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How to Answer

+2 votes
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How to Answer
related to an answer for: Why are some questions closed?
asked Sep 15, 2012 in ReachBack FAQs by Admin (290 points)  

1 Answer

+3 votes
 
Best answer

 

Welcome to Answers!
 
Thanks for taking the time to contribute an answer. It’s because of helpful peers like yourself that we’re able to learn together as a community. Here are a few tips on how to make your answer great:
 
Pay it forward
 
Saying “thanks” is appreciated, but it doesn’t answer the question. Instead, vote up the answers that helped you the most! If these answers were helpful to you, please consider saying thank you in a more constructive way – by contributing your own answers to questions your peers have asked on Answers.
 
Have the same problem?
 
Still no answer to the question, and you have the same problem? Help us find a solution by researching the problem, then contribute the results of your research and anything additional you’ve tried as a partial answer. That way, even if we can’t figure it out, the next person has more to go on. It’s also possible to gain a bit of reputation with your answers and vote up the question so it gets more attention, or you could set a bounty on the question.
 
Answer the question
 
Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.
 
Provide context for links
 
A link to a potential solution is always welcome, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there . Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.
 
Writing style matters
 
Nobody’s perfect — but answers with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are easier to read. They also tend to get upvoted more frequently. Remember, you can always go back and edit your answer to improve it at any time.
 
Always be polite and have fun
 
It’s fine to disagree and express concern, but please be civil. There’s a real human being on the other end of that network connection, however misguided they may appear to be. We’re here to learn from our peers, not yell at each other.
answered Sep 15, 2012 by Admin (290 points)  
Also consider reading wikipedia's article on answering technical questions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Help_desk/How_to_answer