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Normally when I ask questions on SO I have an issue that is composed of many smaller chunks that all add up to one final large answer. Also, when I'm asking, I have no idea how they are supposed to fit together or perhaps even that the smaller chunks exist at all. Finally, when the question is answered I find it immensly helpful to have all the steps centralized in one location.

Samples:
How do I get the security details for a long path?
How do I optimize my website for slow data connections?
Full Android Database Helper class for existing SQLite database?
How to obtain a "mugshot" from face detection squares?

So I'm a bit concerned about my latest question which follows a similar format
How do I do replicate the basic jQuery functionality using javascript?
and it got closed almost immediately. I think it was deemed overly broad.

Should I be breaking my questions up into each individual problem?
What is a better way of asking questions that need multiple sources of answers?

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2 Answers 2

This is a good question that more people should ask theirselves lol. First of all, there's a different answer for every question you could ever want to ask. What usually works for me in all extensive writing, is first just type it all out and don't worry about how it comes out, try to organize it SOME but not perfectly. Once we get to typing our thoughts in a format for communicating with someone else there's no telling how the words are going to come out so it's nearly impossible to format it elegantly the first time around.

After you've gotten everything out you want to express, read it over, see where you may move beyond one topic into something else then later on jump back into it with a different kind of problem. Just look at how your ideas are presented and think of a way to move them around in a more organized manner where everything is relevant to one another. If it's too extensive, maybe you should break it down into multiple questions to ask about. If you're having problems with you html coding, javascript, mySQL and PHP scripts on one page, you SHOULD NOT address all of them in the same post. Break down your problem with the html and post that question in the "html" section of whatever forum you're on and do the same with the javascript sql and php. If it's important that it all really be covered in the same post, make titles for the different sections and have an intro paragraph breaking down the general problem you're having between them all and inform the reader about the different sections and what order they go in.

Another thing that helps is GIVING EXAMPLES!!!!.. If you're just typing a bunch of stuff asking questions but not showing people any code to see what you're talking about there's no way for them to be able to help. Other than that it's just about organizing your thoughts in a user friendly way that doesn't confuse people, which can be a science all of its' own depending on what you need to say. Hope this helps... :)

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If your issue's 'small chunks' are are related and make more sense when dealt with together, then I would leave them in the same question. However make sure to clearly delineate and define the separate issues. In your jquery question for instance, you could add some comments to show where exactly you're dealing with each the four features you've focused on.

When you get all the answers you need, I would encourage you to write your own answer, putting all the other answers together in a cohesive story, if no one else has already done this. This summary answer, like your question, should clearly delineate the different problems being solved.

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