
Why students should do their own work...
Creative Mathematics Used Unwittingly
From tie to time, Q & A sites receive a flurry of requests for answers to homework questions. While some of these are interesting and provide good writing prompts for online authors in completion of high quality articles, some questions are nonsensical, poorly stated, or much too simple for a Q & A forum or homework help site.
Some time ago, someone called creid asked writers to solve an algebra problem. The problem was stated in such a way as to cause confusion; and, it elicited a number of different responses,
All of the responses, correct and incorrect were voted by readers with at least one "-1" rating -- What fun! However, at least one response was correct and several different responses provided partially correct information or a fully correct answer, if a writer interpreted a different question posed by the originally stated algebraic problem.
I know that homework can be a headache! In a word problem in elementary school, I could not figure out how long to cook a turkey of a specific weight at 325 degrees F. The cooking rate was 15 minutes per pound and the bird weighed 18 pounds. Simple, right? -- 15 x 18 and then divide that answer by 60 minutes to find the hours.
I answered 270 minutes or 4 hours and 30 minutes and was marked incorrect. It works for me when I bake a turkey today, so I never figured out why the answer was wrong and my teacher could not explain either. I think she was using a preprinted answer book. At last my real turkeys come out fully cooked!
The problem with algebra itself, some find, is that it involves mathematics that includes a greater than usual emphasis on language in the dreaded
Some homework help sites around the Internet offer help with fraction and percentage problems, some for free and some at a fee. However, many of the answers turnout to be incorrect turkeys (duds, losers, wrong, no good, no help).
Percentage of 40 Redux
Let me try this again, and you can tell me if it is correct or if it is that wrongly-cooked turkey back in elementary school.
The Original Question was
"What percent of 40 is 1/4?"
[Note that 1/4 is very tiny and 40 is comparatively very large. Therefore, the answer will be a small number, because we must divide something already tiny by something much LARGER.]
Let us make a mathematical sentence with punctuation in these ways:
- What percentage of the whole number "forty" is the fraction "one-quarter"?
- What percentage called "x" of 40 is 1/4? [We must divide the second number (a fraction), by the first number.]
- x% = 1/4 divided by 40
- x% = 1/4 ÷ 40
Let's simplify the equation by working it through:
- x% = 1/4 ÷ 40
Note that 40 = 40/1
- x% = 1/4 ÷ 40/1
Now we have two fractions to divide (1st divided by second).
- x% = 1/4 x 1/40
(Rule: Change "divide" to "multiply" and flip the second fraction.)
- x% = 1/160
[Multiply 1 x 1 and place the answer in the numerator (top) and multiply 4 x 40 and place the answer in the denominator (bottom).]
- x% = 0.00625
- x = 0.625%
Note: One must move the decimal point 2 places to the right to convert the decimal to a percent (percentage).
1/4 is 0.625% of 40.
...and .625% is less than 1, so it is a very tiny number, as we expected.
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