Guidelines for posting a quality answer on Microsoft Q&A
Quality answers on Microsoft Q&A drive greater customer satisfaction and encourage users to ask more questions. This article outlines the guidelines for posting a quality answer on Microsoft Q&A. It aims to help you deliver quality answers by highlighting best practices and guidelines. To provide a quality answer, you should:
- Understand the question
- Consider your audience
- Break the answer into sections
- Add visuals
- Reference the word of others
- Check your answer for relevancy
Understand the question
The initial step in delivering a quality answer is to have a complete understanding of the issue or question posed by the user. It's common for users to leave out important details or assume you're familiar with their setup. If the question is unclear, it's okay to ask for clarification. Consider the following:
- Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is being asked before responding. Ask yourself: Am I confident in understanding the user's question? Do I need to request more information?
- Utilize comments to obtain additional information or seek clarification from the person who asked the question. Sometimes, additional context, a screenshot, or rewording the question can make a significant impact.
Consider your audience
When answering a question, it's important to keep in mind the larger audience you're helping. While your answer may be focused on the specific user who asked the question, adding more information can make it more valuable to others who may be searching for similar answers in the future.
Organize your answer for clarity
When answering a question, start by briefly summarizing the issue and restating the question. This confirms that you understand the problem and makes your answer more accessible for others who may be browsing the conversation for a similar issue.
Divide your answer into clear and concise sections, no longer than a few paragraphs each. This helps to present the information in an organized and easily digestible manner. If there are multiple questions related to the issue, be sure to clearly distinguish and emphasize the answers in your response.
Use screenshots to illustrate your answers
To enhance the clarity and impact of your answers, consider including screenshots whenever possible.
Highlight key areas using boxes or arrows and make sure the image clearly illustrates what you're trying to convey. To provide context for the reader, consider including a navigation bar, breadcrumb trail, or other elements that show the location. Consider adding a border to distinguish the screenshot text from the answer text.
The most popular answers tend to be those that include clear, helpful images.
Make sure to edit out sensitive information like subscription IDs.
Credit sources in your answers
When answering questions, it's important to acknowledge the work of others and provide proper credit. This can be done by including links to relevant resources along with the name of the author and the context for the link.
Quoting relevant information and providing an overview of why the resource is helpful can also be useful in case the resource becomes unavailable in the future.
Plagiarism or claiming the work of others as your own, is not allowed and answers identified as such will be deleted and your account might be suspended. For more information, see the the Microsoft Q&A community guidelines.
Check your answer for relevancy
Once you're finished with the answer, read the question once more and review your answer to make sure it covers all the user's concerns. This is specially important for complex scenarios. Additionally, remove excessive details and any information that is not related to the question.