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A document that helped me a lot is How to ask questions the smart way by ESR.

How do I answer questions the smart way?

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possible duplicate of How to ask a smart question? –  Blorgbeard Dec 29 '11 at 11:07
    
Oh, I just re-read your question - I'd revoke my close vote if I could, sorry –  Blorgbeard Dec 29 '11 at 11:09
    
@Blorgbeard, Not a duplicate of my question. This is about answering a good way, not about asking the right way. –  Filip Ekberg Dec 29 '11 at 11:10
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Related: 6 simple tips to get Stack Overflow reputation fast –  Pëkka Dec 29 '11 at 11:57
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Also, see a blog post from Jon Skeet on the subject: msmvps.com/blogs/jon_skeet/archive/2009/02/17/… –  Oded Dec 29 '11 at 12:19
    
Upvoted all comments, thank you for your feedback I am gratified for following the advices you linked. Except that i don't post incomplete answers because I feel that would be annoying for the TO. –  jpic Dec 30 '11 at 9:56
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Related question: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/7656/… –  Rob W Jan 5 '12 at 18:59
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I follow these steps to answer a question:

  1. Read the question (don't skim titles).
  2. Post an answer, which contains:
    • The answer to the question
    • Properly formatted text (Utilise markdown, without exaggerating).
  3. Submit answer
  4. Edit answer to polish it:
    • Include relevant links to (external) sources, if applicable.
    • Mention possible pitfalls. "Beware, this solution might fail under the following conditions...", and possible solutions, "... this can be avoided by ...".
    • Add live examples (if possible, such as JSFiddle for JavaScript).
  5. Save edit
  6. Check back after a while, to check whether the question (requirements) has changed (unfortunately, this happens a lot).

Obviously, the answer has to be correct. If you're getting unsure, do some research at Google.

When you discover that the answer is bad (misread question, wrong answer), delete the answer (even if it has some upvotes already). If you have a great solution, edit the answer while it's deleted, and finally undelete it.

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I disagree with the practice of purposefully posting a known incomplete answer. Edits are inevitable, but if you have more to post and you know it, don't submit it until you are done. –  Andrew's a Unitato Dec 29 '11 at 11:57
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@AndrewBarber I do not advocate posting incorrect/incomplete answers. I propose to submit the right answer (Code to give me teh code questions). Then, use the edit feature to explain the code for future readers. –  Rob W Dec 29 '11 at 12:01
    
I don't post incomplete answers but still since i follow your advice my answers are accepted with more success so thanks ! –  jpic Dec 30 '11 at 9:55
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