9
$\begingroup$

I have some questions about a Probability problem, which has already been asked and has a quite comprehensive answer. I am not arriving at the same result and I can not find out where my reasoning fails. Should I create a new question and reference the older one or should I comment the original question?

Thanks a lot in advance.

| |
$\endgroup$
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Both. Create a new question, and put a link to the new question in a comment at the old. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 26 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson doing so marked my question as a duplicate $\endgroup$ – Anindya Prithvi Aug 26 at 9:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Anindya I don't understand. Posting a new question can't mark it as a duplictate, and leaving a comment on the old question can't mark a new question as a duplicate. The only way a question can be marked as a duplicate is if users look at the new question and decide it's a duplicate of another question. So when you post a new question that you're going to link to an old question, it behooves you to include in the new question an explanation of how it differs from the old question, why it shouldn't be considered a duplicate. Then users can make an informed decision. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 26 at 9:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AnindyaPrithvi Is this the question which you are referring to? (This is the only one of your questions I can see closed as a duplicate.) If so, then your question does not reflect the situation described here (mainly there is no explanation as to how it differs from the old question, but also because it is not closed as a duplicate of the question in your comment). However, if you feel that your question was incorrectly closed as a duplicate then you should explain why you think this in the comments. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 26 at 9:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user that is what I had in mind. A link to the new question in a comment at the old, and an explicit reference to the old question in the body of the new. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 26 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Apologies, I missread your comment. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 26 at 12:14
10
$\begingroup$

If your issue/confusion can be summarised in only a few lines, and if the author of the original answer is still active, then it is often better to first leave a comment on the relevant answer and wait for the author to reply. The author may be able to answer your question, and may even choose to edit their answer as a result. (Thanks to Michael Albanese for pointing out in the comments that this should be your first step.)

If the author decides not to reply, then you should do both of the things suggested in the OP:

  1. Create a new question which links to the old one, and
  2. Put a link to the new question in a comment to the old.

Ideally when you write your new question, the reference to the old question should clear and useful, and not superficial. Doing this provides excellent context, and gives a starting point for someone trying to answer the question.

For example, in your specific instance you should say what you wrote here: "I am not arriving at the same result and I cannot find out where my reasoning fails", and then post your (failed) reasoning. Avoid dismissive references, such as: "My question is similar to this old question, but I didn't understand the answers there".

| |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In the author of the original answer is still active, I think it is better to first leave a comment and wait for the author to reply. The author may be able to answer the OP's question, and may even choose to edit their answer as a result. If the author decides not to reply, then the OP should ask a new question as you have indicated. $\endgroup$ – Michael Albanese Sep 3 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelAlbanese Good point. I guess it also depends on how easy it is to explain the reasoning (as comments are limited in length). I will try and edit this answer to reflect this, but probably not until next week. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Sep 3 at 15:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .