I've run into this problem many times already. When someone answers, they might answer only part of my question. The next answer will intentionally answer a different part of the question since it was already touched upon in the first answer.

This ultimately leads to the answer I'm looking for, separated between two or even three different answers. This means my question was answered by the collective community instead of just one person.

I want to reward those that have participated, but it doesn't feel fair to choose one answer when they were all equally helpful to me.

How do I approach this issue?


2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, if your respondents are only answering a "part of" your query, it's very likely that you are either asking too many questions or else your question has too many moving parts and is thus too broad.

I can see how this now places you in a bit of a sticky situation! Frankly, if it were me, I'd just not award a green check mark at all. You can always upvote the answers that were most helpful to you without choosing to single out one as "best". You can always write a comment to those who helped.

The single best thing you can do to avoid this problem is to read, reread, edit and reedit your questions! Make sure there is actually one question and make sure it's focused.

Case in point: your sunset query. There's only one question: it could do with some editing, but as is, it's pretty clearly written and it's pretty clear what you want. There are no extra moving parts and it should be fully answerable in a single response.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This, IMO. First, make sure the question is sufficiently narrowly scoped, as that will help prevent the situation in the first place. Second, don't feel pressured into accepting an answer. I've had situations myself where even with reasonably narrowly scoped questions, what was the most helpful was actually a set of answers, not any one specific answer. Sometimes, even with narrowly scoped questions, different answers bring up different points which all feed into a whole. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 26, 2019 at 7:09

I had this happen on a recent question of mine. I'm new to this community so I can't speak to what the norms are, but there are more ways to reward people than with rep.

What I chose: acknowledgement and thanks.

I added a section at the end of my question thanking everyone for their wide variety of answers, and compiled a list of ones that were helpful to me, linking to each answer and giving a short description. This is also helpful to anyone stumbling across the question later in their own research.

As for choosing an answer, I just went with the one that had the highest upvotes, making sure it was relevant to the question asked in the title.

Is this the best way to do it? I'm not sure. I do think it strikes a good balance between providing value and rewarding excellent answers. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the other answers here though.


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