I am trying to contribute effectively to the community, but I am not clear on when to Comment and when to Answer a question?
I see many 'answers' in comments and I am not sure why they chose not to answer instead?
I'll refer to our Help Center's section on the "Comment" privilege, in part:
When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:
- Request clarification from the author;
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
When shouldn't I comment?
Comments are not recommended for any of the following:
- Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);
This has come up before:
...when to Comment and when to Answer a question?
If the response is not a complete answer, then it's a Comment. If you have not provided all the information needed for the Original Poster to solve the problem, but have something constructive for them (i.e., 'relevant but minor or transient information'), that's a good comment; for example, if you remember part of a solution, but not the entire solution, that's a useful comment.