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It has been discussed following recent challenges about the site quality that we produce a curated list of "good" questions and answers to redirect newcomers to, so they understand at a glance what are the site expectations.

We understand by "good" question, a question that respects the site guidelines, among which:

  • Is on topic
  • Is factual (not too subjective)
  • Present well the situation of the interpersonal problem (but not too extensively)
  • Present well the goal to achieve, and explains why simple solutions are not working, generally through the means of examples.

We understand by "good" answer a detailed piece of information, backed up by experience or external sources (in opposition to an argued opinion or guesswork) about what would enable OP to solve the situation.

As it is intended for tutorial purpose the shorter and simpler, the better.

Feel free to contribute by answering with links, briefly introduced by why would you think this is a good question, and use answer comments to discuss the acceptability of contributions as featured examples.

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Well, credits to you for finding the first perfect candidate: Refusing free goods as a blind person

I really, really like this one because it:

  • Includes an example dialog that shows both what OP does and includes the reaction they get.
  • It includes further information on things OP might try but doesn't want to.
  • It has a clear, well-defined goal.
  • The top answer is accepted and actually has backup in the form of personal experience.

It's also not excessively long, well-formatted, and overall a clear question. I've actually already used a link to it once or twice when commenting on new questions.

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I've also been looking at questions about etiquette because they give another angle of asking. I think a good question would:

  • Be about a situation where some 'formalized' rules of behaviour are expected. So, not asking how to do something appropriately, but actually showing an awareness that a certain practice or situation is surrounded by rules of etiquette.
  • Has source-based answers that quote articles or rulebooks on the internet, instead of going by 'personal experience'.

After looking at the etiquette questions, I propose one of my own questions to be the candidate here: For how long after New Year's Day is it appropriate to wish people all the best for the new year? is both about a custom that comes with some 'formal' rules and has an accepted answer that cites an external source instead of experience.

My entire thought process is explained below because this is a hard one to make clear otherwise.


The two criteria I picked above are very limiting, especially if I look at the questions on main. But as an example of etiquette questions, I think it better to err on the side of something almost 'research-based' like, where answers can quote the rulebook, than something that's fuzzy enough where it could've been a 'normal' question, not necessarily one about etiquette.

I've looked at all questions tagged etiquette. I've dismissed the few that were about 'writing etiquette' because the site doesn't want to ask people what to write, and such a question could confuse new users.

I dismissed a bunch of others because they seem to me to be about situations that aren't necessarily 'formalized' enough to be etiquette (like What is the etiquette for asking a dog owner before I pet their dog?).

I also didn't pick any that asked about whether something is appropriate or rude (like Is it rude to ask tourists where they are from? or Is it acceptable to violate table manners in public due to my disability?), because again I don't want to goad new users into thinking such questions are always acceptable here.

The ones below seem to be at least about something that's actually 'etiquette', but their answers are all from experience or personal beliefs instead of 'quoting the rulebook', so I don't think they can be great examples:

There are two questions of my own that have answers that quote external sources:

Based on all of the above, I came to the conclusion that the one about New Year's wishes may actually be the best shot we have at these questions, because the one about April Fools' jokes seems more informal.

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How about one that includes a bit of theory? This one might work: How to use Social Penetration Theory to increase closeness with someone who doesn't normally talk about their feelings

  • It focuses almost entirely on what OP did, and talks only about the person they were interacting with in terms of their reaction to OPs actions.
  • It shows OPs understanding and usage of a specific method, and how it didn't meet their expectations.
  • It's a type of question (method-based) that I'd like to see more often. Having it in a list of examples could encourage other people to ask more questions like it.
  • The question itself is not too long. If we're going to use it as an example we might give it an edit to format it a bit though.

I answered it, so I'll leave judging the suitability of the answers there to other people.

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Since frame-challenges are somewhat hard to get right, perhaps a good example of an answer which is a good frame-challenge is useful. The answer by Tinkeringbell on this question would be a good example: How to ask cashier out for date. Other than that, there also the question How to talk to a girl who's sitting next to me but wearing headphones? from around the same time, with the frame challenge by ArtOfCode. Both dealing with similar topics, and both challenging the OP to rethink their strategy.

In this case the answer to the first question is backed by experience, and even though the answer starts with a clear "Don't do it", still a best-case situation when the OP would do it is given and also why that probably wouldn't work either (again, also backed up with experience).

The second answer, while not necessarily backed by experience, does explain why the answerer would experience this as annoying. Followed up by a clear alternative on how the OP could approach the situation.

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    I like the idea of pointing people to excellent answers too :D The idea of discussing answers here was that we wouldn't link people to questions that have answers that don't meet citation expectations, so the list would have excellent questions with at least 'passable' answers. I think for finding excellent answers, the question should thus also at least be 'passable'. For that reason, I'd rather not use the second one as either an example for a list of good questions or good answers, because the user that asked that is on a very long network-wide suspension as a consequence of trolling... 1/2 – Tinkeringbell Nov 12 '20 at 17:06
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    The second question was possibly part of that trolling, so I'd rather not include it in a list of 'the best IPS has to offer'. The first question may be a bit too short on the 'what I considered doing' part after 2 years have passed, and give people a 'wrong' idea to use the site for more such questions (How to ask out, does she like me, how to interpret this 'signt'... we've had them all on IPS a few times by now). All in all, love the idea to find great answers too, but I'm voting 'meh' on the two examples here :) – Tinkeringbell Nov 12 '20 at 17:11

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