How do I ask a good question?

 

We’d love to help you improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Search, and research

...and keep track of what you find. Even if you don't find a useful answer elsewhere on the site, including links to related questions that haven't helped can help others in understanding how your question is different from the rest.

Write a title that summarizes the specific problem

The title is the first thing potential answer providers will see, and if your title isn't interesting, they won't read the rest. So make it count:

  • Pretend you're talking to a busy colleague and have to sum up your entire question in one sentence: what details can you include that will help someone identify and solve your problem? Include any error messages
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation are important!Remember, this is the first part of your question others will see - you want to make a good impression. If you're not comfortable writing in English, ask a friend to proof-read it for you.
  • If you're having trouble summarizing the problem, write the title last- sometimes writing the rest of the question first can make it easier to describe the problem.

Introduce the problem before you post any code

In the body of your question, start by expanding on the summary you put in the title. Explain how you encountered the problem you're trying to solve, and any difficulties that have prevented you from solving it yourself. The first paragraph in your question is the second thing most readers will see, so make it as engaging and informative as possible.

Include all relevant Tags

Proof-read before posting!

Now that you're ready to ask your question, take a deep breath and read through it from start to finish. Pretend you're seeing it for the first time.

Post the question and respond to feedback

After you post, leave the question open in your browser for a bit, and see if anyone comments. If you missed an obvious piece of information, be ready to respond by editing your question to include it. If someone posts an answer, be ready to try it out and provide feedback!

Look for help asking for help

In spite of all your efforts, you may find your questions poorly-received. Don't despair! Learning to ask a good question is a worthy pursuit, and not one you'll master overnight.