Sometimes it happens that the question already contains the answer. These questions could be of different sorts:

  • I think so ... (here is the correct answer), but I am not sure
  • The author mentioned the correct answer, but due to some misunderstanding doesn't see it as such.

The second case is a normal question - the correct answer will contain the correct answer and explanations about the misunderstanding.

But what about the first sort? As here:

Why were harvest times in Cyrenaica earlier than in Greece in antiquity?

Any correct answer will simply repeat a piece of the question with maybe a pair of words of praise to the questioner.

What is the correct reaction to such questions?

2 Answers 2


If the correct answer has already been mentioned in the question, there is nothing wrong with answering with that. It would be considered much better however, to expand on the answer or to provide more evidence.

In that harvest times example (which I think actually fits better on Earth Sciences) if you provide an answer which expands on the comments from Semaphore, JustCal and your own comment, that would be just fine. It doesn't matter that a good portion of your answer is in the question - the asker wanted an answer, otherwise they wouldn't have asked.

  • 2
    Really, after more thinking, I found that the question referenced is not so trivial and I can't give the full answer myself, even having read much on the history of climates... So, I agree, if some doubts appeared, it was not without reason, in the most cases.
    – Gangnus
    Dec 28, 2017 at 14:21
  • Surely the most important thing is to understand why the questioner doubted his answer and to take away his uncertainty. Often it will simply be lack of evidence, which you should provide, as your answer implies. I think there is ‘something wrong’ with just saying their answer is right.
    – PJTraill
    Dec 29, 2017 at 16:54

In the specific question, the OP was just speculating. In that case, telling the OP that is exactly the answer to his question (maybe providing links that support the answer) is the correct answer.
I take that is what the OP wanted: a confirm of what he was speculating.

  • 2
    I agree, if he was speculating on the subj, it was not without a reason.
    – Gangnus
    Dec 28, 2017 at 14:23

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