When basic questions is asked and there is a clear "This is covered by the fine manual" and the OP should have read it but because of various reasons haven't.

Is or should a url answer in the spirit of RTFM be appropriate? or should answer be explained.


We don't do RTFM here. We do have ways of showing that a question hasn't demonstrated research effort, but all answers are expected to be self-contained and up to our standards, regardless of the question.

If a question is an "egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post", you should downvote it. The same applies to answers—if your answer is a brief link elsewhere, it's not really much better than the type of question we want to discourage.

Remember, if a question is so obvious that it is a waste of time to answer, you can move on to more interesting questions. You're never obligated to answer a question, and it might be preferable to not answer at all rather than give a brief, link-only answer.

Sometimes, just quoting the relevant section would be enough to solve the problem. This takes minimal effort on the answerer's part, but does vastly improve the answer for future visitors.

Remember, you're not just answering for the OP (in fact, that's more a side-effect); you're trying to help everyone in future with the same question. That's why you should always try to give the best answer you can—so that future readers also benefit.

  • Ok, then I will remove some "link only" answer when the answer is of the "egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post" type. And the type previous mentioned should they also be flagged "moderation needed"?
    – MatsK
    Sep 10 '17 at 14:09
  • @MatsK Which are you referring to when you mention flagging? If you see questions that just show no research effort, you should just downvote without flagging, unless there are other problems with the question, in which case, use a "should be closed" flag. We don't generally close questions for lacking research effort, though. Also, you don't necessarily need to remove your answer if you want to keep it up—just edit with the relevant details to improve it.
    – Aurora0001
    Sep 10 '17 at 14:11
  • Another thought, this will also rise the bar for OP that need an answer to, "where do I start?" since that show no pre-work... I sounds that there need to be some, rather forgive than judge?
    – MatsK
    Sep 10 '17 at 14:13
  • Thanks for the guidance.
    – MatsK
    Sep 10 '17 at 14:14

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