Answer a Question

How to write a great answer to a question.

Written by Loren Alldrin
Updated over a week ago

Tags | Answers | Posts |

Applies to: Enterprise

This documentation is for Stack Overflow Enterprise. Free, Basic, and Business users can access their documentation here. Find your plan.

Answers are the lifeblood of Stack Overflow, and a well-written answer brings great value to your Stack Overflow for Teams Enterprise (SOE) site. Here are some guidelines for crafting a great answer.

Read the question carefully
What, precisely, is the question asking? Make sure your answer addresses 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
Links to internal and external resources are encouraged, but 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 a vital link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline. Internal resources may be less likely to become unavailable, but vital information should still be kept on-site where possible.

Write to the best of your ability
Every answer won't be perfect, but correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar make an answer easier to read. Well-written answers also tend to get upvoted more frequently. Remember, you can always go back at any time and edit your answer to improve it.

Add a partial answer
Still no answer to a question, and you have the same problem? Help your team find a solution by researching the issue, then contribute what you learned as a partial answer. Even if you can’t solve the problem in its entirety, other users will have more to go on. Upvote the question as well, so it gets more attention.

Upvote good answers
If a question has a good answer already, you can still contribute your own knowledge by expanding on the answer or adding an alternate solution. While you're there, don't forget to upvote the other answer as well.

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