A lot of questions on this site have answers that are sometimes just one sentence or a link. I think that these kinds of answers provide very limited value and don't follow the basic rules of how to write a good answer.

A few examples of what I think are bad answers:

A few good examples:

How do we handle this?

  • 4
    I don't think that the second and third example of "bad" answers are really bad. For a single word request, a very short answer without much discussion is just fine. Both answers are accepted, showing that they provide something useful to the OP of the questions. Sep 14, 2016 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


If a short answer is posted after a long one, it is possible that the second respondent deleted some material to avoid repetition. You could perhaps add a comment requesting clarification or more information. If none is forthcoming, all you have to do is refrain from upvoting.

If you cannot think of anything to ask, it is possible that the short answer is adequate. After all, a verbose answer with a lot of extraneous material may be less helpful to a person whose grasp of the language used in the answer is shaky.

There are some Stack Exchange sites on which competition for attention is fierce and people habitually overwrite their answers, add big pictures and diagrams, etc. Sometimes just delivering the needed piece of information without pavado is a better way to go.


Short answers don't necessarily mean there is a problem with the question. An answer could be short because the user posting it didn't add enough details, or posted as answer something that was better posting as a comment.

A long answer could mean there is a problem with a question, for example that the question is too broad, and the given answers try to cover all the possible cases.

In both the cases, it is not possible to consider a question problematic basing on the given answers. For example, if a question is subjective, it is subjective independently from the given answers; you don't need the answers to understand the question is subjective, even though the answers could be used as evidence that the question is effectively subjective.

  • So, we can conclude that answers should go into answers, even if they're short?
    – grooveplex
    Sep 21, 2016 at 8:15
  • It would be preferable to give more details, when possible. Any answers could be make longer, even including references. Certanly, an answer short like Yes. isn't much helpful.
    – apaderno
    Sep 21, 2016 at 8:38

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