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Questions and Context - Suggestions or Common Sense?

I often ask questions so I can solve a rather immediate problem.
I often ask questions so I can learn something new.

I often answer questions and try to allow for those differences from the askers to guide my answers.

Many of us are natural "problem solvers" so we engage with the idea of solving a problem.  And, some of us are good teachers as well and engage with the idea of teaching or guiding.
Sometimes the two go together.

It's problematic when a question with an education objective is answered as if "there must be a problem here".
This can lead to unfortunate assumptions regarding what the asker "needs" in a response.

Being Experts Exchange, I figure this is an exchange between experts - as well as a helping site.

For my part:
I'll try harder to keep my questions and answers to the point.
I really can't agree with a rule that the questions be all on "one line".
I'll try to keep my questions shorter while wondering why folks seem to be too impatient to read  pertinent information.

I'm sure there's guidance that I've not found.
I wonder, if it doesn't, if part of the guidance shouldn't include: "please respectfully pay attention to what's being asked"?
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Rank: Savant

Expert Comment

>>Do we agree it *is* a place to teach?

There is no agreement.  There never will be.

For example, I disagree with Jim's disagreement.

Overall:
If you want to attempt to educate at the same time you are answering the question, go right ahead.
If you don't, that is also perfectly acceptable.

Forget agreement between Experts:
There are times I'll attempt to educate the OP even if they don't ask for it.  There are times I won't even if they do.

Way too many variables and moving parts.
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Rank: Genius

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Fred Marshall2016-06-30 10:28 AMID: 1920889
St. Jimbo: So, I take it you're saying "I don't want to have to or be expected to (teach) each and every time".  
OK.  But is it a sin?  Whip cream on the cake .... eh?

Actually, I suppose I could have been even MORE clear:
Questions can be "problem solving" questions or they can be "learning" questions.  If a question has to be prefaced by "the xyz is broken" then that seems limiting to me.  Often, what's broken is *me*.  :-)  
"How do you configure a NIC to have more than one IP address?" is about the tech not knowing and in need of learning and not about the NIC or its settings being broken.  

Is "fix it by doing this" a problem-solving answer or a teaching answer?  I would say it's both.  Not worth parsing and not appropriate to parse.
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Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

<<Do we agree it *is* a place to teach?>>

 It's a place to help people, plain and simple.  "Helping" takes many forms.  Sometimes it's doing it for someone who has really tried, but just doesn't get it.   Sometimes it's taking them step by step through something until they do.  It varies.

 What you want to bring to the table is up to you.

But no one should ever say you can't teach here if you want to.

Jim.
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Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

I should also point out that "helping" goes both ways; some day, you may have a question on something you don't know.

 But also the very act of answering questions helps many in learning to communicate well, work with others, learn something they didn't know before, see different approaches to a problem that they themselves may never have considered, and the list goes on.

Jim.
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Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

Nick672016-06-30 10:39 AMID: 1920898
Do we agree it *is* a place to teach?
If YOU look at a Q and say "hey, there's a teachable moment here!"  then hell ya, it *is* a place to teach.
Now, whether the Q will stay open long enough, and you will answer quickly enough to be able to teach...well, that's a coin toss.

But at least 80% of my responses are some form of teaching.
EE ain't Books On Line, and it ain't Stack.
Post content YOU think the Asker needs to read and that some Googler will have use for in posterity.
It might even be a Good Answer.
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Rank: Master

Expert Comment

Netminder2016-06-30 11:20 AMID: 1920909
Ultimately, it's each individual's decision. If all you want to do is post answers, then unless it's homework, go ahead. Just don't bitch if someone who takes the time to explain a solution gets the points. And if you take two hours to write a pristine post, only to discover that someone has posted a 12-line code snippet and gotten the Good Answer already, well... maybe refreshing before posting is a good idea.

N
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