It seems to me, that the amount of people that are accepting answers is quite low. To some of you, this may not seem like a big deal. But for a newer user like me, that 15 points for an accept could really help. It also shows that the question is done, which effectively cleans up the site and lets the community know which answer the question asker found most useful.

For example, in this question I answered in comments, the asker said it helped a lot, then I moved the comment to answer form with more info, and the asker has yet to accept it.

I understand that the question asker may accept a different answer, or not accept any answers at all because they feel that none of the current answers have answered their question - but, looking through the archives of questions, a lot of questions have yet to be accepted. Most likely a big bulk of that is from new users and users who do not grasp how to accept answers.

I have looked at this question and this question, which both accurately represent my question, but I was wondering if there was a community-specific way to address this?

I also see this question, which is similar to mine. But, I was wondering if we could open the discussion up for a broader look at this.

Note: I am not asking for reasons why my answers were not accepted, I am simply wondering what I personally could do, and how the Writing community could address this overall issue of so many questions that have good answers, but just have not accepted any of them.

(see this discussion for more context)

2 Answers 2


As frustrating as it can be sometimes there's nothing really that can be done about it - as Monica mentioned in her answer to one of your linked questions here this road is pretty well traveled not just here but across the wider SE network and the company's stance has always remained that that the power to accept an answer or not remains with the asker. It's worth noting that Adam Lear (who provided the answer on the linked discussion on main meta) is a Community Manager i.e. he works for Stack Overflow so that's an "official" answer.

Most likely a big bulk of that 45% is from new users and users who do not grasp how to accept answers.

This is possibly a contributor - but I doubt it makes up the "bulk" of unaccepted, the SE platform does provide some fairly extensive prompting on accepting and how it's done.

More likely the subjective nature of our stack's topic, the way multiple answers might provide useful help to askers and the fact that there is potentially a significant delay before they can see whether a given answer has "solved" the issue they asked about all add up to a fairly low acceptance rate. This isn't Stack Overflow where a definite solution exists and can be tested and verified quickly.

So what can you (and the community as a whole) do about it? The best thing I can think of is to do what you've already been doing and leading by example - when you ask a question upvote and accept the answers you get. The more people that do that the more new users will see that being done and follow suit and hopefully over time it becomes the "norm".

I realise that my answer might come off a bit negative - but I don't say any of this to discourage you, it's great to see someone enthusiastic about the site! And don't worry about the rep - keep posting those good answers and questions and it'll come with time.


Patience is a Virtue:

We can all feel your pain. We wouldn't be interested in writing if part of us didn't crave the positive feedback of votes and points. If you can't stand the lack of a selection, you can prompt the OP with a comment suggesting they accept an answer. I would urge patience, however.

I have occasionally prompted a new contributor to WAIT to select an answer, despite the deep satisfaction of them picking my answer. Even on worldbuilding (with a lot more points flying around) it's considered good etiquette to wait at least a day to give people a chance to answer from all over the world.

Since this question already has an accepted answer, fewer people will look at it with the hope of giving a good answer - after all, it's already accepted. So having a question open encourages continued input.

Further, the fewer people who are looking at the questions, the longer it should stay open to input. I had an answer for a question that sat open for over a month, when out of the blue it got picked. The OP simply was less than satisfied with all the answers, and was hoping for more input. Occasionally, there ISN'T a better answer, but sometimes you get a great answer long after you ask. I answered THIS question almost four months after it was asked, and got accepted.

So try to enjoy the process, and let things happen. If you expect points for answers, then getting none sounds like a denial of your answer. I've had questions I thought were brilliant, but if it doesn't match the needs of the OP, it can still be brilliant but unrecognized. And if I'm starting to learn something about trying to publish, it's that practicing patience is the only thing that keeps you from going completely crazy.

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