As a result of recent debate over whether certain answers would be considered acceptable on this site, we posed the question "What are we looking for in answers?". In my foray into the issue, I noted that of the two main classes of questions we field (questions about the field of hermeneutics and questions asking for exegesis of a passage), it is answers to the exegesis questions that we need to give some extra guidance to. My proposal for what makes a good vs a bad answer seems to be almost universally* well received.
The major thrust of my proposal was that in order to be instructive in the field of hermeneutics, rather than just dishing out the doctrinal conclusions that are the result of exegesis, answers must show their work. This builds on the idea we long ago settled that our exegesis questions must arise directly from a textual issue rather than being topical as can happen on the religion specific SE sites. I proposed that answers must pick up directly from the text rather than skipping ahead to a doctrinal point, even if that doctrinal point is seen in that text by some hermeneutical approach and doctrinal framework.
In short, the hue and cry seems to be that we support a "show your work" policy/guideline for answers. The question now is, what does "show your work" actually look like? Are there specific features of an exegetical answer that qualify as showing your work? Are there any universals that must be present in order to do this properly?
I am primarily asking for an ideal description here, but it might also be useful to describe some gradations of "showing work" and identify at what point the qualifications would be considered not met. Please answer this question as if you were using it to communicate to a new user who is not familiar with our policy of requiring "show your work". What should people be doing here to fulfill our "show your work" policy?
I also suggest that discussing what "show your work" looks like is a prerequisite to discussing what action should be taken by high-rep users and moderators on answers that don't meet the guidelines. The discussion of how to handle people missing the mark should be reserved for a future question independent of how we define "show your work".
* I realize I'm not a neutral party to declare that, but if anybody wants to contest this being identified as community consensus you should be over on that question voting, answering and commenting to make your voice heard.
The most lenient answer (top-voted at the time of this edit) will be our minimum standard. In a nutshell, you have to show a logical path from the text to your conclusion or quote sources that do so. The next-most-voted answer is what we aspire to and is a little stricter: if using another source you need to show the logic it uses, not just cite it, and, further, claims that don't arise from the text (such as assertions of historical fact) must be sourced. Answers that satisfy the more-lenient requirement are considered acceptable, but ones that satisfy the stricter requirement will likely fare better in voting and acceptances.