If both answers are in-depth and provide evidence for their analysis and I see the perspective of both answers, how do I know which I should mark as accepted? On other sites, like Stack Overflow, the accepted answer is easy to determine; it's simply whichever answer solves your problem. However, in the case of literary analysis, I don't really have a problem per se, rather just a question about literature that doesn't have one, clear-cut, correct answer.
How can an accepted answer be chosen from two equally accurate literary analysis answers?
2As on every other SE site, personal preference. Really, acceptance doesn't really mean much more for the bigger picture than that you liked the answer best. Neither are you required to even accept an answer. It's perfectly fine to keep answers unaccepted for a long time to encourage further answer, and maybe some time an even better one comes around that beats all the existing ones.– Cahir Mawr Dyffryn æp CeallachJan 25, 2017 at 2:36
Accept whichever you want.
From the help centre:
Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally. Not every user comes back to accept an answer, and of those who do, they might not change the accepted answer even if a newer, better answer comes along later.
This issue has come up again and again on SE sites where there isn't always a "most correct" answer. The answer is always the same: accept whichever you want. There's absolutely nothing to stop an OP from accepting an answer which is objectively wrong; I've seen accepted answers on various sites with scores in the negative, sometimes even below -20.
There are going to be many questions here on Literature which don't have a single correct answer, or have several answers based on different interpretations and none more correct than any other. If you're in such a situation, you can do one of two things:
- accept the answer which worked best for you personally - this could mean the interpretation you favour of a particular literary work, or just the answer you like best for whatever reason;
- just don't accept an answer at all - there's no obligation to do so, if you don't feel any of the existing answers resolve your issue. I have questions from 2014 with no accepted answer.
1Quite ironically, I've just run into the same problem described in this question on this question. Jan 25, 2017 at 2:55
I'll give you the checkmark though, as you do support your statement with more evidence. Jan 25, 2017 at 2:55
1@fi12 That must be why they call this the meta site ;-)– Rand al'Thor ModJan 25, 2017 at 13:21
You missed a side option: bounty the answer you did not accept, to show that as OP you value it just as much as accepted one– DVKJan 26, 2017 at 1:47
Third option: you don't have to mark either of them. Sometimes there's just not a best or correct answer. That's okay, too.
Or, maybe, if you really want to mark an answer, you can decide based on which answer is more researched and thorough, or which answer is presented in the most complete and sound way.