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I am a mobile iPhone on the go person but I am intrigued by the questions and answers here. When I come upon a question that I have a strong opinion on I will find the source material I recall reading online and copy the pertinent info found there paste it into the answer and offer a few personal comments. I always include a link to source and give full credit to the source author.

From an iPhone it is not practical to type in my own words the content that I base my opinion on. Should I just not post answers because a brief personal answer gets berated as unsourced opinion and a copy paste with credit to source gets berated as low quality answer because it is not my own words? Dichotomy!

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    I don't think your answers are necessarily bad in themselves, though they probably should be tied more closely to official teaching of a Christian group/denomination. But just do make sure you give a good amount of explanation compared to the amount of quotation. :-) – Matt Gutting Nov 13 '15 at 20:53
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In general, you are correct; both of the following are often frowned upon:

  • Unsourced opinion
  • Answers that are exclusively or nearly exclusively copied from other websites*

Why's that? In the first case, the author doesn't demonstrate that any groups of Christians actually believe this. In the second case, the author is not contributing anything that couldn't be easily found elsewhere, and may be violating copyright as well.

Thankfully, there's a huge gap between these two extremes, in which it's possible to provide many types of answers: some primarily in the author's own words, with some references in support, and others primarily quotes, with commentary to bring it all together.

This isn't a contradiction: it's simply that there are (at least) two major criteria for writing an excellent answer.


* Here I'm not talking about quote-only answers from authoritative, out-of-copyright works—usually books, especially primary sources. There are sometimes issues there too, but the biggest problem is with copy/paste jobs from other websites that appear at the top of search engine results.

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