When you answer a question, you are helping the asker in a very obvious way. But when you edit an answer, you could be helping tens of thousands of additional people who are looking for the same information.
Note that you must be signed in before having access to the editing menu.
If you still do not see editing tools, you may be looking at a Reference topic. Reference topics are not editable directly on the page, but you can make changes by following these steps.
- Click the tab that says Improve Answer. You can also click on Improve Answer below the answer text or Edit Answer under Question tools in the Tools menu.
- Incorporate additional information, fix spelling and grammar, delete wrong information and edit however else you see fit (see the tips below for more information).
- Flag the answer if it needs more detail or does not directly address the question.
- Click on Save.
- Edit Categories if necessary.
- Be sure to check the "minor edit" box if your addition to the current answer is a spelling, punctuation, or otherwise minor addition.
- Edit individual answers to form one cohesive answer whenever possible.
- Correct capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors.
- Use complete sentences whenever possible.
- Example: For the answer to the question, "Who wrote the book 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'?" The answer is Mark Twain, but edit the answer to read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written by Mark Twain." You can also add additional relevant information like the date of publication.
- If someone answered a question by offering only a link, add an answer or click on Flag for Improvement and mark that the answer needs more detail.
- When the question calls for different views and opinions, separate each option with its own section title or header.
- Example: Name the first answer "One View" and all succeeding answers with "Another View.'" Headings can also be more specific, if possible.
- Sometimes the person asking the question will go into further detail in the answer box, which causes their question to show up in the system as already answered. Copy and paste these remarks or any comments onto the Discussion Page for that question.
- Answers that have been copied and pasted from somewhere else are considered plagiarism, which is illegal.
- If you suspect the answer has been copied from another website, copy and paste a portion of the answer into a search engine and perform a search. If it has been copied from another site, it will appear in the search results. Feel free to send the contributor a polite message along with a link to the WikiAnswers Plagiarism Policy.
- Delete the plagiarized answer. You can ask the contributor to go back in their history and delete or change all their copied and pasted answers. You can also check their history later to see if they have made the corrections. If you have the time, you are also welcome to check their histories for other instances of plagiarism and make the changes yourself.
- Remove personal remarks such as "Hope this helps" and "If you like this answer, click on Recommend Contributor" or any other form of signature, vandalism or cyberbullying.
- Send the contributor a polite message explaining why you deleted the answer or removed something, along with links to Answering Questions and the Vandals and Spammers policy (if applicable).
- Remove answers such as "I don't know" or unnecessary remarks such as "Go find it yourself" or "Duh." Sometimes, a contributor will simply repeat the question as the answer — delete these too. These will cause the question to show up in the system as answered and prevent or delay a relevant answer.