Since the question, "How do I write a good question for MATLAB answers?" has been asked, I wondered if we could benefit from the corresponding question about giving answers.
Some of the things I have in mind:
I think each of us has our own approach to all these and more issues, but I'd still like to see what people have to say in one spot. So what other issues come up when you answer a question on Answers? How do you address them? Should we (the regulars) try to stick to a "standard" approach to these?
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Not sure if this is a good practice. I'm interested in hearing what you think...
If you have a minor addition (or edit) to someone else's answer, post a comment on the answer asking to improve the answer with your suggestions, instead of creating a new answer. This will hopefully reduce redundant answers and multiple answers with small incremental changes.
EDIT: Once the minor addition has been inserted in the answer, the commenter (who asked for the minor addition) should delete the (now meaningless) comment.
I'm generally in favor of pointing out when a key edit (i.e. correction) has been made to an answer for the following reasons:
If it's just a matter of fixing typos, I don't think any indicator is needed.
If the edit makes the answer completely different, like adding a whole different possible solution, adding another answer may be in order since this gives people a chance to vote on the solutions independently.
Regarding the format for indicating an edit, " EDIT: " usually works well, or a lead-in explanation like " Based on the comments, this answer has been updated... " if you're feeling wordy.
Use an external debugger and paste the copied text instead of struggeling with the keyboard latency of the web interface. Being stressed by this suboptimal interface decimates your power to concentrate on the answer.
Put a clarifying question in the "Comment on this Question" box instead of putting your question as an answer.
Keep it civil.
Feel free to add elaborations or questions/concerns on the topic of civility to the comments below!
Ask the writer of an obvious homework question (especially when no work is shown) to:
If the question is vague, ask to clarify instead of assuming the question and answering based on your assumption.
Read the question all the way through before answering! (I need to remember this myself.)
At the risk of being obvious, test your answer! I find it useful to compose my answer, with comments, in the Matlab editor. Then I get rid of the % signs and paste into the Answers window.
Give your HTML links meaningful titles. For example, use How do I write a good answer for Matlab Answers? instead of http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/797-how-do-i-write-a-good-answer-for-matlab-answers. See Markup Help if you don't know how to do this.
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