I'm going to use this as an example, but it's only one amongst many. Specifically, she already cites 1794 in her question, so I figured you can't rehash that date (relating to the Jacobins) in your answer. If she's not satisfied with 1794, then evidently (?) she wants a different answer. So, my question is, when is it OK to simply elaborate on a partial answer already provided in the question, and when is it redundant?
You try to give the correct answer. Whether that answer has been discounted by the asker is kind of beside the point. Except that an explanation of why you disagree might help you to get the answer accepted.
I would advise against repeating a suggested answer if all you intend to do is spite the dismissal. However, in some cases answering the question with its own answer may help.
The main point of answering a question is to help the questioner and future visitors interested in the question solve whatever problem that they are experiencing. Sometimes a dismissed answer may be a good answer if you can address the reason it was dismissed.
In some cases the questioner may misunderstand some of the vital circumstances regarding his or her problem, and in that point you can try to clear up the misapprehension so that they can realize why the dismissed answer is correct. In other cases the questioner may have good comprehension of what they know, but remain unconvinced by inadequate evidence, in which case you may be able to allay their doubts with more thorough proof that it is the correct answer.
If a question provides a dismissal, but does not explain why it was dismissed, I would probably advise closing the question. Closure prevents people from posting answers which are useless, at least until a point in time when a better answer can be pondered.
If you wonder why such a question should be closed, there are actually a few reasons: It may be a sign of inadequate research, suggest that the question is primarily opinion based, or at the very least make the underlying source of the problem unclear, and hence unable to be addressed. In these cases, choose the closure reason that best fits the circumstances, and maybe leave a comment explaining why a rationale for the dismissal should be provided if you can helpfully articulate your precise concern.
However, it is also important to properly parse the question, and I suspect that your example is not a good one to address the concern because I see nothing to suggest that the questioner intends to exclude either of those possibilities. Annie Chen merely provides a pair of conflicting answers to demonstrate that the answer to the question is uncertain, so any date would be a valid answer if it can be proven to be the first usage.
The answer provides information not given in the question and it was the first answer, so I assume that's why it was accepted by the OP.
This site (unlike other sites, such as Skeptics) doesn't technically require an answer to have any sources, so the answer doesn't require any further moderation. You can, however, take one or more of the following actions:
- Downvote the answer
- Upvote other answers you like (if any exist)
- Post your own answer
(I don't particularly like answers that don't give a source, so in this case I did the third option: I posted my own answer with sources.)