I’ve been noticing an increase in answers that, essentially, consist of nothing but a suggestion or bald assertion and that are often lacking any apparent effort to even format, punctuate, or spell properly.
Since I’m only a recent convert to the pleasures of EL&U, I can readily recall the advice I was provided from more experienced and wiser users concerning the characteristics of a “good” answer – an answer which was likely to be helpful to, not only the OP but also to other users – aside from being accurate and coherent. I was advised to contribute at least a modicum of person advocacy derived from first-hand experience, to include links to supporting information from established authorities (when possible), with citations in plain, rather than hypertext (due to the ever-present threat of link-rot), and to use quote-blocks only for direct quotations.
Moderators and more experienced users explained how these components were what made a mediocre answer “good” and “useful.” They explained that including the above mentioned components assisted OPs and other users in their evaluation of the quality of my answers, as well as increasing the likelihood that my answers would garner positive votes, which in turn would enhance my reputation score and grant me access to features of EL&U that were currently unavailable to me. I have found all that advice, and gentle but persistent guidance, to be absolutely accurate and I appreciate and try hard to adhere to it.
From the EL&U Help Center Answering
When you find a useful resource that can help answer a question (from another site or in an answer on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange) make sure you do all of the following:
• Provide a link to the original page or answer
• Quote only the relevant portion
• Provide the name of the original author
According to Ernest Hemingway - Biographical on Nobelprize.org, Hemingway saw combat when he was a teenager. It says:
After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. Serving at the front, he was wounded, was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals....
[other sources, quotes, explanations, etc. necessary to complete the answer] Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own. And always give proper credit to the author and site where you found the text, including a direct link to it.
What is our current position on these issues? What is the bottom line on citing to established authority, plain text source attribution, and links? How should I respond to what appears to me at times to be a flood of OP/Answers that fail to adhere to the site’s protocols?