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When a user resolves their own question and posts a I solved it comment, there appears to be consensus to post their comment as an answer:

This makes sense when compiling information from comments by the OP and others to a well formed answer, clearly isolating the resolution.

There is also talk of flagging moderator attention to convert comments to answers or vice versa.

If pasting the comment is the recommended practice, how literal should it be?

Taken aback by this post, a user literally pasted the comment verbatim with typos wrapped in brief commentary in a text block in this answer:

You forgot to post your answer. Here it is: "Hi peopje, I solved it. [...] Thanks again, you thoughts sparked the solution!" This will show up as solved in the search. Please make sure to do this next time.

Is this acceptable? Shouldn't some effort to isolate and edit the answer be put forth?

It would seem commentary around the answer should be left as comments.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Is it wrong that the user did what they did? No.

Would it be helpful to go and remove the noise and leave just the answer? Yes. Go nuts. I have done so for the example you provided, to demonstrate what I feel is most appropriate.

A key thing to do when in this situation is to provide a link to the content you quote, as a part of proper attribution. I have added that since it was missing from this example.

Also note that if the OP has edited the answer into the question (which is not the case here); it doesn't belong there. Once it's been moved into an answer it should be edited out of the question itself.

It is also common to mark such answers as community wiki, to indicate that the content is not "one's own", and to avoid taking credit for the work of another, but that is not required, merely a common practice that is considered polite.

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Beat me to it by a scant second. –  Michael Petrotta May 22 '13 at 19:57

Here's my 5 cent!

The best thing is to put it as an answer. That's how the site work, and comments are not meant to be permanent. Thus, if the comment disappears then the question is no longer resolved and that's bad.

Then there's the decision about making it CW or not:

  • If you can improve the answer enough to make your own answer (and you know about the subject). Make it your own answer, you've written it, and you made improvements (and maybe include a link to the comment saying you based your answer on that.)

  • If you are not knowledgeable about the subject but just want to make the answer more visible and you just "recopy" (and format) what the user said, put it as a community-wiki. This way, the OP and other users will be able to improve the answer more easily, and make it a great answer.

The same thing goes for answers that are written within the question body.

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