Suppose an OP poses a question without showing any effort, any research. Obviously, we should not write an answer as such. I think all the regulars on this site are on the same page about that.

But I want to focus on the effect it has on the OP to give him the information he's requesting via a quick comment, without providing feedback and without waiting for him to revise his question.

Should we avoid this? I think yes, and if you agree, please upvote; if you disagree, please downvote; if you think things are more complicated please feel free to write your own answer to this question.

Reason for my "yes" to the question: providing the requested information in a quick comment is unlikely to train the new participant to follow the guidelines for writing a good question. In fact, this approach might teach the new participant that he can just toss off a quick, unresearched question, and get the information he is seeking here, without any effort.

This question is inspired by Falsa alarma o alarma falsa? and a quick comment that basically answered the question.

I do want to acknowledge that the quick comment was clearly coming from the best intentions imaginable.

1 Answer 1


Igor is from Russia. He may not know how to write a long text in Spanish or even in English. He claims to be disappointed by the site's automatic rejection of a short question lacking in research.

At the same time, the question is clear enough.

I could have given him the answer he needed and, at the same time, asked him to show his research next time. I did so in two separate comments. I only hope I will not be punished for this. :)

Personally, I'm not very much in favor of "making a short story long" and tend to be eager to help, but the rules at the site are already established and I guess I'm not entitled to advocate for new ones.

Happy New Year!

  • Punished? Never! // I had a housemate, Melissa, who wanted to train her dog to chase and bring back a ball in the living room. There were two sofas arranged in an L. Pretty quickly the dog figured out how to train Melissa to run around the furniture while he stayed inside the L, wagging his tail and having a fine time. I'm proposing, let's give OP constructive feedback, and then allow some time for him or her to show something from a dictionary that was confusing, or at least to explain that nothing useful could be found. // At StackOverflow, Igor's English is solid. // Likewise -- HNY! Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 1:45

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