It isn't that earnest is bad. It is the taking oneself too seriously that we that we try to avoid. Many of us use this community as a way to vent and relax and to bounce pedagogy ideas off of each other. But we all like to keep it not too serious--at least with ourselves. We answer serious questions seriously. But we also make fun of our own pomposity. Many of us have "credentials." We try not to fall back on them or push them.
1. WE ARE NOT HERE TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you have a 15-page essay due tomorrow about James Joyce, don't make a post asking people to analyze Ulysses for you. Homework posts--both the sneaky and the blatant--will be deleted without notice. If you have questions about why that is, please email a maintainer.
2. Posts about applying to grad school are no longer welcome here. (Some of us have strong feelings about this.) Take a look at our tags on applying to grad school and the GRE--there's a good chance most basic questions are answered there already. applyingtograd is probably best equipped to answer your queries.
3. No grade-grubbing posts. This includes posts that say things like, "I just wrote the best paper EVER and I got a bad grade. Now I am making a post about it to get sympathy and advice." (Trust me, you'll get a whole lot of the latter and next to none of the former.)
4. No "I am a superstar, don't you agree?" posts. This is often part of #3 above ("Read my paper and realize my awesomeness so I can use it to feed my ego and to fuel my desire for revenge on my misguided and dimwitted professors!").
5. Posts along the lines of, "I know I should ask my instructor-type-person about this, but I am asking you instead" will be deleted.
6. Spend some time with our tags before you post.
7. If you have a question that can be answered in two pages or less with a Google search, be prepared to be told how lazy you are. Before asking us to define, say, ibid, try "define: ibid" in Google first.
8. If you must complain or otherwise rhapsodize about how the community is maintained, please do so in an email to one of the maintainers; don't waste everyone's time/space with a whiny post. Posts of this nature will be deleted without notice, as they are irritating and tend to provoke drama. Repeat whiners will enjoy a long stay in Bannation. If you're unsure if something is OK to post, drop us a line.
9. Posts that should really be comments to other posts will be deleted. Keep your comments where they belong--in the comments. If you have something so important and dramatic to say that you need the whole community to see it and you are afraid it will get lost in the multitude of growing comments in an already contentious post, then you should probably either keep your thoughts to yourself entirely and go make cupcakes instead, or make a polite comment in the proper thread. (Before you pull the trigger, ask yourself: "Am I doing this to engage in genuinely productive conversations, or is it really more of a WHEE LOOK AT ME! thing?")
10. If you're making a marginally long post, please be courteous and employ the LJ-cut tag.
11. If you want to post a research questionnaire to the community, you must first get approval from the maintainer team via email. (See here for additional information.)
12. Additionally, if you would like to promote your relevant community, drop the maintainers a line first for approval. Otherwise, community promo posts will be deleted.
13. Article requests belong in article_request, not here.
14. People who delete posts after substantial comments (10-15+) have been made will have posting privileges revoked. It is unfair to those who have contributed to the post to remove it. If you feel that your original post reveals too much personal information, you ought to edit it to remove that information. You may email a mod if you deem responses inappropriate, or alternately simply disable emailing of comments (We tend to be pretty chatty, so it's worth disabling it anyway for busier posts). Do not disable commenting.
15. Last but not least, read this and this; we don't like spam.
IN GENERAL: This is a large community, known for its grouchiness -- so really, we encourage you to think before you post anything in our community full of so-called "serpents" (or velociraptors. Very speedy, we can be.)
+ NO TROLLING (See #4), personal attacks, etc. There is plenty of attack-mode mentality in the real academic world and this place should be more civilized than that. It's our little refuge where we can all relax and let down our defenses. In that spirit, I want to emphasize how crucial it is that we all take the time to frame our arguments and thoughts carefully in this community so as to preserve its integrity and openness to difference. Thoughtful disagreements are a good thing, but there's no room for personal attacks around here--save it for your next faculty meeting. Trolling and/or personal attacks will be deleted without notice and may result in the offending user being banned from the community. In short? Don't be an ass (though we do recognize that the line between ass and not is sometimes blurry).
+ Be sure your post is contextualized and it's 100% clear why you're posting here and not in, oh, say, chicken_recipes. Inappropriate, insufficiently contextualized posts will be removed without notice. When in doubt, email rockstarbob, rabswom, or owl_of_minerva.