Example: I read Would butter on burns help or harm? and gave the following answer:

enter image description here

which got deleted by Shog9:

enter image description here

Do we need to explain self-explanatory quotes?

For example, from a mod on Travel.SE:

it's okay to only quote material found elsewhere without adding new content if the external author fully answers the question.

  • 3
    If your answer is just a quote with no explanation behind it I don't think it is a good answer
    – Joe W
    Apr 21, 2015 at 2:19
  • @JoeW Thanks. In this example, what explanation should I have written? Apr 21, 2015 at 2:33
  • Why using butter is bad, with what it does rather then just quotes
    – Joe W
    Apr 21, 2015 at 3:00
  • @JoeW The second quote contains that ("Any greasy substance on a burn keeps heat in and could make it hard for a burn to heal or be properly treated."). Apr 21, 2015 at 3:19
  • meta.health.stackexchange.com/questions/193/… - He explains it all in that posting.
    – JohnP
    Apr 21, 2015 at 15:11
  • @JohnP I guess in the link you pointed you referred to "Flag answers that consist entirely of links / quotes / or references without bringing any knowledge or expertise to relate them to the question. It's awesome to draw heavily from (trusted) sources, but be sure to pull out the key relevant parts and tie them back to the specific question at hand." --> Again in the example I show in a question, I believe it means explaining self-explanatory quotes. So, again, in this example, what explanation should I have written? Apr 21, 2015 at 15:52
  • You should have given an interpretation or your own knowledge, backed up by the quote or reference, rather than just a blind cut/paste.
    – JohnP
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:02
  • @JohnP Put aside SEO, what difference does that make to add you own knowledge, when 2 highly recognized medical centers clearly answered the question? Apr 21, 2015 at 16:06
  • If you can't get that from the link in Shog's answer, I'm not sure how else to explain it to you. meta.health.stackexchange.com/questions/211/…
    – JohnP
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:24
  • @JohnP Sorry I can see in the answer be pointed to why (except for 'looks bad, SEO'). IMHO my answer fully answers the question, and does not leave leg work of verification to the reader, since the medical centers are recognized. Apr 21, 2015 at 16:26
  • FWIW, I don't care about SEO (although if you want this site to go anywhere, you might want to care just a little bit). I do care about not wanting to creating sites that just parrot existing sites; there are enough of these out there already, they're frustrating to folks looking for information and unappealing to folks who might wish to share their own knowledge. If you can't write even one original paragraph about a topic, maybe let someone else answer who can?
    – Shog9
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:22
  • @Shog9 If in my opinion a webpage already perfectly answers a question, I'll indeed let someone write the answer. Apr 21, 2015 at 19:29
  • Well I completely support you Mr. & I've also been in this stupid situation where you get all the up votes until you find your answer deleted. I think rules are rules. Once set everyone must follow even if sometimes breaking them doesn't cost at all. So, the next time when someone breaks it in a stupid costing way, and if we execute our usual action of deleting it, and leave urs undeleted, maybe he'll point out to ur post n ask y is urs left out when it's clearly breaking the rules. How! How! How! so as not to give him even the slightest chance to question, I think he deleted ur answer :)
    – azam
    May 7, 2015 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


Wallace Stevens:

Yes, that.

A quote without context is ripe for abuse. But even if you're quoting in good faith, an answer that consists of nothing but a quote or quotes is problematic for the reasons I laid out in What to do when a question is precisely answered by a Wikipedia page or section?

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