I have seen some answers which are correct in the concept required by the question asked by OP, but which lack some explanation. Now, if the OP is quite acquainted with the concept which his question is concerned with, he just might need a step to find the required answer. In that case, the answers having minimal description are acceptable.

However, I feel there might be users who need an explanation as to where certain terms in the answer came from, those who have recently been introduced to those concepts. This happens mostly in problems of combinatorics.

What I wanna ask is

Is it good manners to elaborate someone's answer, keeping the same approach?

Edit: I did something of the sort in here. Is that acceptable? By elaborate, I mean write a new answer, keeping the same approach, but explaining the steps in detail. No touching the answer of someone else!

  • $\begingroup$ I'm a little confused by your post. Could you give an example so it's a little clearer what exactly you mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 5:11
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ By "elaborate," do you mean to comment or edit? Do not edit someone's answer to add more detail. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ @anorton may i ask why not? is it considered rude? $\endgroup$
    – essay
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @sylvia It can be taken that way. In the eyes of some, an elegant solution is one that contains the minimum information necessary to solve the problem--but no more. As such, adding more information (spelling out steps, etc.) reduces the elegance of the solution. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 18:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Tejas: I don't have the time to write a full answer, but I think it's perfectly acceptable to add another answer that works out the problem in more detail, following the example of another answer. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @anorton OK. I just hope it isn't considered 'Copying'. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Tejas
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ This meta question is relevant. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


Usually when I gave an answer, I intentionally omitted some details, either because I guess the OP can fill in the gap (which is not the case you concern), or that I think the OP should put more effort in the question and the missing details can be filled in by the OP. In the latter case I expect more interactions with the OP.

Personally I suggest that you do not elaborate unless the OP is confused and the answer-er refuses to help. (This is the case if, for example, the OP asked some questions in "comment" of the answer and the answer-er did not respond for a long time).


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