Can we use carriage returns in our Answers?

I'm new to The StackExchange. In attempting to answer questions, I type my 'Answer' and hit the 'Submit' key. But then my 'posted' (visable to everyone) answer has text missing from what I typed. What's going on? Is my problem the fact that I'm entering carriage returns (hitting the 'Enter' key on my keyboard) in my 'Answer'?

First off, welcome to Stack Exchange!

Most likely you are not signaling a new paragraph using Markdown. One carriage return isn't enough; you need to separate paragraphs with two carriage returns:

First sentence.
Second line, but still part of the first paragraph.

Third line in its own paragraph because of two carriage returns ^^^.


This text will render as:

First sentence. Second line, but still part of the first paragraph.

Third line in its own paragraph because of two carriage returns ^^^.

Second, I notice that nearly all of your answers link to an answer elsewhere without providing the answer here. Good answers provide context for links:

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

Finally, we ask that you avoid adding your own signature to posts:

Every post you make is already “signed” with your standard user card, which links directly back to your user page. If you use an additional signature or tagline, it will be removed to reduce noise in the questions and answers.

I'm sorry if this is a big information dump, but using a Stack Exchange site can involve a somewhat steep learning curve.

• Hello Jon. Thanks for the information. I appreciate your effort in helping me to start climbing up the "learning curve." – Richard Lyons May 14 '15 at 22:48