Homework Policy

Austen for fun?

That’s what this web site is about.

Are you here because you choose to spend your free time reading Jane Austen — or because you need something? It makes a difference to us.

homeworkThe interactive parts of this web site are for recreational talk about Jane Austen. We really don’t want to see your questions on our bulletin boards if you are here because you need to get information rather than having a desire to join a community of like minds.

However, you are more than welcome to use the non-interactive reference parts of our site, which are linked below, along with links to other places on the net where you can get information, and where your questions may get a better reception.

  • You may browse the Jane Austen Information Page here, which contains online texts and all kinds of background and explanatory material about Jane Austen’s works.
  • If you are researching the Regency period, there are some good starting points linked from our Jane Austen’s Life & Times Knowledge Base.


Tip-offs that a poster is not here just to play:

  • Communicates an urgency, even desperation, for answers. Likely to say “I have to know.”
  • Unwillingness to offer own opinions.
  • Asks to be answered in e-mail.
  • Query sounds like an essay question.

Usually, it’s best to let the board host or a Pemberley committee member be the first one to respond. That’s your cue the question will be allowed to stay on the board. In answering, pretend you are the teacher — a teacher who wants the student to learn from all the cognitive steps required in the production of a term paper. If you find yourself unable to don the role, or if you are not sure whether the answer you have in mind is telling too much, don’t respond at all.


Students are often astonished (and even put out!) to learn that this friendly group who loves to talk should not be willing to open its arms to any and every seeker of Austen information, but that is not our charter; it’s much narrower and more specific. This web site is run by volunteers obsessed with Austen for others who are similarly afflicted. Since we have limited time to give, and it costs us money every time a message is read, we choose to tightly define the content and appeal of the site for fellow obsessives. This narrowness of focus makes it all the more fun and special for true devotees, and we smile whenever we read of a newbie’s delight in finding others who “understand.” If we are less than welcoming to you, a student who has popped in because you are saddled with Austen, then please just understand that we didn’t make this place for you.

A secondary reason for taking a hard line on homework help is that once a discussion site becomes known for allowing requests for help, it attracts more of the same inquiries.

If you are not just a weekend tourist in the Republic merely because you have a paper due, please check register at our discussion boards and join us.