Referring to the help center:

users are only banned if they have a significant number of heavily down-voted, zero-voted, or deleted posts.

Of course I've read:

These articles helped me improve my questions so I wasn't downvoted again. But the problem is that they don't help you get upvotes. Till now I have a significant number of zero-voted questions, and I don't want to increase them.

Can you give me any advice on writing a question that is likely to get upvotes and not just remain at zero score?

I'm a beginner so you can't expect me to ask professional questions.

  • 2
    putting a picture of Emma Roberts should definitely help :P
    – Habib
    Feb 17 '14 at 16:46
  • study Jon Skeet's work Feb 17 '14 at 16:54
  • 3
    @Adel Jon does't ask many questions.
    – Servy
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:00
  • 4
    and when he does, I do not understand the question, so I upvote it... Feb 17 '14 at 17:08
  • 3
    Dunno why folks are down voting and voting to close this. A user asking how to write better questions is surely something that should be embraced? Even if just a few friendly upvotes and marked as a dupe to a previously asked one?
    – James
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:10
  • 1
    @James - Totally agree, however some feel that because it's a dupe we should quickly finish things. Feb 17 '14 at 17:18
  • It may help to be Jon Skeet
    – Cilan
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:46
  • 1
    Maybe you can get some insight from this search query. You can filter by your favorite tags too.
    – brasofilo
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:59
  • @James: you seem to be equating good questions with questions that get upvotes. This is sadly not really the case.
    – Wooble
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:03
  • @Wooble no I'm saying only bad questions need a downvote (where there's nothing to disagree with). ie this one doesn't need downvoting, there's nothing to disagree with, or badly worded question, grammar is fine, short and to the point etc. So, why the downvotes here? User is asking "how do I ask good questions" - this is the behaviour we want to promote and, just as important, the community be seen to be promoting it!
    – James
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:07
  • He's not asking "how do I ask good questions?". He's asking "How do I get upvotes on my questions?" There's a big difference.
    – Wooble
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:08
  • 1
    @Wooble Why is there a difference? If they manage to work out how to get upvotes, then surely they've improved their questions? I don't see them asking how to do some hack or magical trick to get upvotes. In fact, quoting user689 "These articles helped me improve my questions so I wasn't downvoted again" this sounds like the want to improve. If this is simply for selfish reasons to get upvotes, then who cares, when the questions on sites are better? win-win
    – James
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:13
  • 1
    Why is there a difference? Don't ask me, I didn't upvote the bad questions on stackoverflow.com/questions?sort=votes but there sure are some.
    – Wooble
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:16

Trawling for upvotes is probably self-defeating.

If your question is clear, describes an actual problem that you have (and someone else might have), contains enough (but not too much) information for someone to be able to answer it, then the votes will come (eventually).

Of course, it helps to post good questions with tags that are heavily trafficked. If your question is about a technology that's not widely used fewer eyeballs will see it and thus there will be fewer people who can vote.

In the meantime, if you're sure your questions are upvote worthy, you can attract more attention to them by sharing them on social media and to your colleagues. Lots more information about that here: Getting attention for unanswered questions?


You want to study what an Short, Self Contained, Correct Compilable, Example, SSCCE is.

Short (Small) - Minimise bandwidth for your example, do not bore the audience.
Self Contained - Ensure everything is included, ready to go.
Correct - Copy, paste, (compile,) see is the aim.
Example - Displays the problem you are trying to solve.

In general, there is not a guaranteed way to get upvotes. But thoroughness, research-effort, and neatness go a long way. Study the MVP's of SO, the Jon Skeet's the HoverCraft's the BalusC's. You will absorb some wisdom.

Sometimes inexplicable downvotes happen. It's Ok. In that case, I sing "kumbaya" and move along.

Be tough-minded!

  • 2
    The gurus you mentioned will never teach you how to get upvotes on questions, they are more specialized in answers.. they rarely ask questions and their questions more like human's version of assembly.. Feb 17 '14 at 17:00
  • @MeNoTalk - fair point, but Jon Skeet has a few Q's Feb 17 '14 at 17:01
  • 2
    You had my upvote until "Sometimes mean people downvote , for no reason(but we all have those days, at times). Or perhaps dyslexic elderly-folk click on the wrong button. In that case, I sing "kumbaya" and move along."
    – Bart
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:01
  • 1
    @Adel hence the "rarely"... Feb 17 '14 at 17:02
  • @Bart - Ok... fixed. le sigh mondaaaays Feb 17 '14 at 17:03

There are no specific instructions to help you get more upvotes, here are some tips that might help you not get downvotes as a first step:

  • Search google before asking.
  • Check for duplicates before asking.
  • Show that you have done some research before asking.
  • post the code you have written so far (only the parts that cause problems, not the whole code)

Usually, people will respect the beginner's questions that follow the above tips, at least by not downvoting it. In time, you will ask better questions and get more votes.

  • The OP will need to follow your tips as the latest questions are devoid of most/all of them. Feb 17 '14 at 22:44

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