A couple of times, I've had askers comment on my answer saying that it was right, but they don't take the extra step to mark the question as answered. I'd like to have something in the FAQ I can point them to.

The text might be:

When someone answers your question with a correct and/or useful answer, your next step should be to accept the answer that helped you the most, by clicking on the checkmark to the left of the answer.

This is important for several reasons:

  1. It lets other users know that the question has been answered.

  2. It moves the accepted answer to the top of the list of answers, so that when a user finds the question in a search, they can find the answer quickly.

  3. Finally, it gives the user who answered the question additional reputation points. This rewards the user who answered the question, allowing them to gain additional privileges on the site.

  • 1
    That's assuming that they read the faq – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Nov 19 '12 at 22:25
  • 4
    I wouldn't say "useful answer" as all answers should be useful to some degree. The acceptance means "this answer helped me the most". – ChrisF Nov 19 '12 at 22:25
  • 2
    New users are already reminded to accept answers to their answered questions. – user102937 Nov 19 '12 at 22:26
  • @Sam I am, I'm looking for a way to appeal to "authority" when I leave a comment asking for the user to accept answers. – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:28
  • @RobertHarvey, I'd like to remind them again. :) – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:28
  • @ChrisF, good point, added. – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:30
  • 6
    In general, I dislike comments that appeal to users to accept answers to their questions. Users are free to accept an answer or not; just as you are free to use voting for any purpose you choose (so long as you don't commit voter fraud), the OP is free to use the checkmark in any way they see fit. – user102937 Nov 19 '12 at 22:31
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    I don't support point 3 at all, I think users who decline to answer questions from low-accept-rate askers are utterly wrong. However if you remove that I'll support the rest of it. – Kate Gregory Nov 19 '12 at 22:38
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    @RobertHarvey you're right, as usual, but I think the OP is focusing on the case where it's clear that an asker would want to accept an answer if he only knew that the feature existed. – Pops Nov 19 '12 at 22:42
  • @RobertHarvey, am I not free to use comments for any purpose I choose? – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:45
  • @PopularDemand, that's correct. – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:45
  • @dpassage: No. The purpose of comments is to clarify a post. That's it; comments have no other sanctioned function. – user102937 Nov 19 '12 at 22:46
  • @Bart, and Kate, sold, removing point 3. – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:49
  • Welcome to Stack Overflow. Please note that the preferred way of saying 'thanks' around here is by up-voting good questions and helpful answers (once you have enough reputation to do so), and by accepting the most helpful answer to any question you ask (which also gives you a small boost to your reputation). Please see the FAQ and especially How do I ask questions here? – Jonathan Leffler Nov 20 '12 at 7:47

You can always point people towards How does accepting an answer work?... It has a nice authoritative tag, and a score of 410.

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  • I support this, provided it is only used on questions (not answers), where the OP has a zero accept rate. – user102937 Nov 19 '12 at 22:42
  • @Popular Demand, thanks, I'll use that for now. I'd like to let the discussion go a couple more hours before I accept, though. Seems like the consensus is against adding to the main FAQ. – dpassage Nov 19 '12 at 22:46
  • @dpassage Well, I gave you a workaround to what you originally suggested, so don't feel like you have to accept it if you have your heart set on a site FAQ change. I'm neither for nor against your original proposal, for what it's worth. – Pops Nov 19 '12 at 22:49
  • But please, be careful about the way in which you point to that page. Whatever you do, don't say something along the lines of "Please increase your accept rate [link]". – Bart Nov 19 '12 at 22:51
  • Delegating tasks like this to the users of SO is a waste of time. People are expected to read the FAQ, if it's important then why not put it there? If it's not important, then why advocate posting this type of comment? See the +39 comment on the answer to that question. – user159834 Nov 19 '12 at 23:03

Its already in the meta-faq (referenced in the SO faq). You can point users there if you like, but I think the fact that it is not already a frequently asked question should be indication enough that it's not a question new users ask, either because they don't care, or because its obvious to them.

The FAQ already goes into depth about reputation, so if they read that, they know you gain rep if they accept your answer. If they don't understand how reputation works then they probably didn't read the FAQ in the first place.

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