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Make sure you understand what the poster is asking before posting a reply. Read the question carefully and give it some thought. Explicitly state any assumptions you make. If you don't understand a question, it's OK to ask for clarification (nicely.)

Sometimes people make mistakes, and you can point those out to them. But it's important not to assume that the poster is incompetent.

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It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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