Suppose a user post a question with multiple parts.I know it's not recommended but suppose he does.

Ex: A question with multiple parts

I know it's a closed question but it's enough to illustrate my point .

My question is should i answer a question with multiple parts if i only know some parts of it?


1 Answer 1


Full disclosure: I did vote to close that post as being "not focused" for asking many questions, even though the main closure reason indicated is the homework / check my work reason.

should i answer a question with multiple parts...

I would say no. Questions that do not follow the site policy should not be answered. Supplying an answer indicates that you think the question is a good question and deserves an answer. It gives future posts that have similar issues a post to point at and say, "but this question like mine got some nice answers. Why can't I get similar answers on my question?"

...if i only know some parts of it?

I would say this right here is one of the reasons why posts that ask multiple questions are not encouraged. IMO If you have only answered parts of the question then you have not fully answered the question (although there isn't a rule against this). If multiple users were to answer like this, then it makes it hard for other users coming to learn from the question to find the answer, as it will be scattered across many different answers.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Agreed. One other point: I'm not sure if it'd be worth adding to your answer, but I'd note that we don't actually have a rule that answers need to be complete answers. Certainly a complete answer is better than a partial answer, but people are definitely allowed to post partial answers to questions, and they won't get deleted or otherwise "moderated" simply for not being complete. (Maybe downvoted, but that's all) Sometimes this is relevant even for questions that aren't asking multiple things. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jun 29, 2020 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Good point. I have edited $\endgroup$ Jun 29, 2020 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ One problem with partial answers is that they probably should not be accepted by the OP as a best answer. Bur one partial answer tends to produce more partial answers (e.g. "Just to add to X's answer" is not uncommon in these situations). So no complete answer is ever made. Presumably we should discourage that by simply not letting multipart questions stay open. (?) $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2020 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG Well, yeah, we should close multipart questions (and, in general, questions that are too broad or unfocused). But I think the reasons for that go beyond the mere fact that they invite partial answers. For instance, someone might make a post which answers one part well and another part poorly, and then how are people supposed to vote on that? Or what if part of the question is a duplicate and another part isn't? And so on. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jun 30, 2020 at 23:09

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