This thread is a list of useful comment templates for common situations on IPS. The full list of current templates can be found below.

Please note that those comments are only to be used as template and should be customized for every post. Read more about the reason why here.

Each answer should be for a single situation type, but can hold multiple comment templates and be of the form:

##Main Use Case

> Here's the actual content of the comment. Notice how this is a blockquote. You'll have to escape any **bold** or *italic* formatting with forward slash (ie type \*italic\*). You'll also need to make sure to escape your links by typing something \[like this\]\(google.com\).

Credit to: Billy Bob (if this isn't an original comment and you remember who you got it from, put their name here--with a link to their profile if you're feeling fancy)

(if the format doesn't make sense to you, please see this example answer)

Current List of templates

About a question

About an answer

About a comment

  • 3
    Most people use an userscript for making these 'standard' comments, like e.g. this one. You can also add your own comment templates to that, I have e.g. a few meta links I often use in there, so I can just hit 'auto', insert the link and then type the rest of the comment. – Tinkeringbell Sep 29 '18 at 9:03
  • 2
    @Tinkeringbell ahh I'd heard whispers that something of this nature existed. I know for me I won't be able to install extensions on my browser. But maybe this thread could work as a staging area for new users who are first installing the userscript to give them some initial comments to populate it with? – scohe001 Sep 29 '18 at 13:44
  • 1
    Oh sure! It's a great idea, there are loads of people that don't use userscripts for whatever reasons. Even then, if you install the script I linked, you have to set up your own comments for every device you install it on, having them as answers on meta makes that a lot easier :) – Tinkeringbell Sep 29 '18 at 14:08
  • I agree with Tinkeringbell, I don't even know what user scripts are and have been wanting this for a bit. – ElizB Sep 29 '18 at 22:35
  • @Tinkeringbell You can set up a GitHub Gist with your canned comments for that script, then when you install the script on a different device, have it automatically import your comments from said Gist. It can also automatically check for changes, so when you modify the Gist the modified versions are automatically imported. – gparyani Oct 28 '18 at 23:40

Answer in Comments

**Please don’t write answers in comments.** It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems [detailed on meta](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1644/11811). Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes.

Credit to: Arwen Undómiel


Back up your answer

ElizB variation:

Can you tell us more about why you think this is a good idea? Answers on Interpersonal Skills SE need to be well-justified and backed up with either evidence or personal experience that shows the OP that this is a good idea. See [this meta post](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3583) for more information.

Arwen Undómiel variation, about "try this" answers:

Hey, thanks for the answer! Can you please explain why you think that this is a good idea? Why do you say to take this course of action? What’s the thought process behind this answer? As this currently stands, this reads like "Try this!", which misses out information that helps the OP decide on a course of action. Answers here [should provide](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2003/) some sort of explanation for why they are suggesting this solution, which at the moment this answer doesn't appear to do.

Version 2, explicitly about backup:

Hey, thanks for the answer! Can you please explain why you think that this is a good idea? Answers here [should provide](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2003/) some sort of backup, such as personal experience or an external source, for why they are suggesting this solution, which at the moment this answer doesn't appear to do.

A "crash course" for new users:

Hi and welcome to IPS! Please take a minute to read our [citation expectations](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3583). Answers on IPS need to include some backup in the form of either personal experience or references - could you explain why you think this advice will work, have you used this approach in a similar situation before, or is this something you've seen recommended by someone else? You might find [How do I write a good answer?](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3266/) helpful too.

(Consider editing the second-to-last sentence based on the particular answer - for instance, to highlight a particular aspect that you feel is on shaky ground, or to encourage the user to expand on some experience or reference that they hinted at in their answer.)

AElis variation to require back up from personal experience:

Hey there! We [require](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3271) answers here to be backed up by personal experience or external sources. So, could you [edit] to tell us about a similar situation you were in the past? Who was involved, what did you say and how did the other person react?


Primarily opinion-based question

Welcome to IPS, unfortunately, your question appears to be primarily opinion-based. You can try to make it on-topic by asking something like: "How can I communicate to X that...". Here is a link to the [help center](https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) to help you know what kinds of questions you can ask here.

Credit: Noon


Extended arguments in comments

EmC variant:

Please remember that comments are **only** for requesting clarification and suggesting improvements, *not* arguing with the answer. See [this meta post](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2499/) for more information.

... followed by flagging the comment thread (a single custom mod flag will do).

scohe001 variant: (a little harsher for HNQ's (Hot Network Questions) where the conversation shows no intention of stopping)

**Please do not argue the merits of this answer in the comments.** Per our site policy (outlined [here](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2499/)), if you disagree with an answer, downvote and/or write your own answer


Bad "frame challenge"

For answers like those described in this meta post, where they appear to be saying "OP is wrong to ask this!" instead of actually providing a solution to the issue at hand:

Thanks for taking the time to write an answer! However, this doesn't seem to address OP's question of [summarize question here]. Please note that answers on IPS must [respect the OP's request](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3268/) and answer the actual question asked. Can you [edit] to directly answer the question?

  • If this is going to be a "frame challenge" question, maybe adding the meta post about frame challenges would be beneficial? For example, after stating the above, saying something like "If you would like to do a frame challenge, here is a meta about it, and what we look for in a frame challenge." – ElizB Oct 3 '18 at 1:01
  • @ElizB I thought about it, but since the FAQ entry for frame challenges and the one in the template both end up pointing to the same meta post I linked, I decided to leave it out. If you'd like to add a variant explicitly linking to the frame challenges post though please go ahead :) – Em C Oct 3 '18 at 1:23
  • This sounds a bit abrupt to me. Maybe we could add a "Hey there!" at the beginning? (@EmC I'm not sure you would have been pinged since this is now a wiki, so I'm manually pinging you) – Ælis Sep 30 at 8:10
  • @Ælis thanks for the suggestion, I updated it! Feel free to make edits directly too, that's why it's a wiki :) – Em C Sep 30 at 15:08

Phrasing request

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this sounds like a phrasing request, which is [out of scope on this SE](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1853/11811).

Credit: Ælis


"What should I do?" question

Hi and welcome to IPS! Unfortunately, we can't tell you what to do here. Once you've decided what your goal is and identified an interpersonal skill you need help with, you could edit your question to get advice on achieving that goal. In addition to the links in the off-topic text, you might also find [How do I write a good question?](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3224/) helpful to understand our guidelines here.

Credit: Em C

Welcome to Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange! I'm sorry, but this question seems a little too subjective for this site. While many good questions here generate *some* degree of opinion based on expert experience, answers to "What should I do?"-type questions like this one will tend to be *almost entirely* based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. It would be great if you [edit] your question so it asks for help with something specific, rather than simply asking for opinions on what you should do.

Credit: gparyani

  • I think that the emphasis on "Almost entirely based on opinions" might be not be needed, I think the comment without the words "almost entirely" sounds more neutral and factual, rather than a potential insult. – ElizB Oct 28 '18 at 23:43
  • 2
    Additionally, I think that saying "check this link out for more information" sounds more neutral rather than saying "check out this link on how to write a good question", which might be interpreted by those who are sensitive as "you don't know how to write a good question, we need to tell you how" instead of our intention of "we want to help guide you to a good format for writing your questions" – ElizB Oct 28 '18 at 23:50
  • @ElizB I copied that from the "primarily opinion-based" close reason. Also, there needs to be something to distinguish it from "some degree" earlier. – gparyani Nov 1 '18 at 22:51

Incomplete/half-baked answers

If you don't have time to write a full answer, or don't have enough information to justify it, or don't want to expand on your thoughts, don't write an answer. Unlike a site like SO where a bad answer will just ruin your code until you can fix it, half-baked answers here can have real consequences on people's lives.

Credit to: scohe001

  • That being said, I stole the majority of that from HDE over here so I don't know if I deserve full credit :P – scohe001 Sep 29 '18 at 23:26
  • 4
    Maybe "don't wish to expand upon your thoughts"? Mentioning that the author might just be lazy doesn't seem too likely to persuade them of anything. – Cascabel Sep 30 '18 at 14:16
  • I agree, insulting someone would probably not be all that productive. Thanks @cascabel – ElizB Sep 30 '18 at 19:01

Help link for newcomers who have answers

Because I keep forgetting to give them in my main comment...

On a side note, here is a link to "[How to write a good ‏‏‎answer](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3266/21067)" and here is one to the [help center](https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer).

Credit: Ælis

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