Every time I answer a question, it gets downvoted a lot. Obviously it's annoying, but I know why it happens.

I'm usually downvoted for one of the following reasons:

  • My answer isn't correct
  • My answer is too vague or hard to understand
  • My answer isn't researched or linked to a source.

So my question is:

How do I answer a question correctly?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Most of your answers are getting downvoted because they are wrong. The only way to fix this is by learning more about the subject. Maybe ask a question about it if you don't understand. $\endgroup$ – bon Feb 6 '18 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Gerrit's comment below your meta question "what is a reasonable reputation count" states: "Earth Science Stack Exchange is a serious science site, [...]". This summarizes quite well, what is expected: write an answer based on somehow scientifically proven information/data. In the scientific context, peer-reviewed journal articles are considered to be proven information. In the best case, an answer contains references to such peer-reviewed articles. $\endgroup$ – daniel.neumann Feb 12 '18 at 15:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Everyone can do a Google search. But search engines do not evaluate the web pages, which they find. They can yield information, which might be wrong or biased. Scientific data can be also wrong and biased. However, it is more difficult to publish a scientific paper with wrong data than to create a homepage with wrong data. We also hope that people, who write an research publication, know what they do. Whereas creators of web pages often do not fully know about what they are writing. $\endgroup$ – daniel.neumann Feb 12 '18 at 15:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You don't have to provide scientific references. Sometimes a link to Wikipedia or to some other trusted web-source might be also fine. If basic questions are answered, references are also not necessary. However, the answering user should have some knowledge in the field of the answer he/she writes. $\endgroup$ – daniel.neumann Feb 12 '18 at 15:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In this context, please also not a part from Freds answer to your question "what is a reasonable reputation count": "[...] Some of our members may only be competent to answer questions about weather and climate, others only about geology, some about geology and weather and climate. [...]". $\endgroup$ – daniel.neumann Feb 12 '18 at 15:34

Looks like you will really benefit by reading this answer - How to write an answer. Pay attention to the advice by one of the responders - "Have fun while writing an answer." On my 19 answers on this site I had lots of fun writing them !

You aren't paid to do this. At the end of the day you're competing for arbitrary internet points. If you find yourself arguing in the comments or getting frustrated, step back, take a deep breath, and go and do something fun. If you're not enjoying yourself it's going to show in your answers.


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