I saw recently a question which appears to be hard, however I had some insights that can help to answer it. I think that with some more think I can get closer, but not fully answer the question. So I doubt what to do with this. The options are:

  • Make an answer, and when I proceed to edit the answer and add it.
  • Mark the insights in comment, with a short explanation how I got it.
  • Continue by myself, and only when I finish post the answer.

Which option is preferable?

  • $\begingroup$ Depending the size and scope, a partial answer might make a Comment, a draft Answer or an Answer per se. If you start an Answer but don't submit, the system keeps the draft but only you can see it. If you start another Answer, any previous draft will be silently forgotten. The Sandbox thread here on Meta is another way to draft "long, complex" edits. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Feb 8, 2014 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So being marked having received an answer would attract less attention?, but this much less attention maybe is better combined with the insights, assuming the goal is to receive a full answer. $\endgroup$
    – clark
    Feb 8, 2014 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ Even when it is a partial answer, if it contains enough information that others will find it useful, you can post it either as a partial answer or draft answer. If it is just an insight or something obvious, a comment might be more appropriate. Now matter what you do, clearly label the status of your answer in first paragraph of your answer. A note about what you have covered and what is missing will be useful for others to pick up your lead. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2014 at 10:25

1 Answer 1


Half an answer is better than no answer at all. Posting the progress you have made may provide the piece missing in someone else's partial answer. An answer doesn't have to be complete, just helpful.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Gerry, I'm mildly disappointed that you missed the opportunity to write a partial (but helpful) answer to this problem. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf, did you find my answer complete? or did you find it not helpful? $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2014 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ Clearly the former. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry. Should I try leaving out all the vowels? Oh, wait --- you're used to that. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2014 at 7:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You'll have to add Niqud, though. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 8:01

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