10

...for when you can't think of what to say.

Sometimes we get questions and answers from new users, and I don't know what to say to greet them nicely while also providing advice or criticism. Narnian does an excellent job of providing these:

  • say more Welcome to the site. This appears to be the start of a good answer. Can you expound a little on how this directly answers the question?
  • what are you asking Can you be more specific about which part you are asking? Are you interested in ... or are you interested in ...?
  • don't preach Welcome to the site. It certainly seems that you will have a lot to offer this site. However, this particular answer doesn't seem to stay focused on the question at hand. Also, it seems to get away from informing and into preaching. Answers on this site should be informational and even persuasive, but not preaching.
  • don't preach Welcome to the the site! This really does not answer the question, but is more of a comment. Please see the FAQ page. It is important to provide answers for this site that are informational rather than pastoral, so answers can give evidence and reasoning, but should not transition into preaching. Such answers will not be well received here, as the participants come from quite a vast background.
  • don't pick fights This seems to be combative. If your have been offended by Christians or Christianity, I truly apologize for that. None of us are perfect, and we make mistakes. We are all human. If you are genuinely asking questions, you will be well received here.

All of the above are nice things that I can paste in for when I just can't find the right words to express myself. It seems to me that it's important to make the person feel welcome, to criticize what they did rather than them directly, and to quickly explain the issue and give a neutral reason for criticizing.

What are some good standard "highly-helpful" comment templates for various common situations?

5

I've got these saved in my Evernote account, and use them all. I do change them to suit the question/answer in question.... (I use the ones toward the bottom more. If there's any order to this list, it's chronological in order that I started using them repeatedly, and since the first two came out, we've had additions - namely Caleb coming up with the questions-tagged-faq link and the about page. I really like those two links. They lead to a surprising wealth of metadata about the site and the guidelines.)

Welcome to the site! While I don't disagree with what you're saying, I'd invite you to read the [FAQ], as well as these posts: What makes a good supported answer? and What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) Your answer seems to be one about answering Truth, which isn't really what the site is about.

Welcome to the site! I'd invite you to read the [FAQ], as well as these posts: What makes a good supported answer? and What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) Your question seems to be one about answering Truth, which isn't really what the site is about.If you could edit this to ask from a certain denominational teaching or tradition, that would bring it more in line with site guidelines.

Your answer would be much better if you cited supporting documentation. I'd invite you to read the [FAQ], as well as What makes a good supported answer?

I'd invite you to read the [FAQ], as well as What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) Your question seems to be one about answering Truth, which isn't really what the site is about.

This question isn't a good fit as it's worded. This is more of a "pastoral advice" question, with no possible answer other than opinions, and therefore not constructive per the site guidelines.

Welcome to the site! I don't disagree at all with what you're saying, but... (and I know this is going to not make sense at first) but this is more of a Truthy answer than what's generally looked for. (told you it wouldn't make sense.) When you get a chance, I recommend checking out the [FAQ] and then these posts, which clarify things a bit further. https://christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/faq

Welcome to the site! I agree with what you say completely, and look forward to more good answers from you. If you get a chance, I'd recommend reading the FAQ and this post: What makes a good supported answer? One thing we try to avoid are personal opinion answers, because we end up with a mess of subjective, conflicting answers. Perhaps you could improve this one by adding doctrinal, Scriptural, or other support to show what your answer is based on.

and my favorite, since the About page was introduced:

Welcome to the site! I want to encourage you to continue participating. I'd invite you to read the [FAQ] as well as the [About] page. This isn't a typical discussion forum, and new visitors tend to not quite "get it". (I didn't at first.) Reading these will go a long way to helping you to participate in a constructive manner.

  • I think bringing up "Truth" can be confusing, Narnian seems to handle this by calling it "pastoral care". Perhaps "not constructive per the site guidelines" is a bit formal? – Alypius Mar 14 '13 at 21:47

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