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Hi there, I was wondering what is good question and what is bad question. I understand this is a subjective issue, but there must be some more details guidelines for that.

E.g. if someone gives a problem and asks: What might be a strategy to solve it?

I think that is an example of bad question, because someone hasn't applied any thought to solving the problem and just wants a solution, because this is their assignment or something.

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Take a look at Jon Skeet's Writing the perfect question

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@gnostradamus oh dear, thanks! I hope Jon didn't see this... –  Tobias Kienzler Oct 19 '10 at 7:15
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With apologies to Tolstoy, bad questions are each bad in their own way. Any of these works for me:

  • saying something "doesn't work" without providing any details of what leads you to that conclusion (an error message? exception? inaccurate answer?) and where appropriate, the accurate result you were expecting
  • having constraints you don't reveal until after gaining several answers ("actually I can't use anything after .NET 2.0", or "actually I don't have the source code for the library", or "actually my boss forbids us to use COM components", etc)
  • assuming we all know you and are following your journey through your problem ("Hi guys, I got past my file problem but now I can't seem to format the string correctly")
  • insulting the technology you are using, when asking for help from people who know that technology well and use it by choice ("I am stuck with this piece of crap and it won't do anything I want and how can I make it as delightful as what I usually use")
  • pasting in dozens of lines of code that is not, in fact, the code that's having the problem - usually we can tell because what you pasted doesn't compile
  • tag misuse and grammar/spelling/format, though generally I will just try to fix those so that someone will actually see the question and help you
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+1, especially for "doesn't work" but also in general –  Tobias Kienzler Oct 19 '10 at 7:17
+1 for "Hi guys, I got past my file problem but now I can't seem to format the string correctly" Especially if the user edits their old question to add this new question! –  Amanda S Jul 1 '11 at 23:17
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"Please send me the codes" kind of questions.

Hello Frineds,

I having been recived a task to craete this iphone APPLICATION which can connect to a website and send information to database. Also must store an imgae on data base and on phone. Pleas tell me how to do this. Must know very soon.

thanks you all

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Oooh, you've got the horrific spelling right too! –  Donal Fellows Nov 26 '10 at 13:17
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Pretty much any question that breaks 1 or more of "How to Ask" guidelines would be considered a bad question in my eyes.

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