The 411 For Teens

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Welcome! The purpose of this page is to offer information to teen members about how to enjoy your time contributing on Answers.com.

Table of Contents:

How to Get Started

Some Important Do's

Respect others and you’ll receive it in return:

Be respectful of others using Answers.com. You should act as you would in front of your parents, your boss, or in the classroom. After all, we're all here contributing to make Answers.com the best it can be! We actively watch the site and keep each other honest. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you want respect, you have to give it.

Show what you know:

Try to write your questions and answers in a way that can be easily understood. What you contribute here could be around for a long time, and people will be reading what you write, more often than you might think. You are intelligent, and you have been taught the proper forms of communication. This is one of those places where it is important for you to demonstrate your intelligence. There is even a spell-checker to help! Good writing is a good way to get trust points and get respect, too.

If you don't know, just ask:

Ask for help if you are unsure about something. Volunteer supervisors are available to help you get the most out of this site and enjoy your time here. They will always be glad to help you. Of course, you can also post your questions in the question box; that's what we're all about after all. There is a whole section on "Questions about WikiAnswers."

Follow our format:

Follow the Answers.com style guidelines the best you can. American English spellings are preferred over British English spellings. But text-speak and chat-speak are frowned upon by the community. We're not trying to discourage answering, but just to keep the site organized.

Put questions where they belong:

Try to make sure your questions are placed in the right category. Questions are put into categories to make it easier for people to answer them. A question about weather doesn't belong in the "Teen Dating" category, for example. If there is a user with dating knowledge looking through the dating topic for questions to answer, you want them to see your question.

Listen to the advice you’re given:

Pay attention if you get warned by a volunteer supervisor. Everybody makes mistakes, but if you get a warning and don't change what you're doing, you'll be blocked. This is a measure of last resort, but it can be done to protect the integrity of the site. If you are warned by someone you don't think is a supervisor, click on their name to see their profile. If they are a supervisor, it will be listed right there. Special note: If you feel you are the victim of cyberbullying, please contact a supervisor promptly. Cyberbullies, when discovered, will be removed from Answers.com immediately!

Some Important Don'ts

If only you know them, don't post them

Don't ask or answer questions about people that only you know, or their families, or your friends or acquaintances from your school or community, unless they are famous. Those questions don't belong on an international website. You may know these people, but the rest of us don't. Answers.com does not want anyone's privacy invaded, and those questions add no value to the site. Those kinds of questions are often reported by teachers, school administrators and parents. Even with famous people, don't ask for their home addresses or post questions about them that should be private. You may be curious, but even famous people have rights. Respecting privacy is another example of how to respect others.

Keep the chatter where it belongs

Don't use the main question and answer space or the question discussion page for chatting with anyone. Answers.com is designed for real questions and good answers that help to create a valuable resource for our users. Chatting in the main question and answer area is considered vandalism, and your account could be suspended. The proper area for chat is on your message board. Here's where you find your message board, in the blue navigation bar to your left:

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'Funny' has a place:

Don't give silly answers or answer in a way that might make the person who asked the question feel dumb. We all have a sense of humor and appreciate a good joke, but most of the questions on Answers.com are serious. Want to know a secret? Even if it looks like a dumb question to you, there is a good chance that a lot of other people have asked it, too. Answers like "Duh, any idiot knows this!" are not appropriate. Sometimes you may not understand the question; and sometimes, questions are asked by people who have limited English skills. That's right — we get questions from China, the Philippines, India, and all over the world! We also get questions from very young users. Just because an answer is obvious to you it doesn't mean it is obvious to the 7-year-old kid asking it. If you need to make a "funny," there is a special category for humor, jokes, and riddles.

Asking a question is a form of searching:

Don't assume that just one person asked a question. People from all over the world often ask the same questions. How would you feel if you tried to ask a question in Spanish and you got an answer like, "¡Ay, que idiota, que no puedes investigar por tu mismo!" ("Oh what an idiot, you can't look it up for yourself!") You don't know who is asking the question: it could be anybody, and oftentimes, it is hundreds of people. Everyone thinks in a different way, and not every way works for everyone. The question someone asked may be their way to begin searching. So we don't judge unless we know.

Answers.com doesn't 'Blank':

Don't take out other people's answers just to substitute your own; we call this "blanking." This site is a wiki and we all work together to form one great answer. Answers are not owned by one particular user. If a question related to facts is incorrect you should remove the incorrect answer, after verification, and replace it with the correct answer. In questions related to opinion, the process is slightly different. You may have a different opinion, but removing other people's honest opinions and good answers is considered vandalism; you are preventing other users from having their say. Use the discussion section for opinions that don't really answer the question.

If you wouldn't use the word in front of your parents, don't use it here:

Do not use profanities anywhere on the site; you can be instantly blocked if you do.


Cool Videos

We know you like videos, so we've jotted down a couple of links to some YouTube videos we think you'll like. The first one is the most popular one about Answers.com, and the second one is a link where you can browse around for others you may like. Be sure to read the rest of the sections in this help document, though! There is lots of important info in them!

Answers.com's WikiAnswers: All You Need To Know — This one is found elsewhere in the Help Center, but we thought we'd stick it here just so you could find it easier and get a quick jump-start on what Answers.com is all about.

YouTube - Answers.com Channel — This is the Answers.com channel on YouTube, with a bunch of other videos you may want to take a look at.


School Questions

Asking

It's fine to ask your school questions here. Many people here will enjoy answering questions about your school subjects. We know you can look up those questions in other ways. But we're kind of proud that Answers.com is often a good starting point.

If you're just copying questions out of your homework assignments, sometimes they are hard to read. When a question is hard to read or understand, it can sit without an answer for quite a while. You should put a question into your own words, and keep it simple. For example, sometimes we see this sort of question on Answers.com:

Which animal is a marsupial a. fox b. armadillo c. opossum d. raccoon?

It's better to leave the a, b, c and d out of the question, and just ask a simpler question or more questions:

What is a list of marsupials? -or-
Is a fox a marsupial? -or-
Is a raccoon a marsupial?

Likewise, asking a question similar to the following creates a problem:

Which of the following is an example of personification?

See the problem? No? Well, nothing follows. A better way to ask common homework questions like this is to reword it, and then ask. Like this:

What is an example of personification?

You can also talk about your question in the question's discussion page. Keeping things as simple as you can is usually the best idea.

Punctuation

You're not allowed to use much punctuation when asking questions. This is so the programming behind the website can understand the question better and do a better, faster job of categorizing and answering it. In particular, commas, periods and quotation marks are not allowed. But there are some exceptions and workarounds.

Double quotation marks are not allowed, but the single quotation mark is allowed. So you can ask, "What does '3G' mean?"

Periods are usually not allowed. For example, if you ask "When did the 'Mr. Rogers' show start?" you will be reminded that periods aren't allowed, and the system will suggest the alternate question, "When did the 'Mr Rogers' show start?", excluding the period after "Mr." However, periods are allowed to be decimal points. If you ask, "How many cubic inches are in a 5.0 liter engine?" your question will go right through.

Dashes are allowed. The question "What - if anything - helps you to feel less bored?" will be accepted.

It doesn't hurt to try to use the punctuation or symbols you want to use. If it's not allowed, the system will tell you.

Answers accept all normal forms of punctuation.

Answering

When you answer a question related to school studies you should make sure that it's correct. It should be as complete as you can make it. Dozens of people may be counting on a good answer. If you answer questions with false information or nonsense on purpose, your account could be blocked. Answers.com tries to be accurate and have good answers.


Questions About Sex

Introduction

All questions related to sexual contact with minors will be either removed or answered with information from applicable laws. Questions about how to commit illegal acts or use illegal things aren't allowed on Answers.com. If you're a minor where you live, don't try to ask about having sex with other people.

Other than that, everyone has questions about sex. We understand that teenagers especially have a lot of questions, concerns and doubts. Sometimes it's not easy to talk to adults who have the answers. So yes, it's okay for you to ask your questions about sex and puberty.

Sometimes the information you get from your friends can be wrong. We hope that if you ask your serious question here, you will get a good answer from an adult who understands your questions and worries. We trust that most answers will be good ones, but you should check the answers you get here in other places too.

Asking

Use the right words. If you don't know what they are, try to find out. There are lots of slang terms for body parts, but it can be impolite to use those words. If you wouldn't say it in front of a teacher or your parents, you shouldn't use it here. If you aren’t sure whether the word you want to use is slang or not, look it up in a good online dictionary such ReferenceAnswers.

Keep your questions simple and general, and don't ask about specific situations with other people.

Here are some examples of good questions from teens that already have answers:

  • What happens to boys during puberty?
  • Could a 14-year-old girl get pregnant?
  • How can a guy stop being nervous around girls?
  • How do you know if you have had an orgasm?

Answering

This is a common area for cyberbullying, so be careful not to be disrespectful with any answers you give or discussion comments that you post. If you don't know the answer, then don't write one down. If you have an opinion, say it's an opinion. Chances are, you know a lot of good stuff about something, and you could be really helpful to somebody.

You may have strong feelings about how a certain question should be answered. Please follow Answers.com standards; be respectful of opinions different than your own, and be fair when you are contributing. Just add your opinion and allow for others to do the same. Don't put your username on your answer. Answers are not "owned" by anyone and you don't want your name on something that can be edited by anyone. You can use a heading if you want to, like Answer, or Another Opinion. If answers to questions turn into debates, sometimes they can be temporarily locked. That keeps anyone else from adding their opinions or answers. It's not what we want here and is done as a last resort. You can also discuss the question with other users on the question's discussion page (see an example in the link below). Sometimes that's a good place to express your opinion and respectfully air out differences.

Discussion of 'Will peeing after sex stop pregnancy'

Advantages of Registering

The Scoop

If you are using a public computer, you may be sharing the Answers.com site with lots of other users. It's fine to be anonymous if you want. But many features on Answers.com are only available to registered users. There is also the possibility that someone could post a lot of nonsense answers or ridiculous questions from your IP, resulting in a temporary block. Registering will prevent this from happening. Registering also allows you to track your contributions and be given credit for them. This makes it easier to see if questions you have asked have been answered. It also allows other users to award you trust points and send you a 'thank you' message on your personal message board.

Registering an account also allows you to correct wrong answers or make answers better! As long as you're a member in good standing, you'll never have to suffer because of someone else's poor choices. All you have to do is log on to your personal account.

Signing In With Your Username

Go to the blue navigation bar on the left-hand side. Where you see two white boxes, enter your username in the top one and your password in the bottom box. And then click the orange "Sign in" button.

And if you don't have a username, click on "Join now." It takes just seconds!

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Wiki Influential Teens (WIT) Program

WIT (Wiki Influential Teens) is our great teen group that helps teens get more involved on Answers.com. It teaches them to use the site and allows them to develop leadership skills. One of the main goals of the program is to help other teen users. It's a great way for teens to share their knowledge about subjects they like. Members have found that they really enjoy making meaningful contributions! The group gives teens a place where they can enjoy a sense of community with each other. They also come to know older members of the group. This gives them a place they can turn to if they need help with the site, or if they come across a contributor they don't know how to deal with.

WIT members work in groups. The groups have goals that give the members the direction they need to make a real difference on the site. If you would like to read more about the WIT program, visit the WIT homepage.

WIT is currently open to teens between the ages of 13 and 18, who have at least 50 good non-message-board contributions on Answers.com. If you meet the requirements and are interested in joining WIT, please complete the WIT Membership Application, and include your username, date of birth (including year), and tell us how you heard about WIT!


Chatting

  • Chatting is acceptable on user message boards.
  • Never chat in answers or discussion areas of questions.
  • Answers.com was not designed as an instant messaging service. We recommend that you also participate by adding quality answers and questions on the site! Community is part of what Answers.com is all about.
  • Always remember that messages and discussions are not private. Anybody can see them. Keep your language clean, and don't give or ask for any personal information such as phone numbers, last names or e-mail addresses. This is both for your protection and to protect others, too.
  • Answers.com is not a dating website — so please don't use it like that. You should also take time to review our Community Guidelines and Community Etiquette.
  • Don't spam users with messages. If a user requests that you no longer message them, respect their wishes.
  • The message boards are not for general questions and answers. That's what the rest of Answers.com is for. So, if your question can be answered by the community, please ask it in the green box at the top of the screen. It may already have an answer, too!

  • For School Administrators

    Welcome to Answers.com's Q&A community!

    If you are a teacher or school administrator, we're glad you've found this section. Your students have access to one of the fastest-growing and best question and answer sites on the web. We're glad that so many students look for and find answers to their questions here — and we think that is fine, regarding homework. It would not be very different from asking their friends and parents, or looking things up in a book. There are a couple of caveats, however.

    If you talk to your students about using the Answers.com website, you should caution them that it is a question and answer website that can be edited by anyone, and not all of the answers will necessarily be correct. Many are, but sometimes answers contain erroneous information. There are a number of supervisors and other users here who correct misinformation as they find it. But, with over 30,000 new questions every day, it's a daunting task. So, students should be encouraged to verify the answers elsewhere.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that some answers are not pertinent. We try to adhere to the philosophy that every question is valid, and those of us with a bit of experience here will not ever give inappropriate answers. Supervisors remove those sorts of answers constantly; but again, it's difficult to keep up with the volume of questions and answers. You may wish to read our general disclaimer. To help the supervisors keep up, and perhaps catch something that may have slipped through, if you or your students should find a contribution that is in violation of Answers.com policy, please copy the URL which would link us to the offense and contact us via e-mail at WikiAnswers @ Answers.com (no spaces) or click ‘Report Abuse’ in the upper right corner of the question page.

    To ensure your network maintains full access to our knowledgebase, students must refrain from actions such as cyberbullying, erasing good answers and substituting bad ones, asking questions about how to commit illegal acts, and making personal comments in the questions and answers section. We ask that your students be good citizens, so that we can continue making our wealth of information available for everyone at your institution who has not registered. We encourage you to reinforce this with your students. If you have any questions that have not been answered here, please feel free to contact any Answers.com Community Assistant. We are all about getting you the right answers.

    We encourage you to sign up and use the site as a registered user, yourself. In that way, you can become familiar with how it all works here. Then you can become acquainted with some of the supervisors and community assistants, and it would be easier for you to express any concerns you may have or issues you may encounter. We want to work with you to make Answers.com a great resource for you and your students!

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