Writing complete answers

So we’ve been asked to write an answer to a question. One of the main mistakes that people make is that they just include the actual answer. For example, if I was to answer the question, “What type of radiation does the Sun emit?” I could write ultraviolet, infrared and visible. However if the person reading the answer doesn’t know what the question is all they see is

ultraviolet, infrared and visible

Which, by itself, could mean anything. So when we write and answer we have to write it as though the person reading it knows absolutely nothing. Okay, stop thinking about me for the moment!

Our original answer of

    ultraviolet, infrared and visible

then needs to become

    The main types of electromagnetic radiation that are emitted by the Sun include ultraviolet, infrared and visible.

Yes, it’s a little longer but it informs us

1) what ultraviolet, infrared and visible are – they’re types of electromagnetic radiation (which is a question in itself) and

2) where it comes from –  the Sun.

Oh, and if you’ve noticed, the answer STARTS WITH A CAPITAL LETTER (if I was texting I would be yelling) and ENDS WITH A FULL STOP (yes, I’m still yelling).

Another way of writing a complete answer is to include part of the question as the answer. For example

What types of electromagnetic radiation are emitted from the Sun?

The types of electromagnetic radiation that are emitted from the Sun include ultraviolet, infrared and visible.

By changing a few words we can use the question to help us write a complete answer.


When you are writing answers to questions please keep in mind the points above.

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