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In the last days I stumbled upon two first posts in the review queue I considered bad quality, one being a (shopping-list) question and the other a (link-only) answer. My approach was the following:

In the question I left behind a comment welcoming the new user and explaining whats wrong with his question. I invited her/him to edit the question to make it better. Then I voted to close the question.

With the answer, I just left behind the comment, similar to the one below the question.

I am unsure about especially two points:

  • Should I immediately vote for close when the post is bad, or wait for the user to correct it? Probably the post then will have disappeared from the review queue and might be difficult to catch.

  • Should I edit them myself to make them better? I like it more to leave that to the user themself - it allows them to learn about it, and I don´t know their intentions.

Do you have any other suggestions how I could improve this? How should the reaction to low-quality first posts look like in your opinion?

  • 2
    I like it more to leave that to the user themself - it allows them to learn about it - imo a new user learns a lot if experienced SX users edit their posts. When you're new to the network, you don't exactly know how it's supposed to look like. And if they are open minded they won't disrespect the edit in advance and learn from it. – Wills Apr 21 '15 at 22:51
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If it is close-worthy, but the OP could maybe edit it into a better question, I'd suggest commenting and voting to close - exactly as you did. Remember, even if it is closed, the OP can still edit and request it be reopened.

If you can edit, and have the time, I'd heartily encourage it. Especially if it is just to improve clarity, spelling or the formatting of the question so others can read it and answer.

With bad answer posts, voting to delete as 'not an answer' is the appropriate way to go, but again commenting and editing are options.

Flagging helps mods gain visibility, but voting is something the community can do without mod intervention.

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