Too many times on StackOverflow I see people describe their problem with "its not working". In most cases, this is utterly useless information.
ETA: Highlighted the important part of my question for those who are too triggerhappy.
Is there a way to encourage new users to describe their problem properly when they post their question?
Such as including error messages, expected output and actual output.
As discussed in the comments and answers, more detail is not a good thing for new users, and that's not what I am proposing. You should not be required to read an essay or three just to be allowed to post a question.
I know you can always post a comment to correct new user mistakes, but that does not always have the desired effect. And it detracts from the user experience, I feel, when you have to start out by lecturing people. Perhaps it is a step towards dumbing things down, but I feel SO should be new user friendly, i.e. you can step right in and write the perfect question on your first try.
ETA: Below are ideas I've been kicking around. These are for people who are interested in knowing what I've been thinking about, with regard to the main problem stated above. Keep in mind that the question is how to encourage people to give proper problem descriptions, not how best to shoot down my ideas.
A few things I've been thinking about are: writing a specific FAQ entry, having a tutorial mode for people below a certain rep, or having a specific question form for new users, e.g.
Title: Summary: Code: Expected output: Actual Output: Errors:
Another benefit of a form is that the fields could be pre-formatted. Furthermore, fields could be made optional, or even opt-in (you simply present suggestions, and people click them to fill in additional details).
A FAQ entry could be something along the line:
Remember that it's not working is not an adequate problem description in most cases. Be sure to add as much information about your problem as possible, such as error messages, expected output and actual output.
A tutorial mode could be in effect until a user has completed a specific goal, such as X questions without downvotes, X reputation, etc.