If an answer is written in such a way that it is comprehensible, but could be written more clearly, what is the correct course of action for another user?

  • Edit the answer to make it more clear

  • Leave a comment on the answer to clarify, or to point out what could be clarified

  • Write your own answer which adds no new content, but is more clear

Are any of the above the correct course of action? Is any preferred over any other?


Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you. (source)

A reason given for editing is:

To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)

So I can't answer which is the best action to take, but editing someone else's work to make it clearer is 100% Glatt Kosher. If you want a place to own your own words, you may start a blog. SE is about community managed and collaboratively edited content.


I think it depends on what you're doing.

  • If you're leaving the original idea intact, and just clarifying the answer, then you should edit the old answer; although if it's too much work, then you can always leave a comment, urging the original poster to edit his/her own post.
  • If you're adding new ideas, then you should add a new answer.
  • If you're leaving the original idea intact, and you're adding sources, then I think that either approach is fine -- you could edit in the source, or post your own answer. (For example, I edited in a source here, even though I could have used the same information to post a new answer. I felt like being nice, but I don't think that was strictly necessary.)

It's all about maintaining author's intent, I think. And, like Double AA says, editing is important.

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