"Asking help" (the phrasing for the link at the bottom of the guidance box that comes up when one is typing a question title on any SE site) is poorly phrased. Better would be:

help with asking

I have checked four different SE sites, and they all have this same ambiguous phrasing. It might mean

(a) here are some instructions that will help you pose your question well. But it also might mean

(b) here is a link to get to the "Help" section.

Here's what it looks like here at SE Meta:

guidance box

I propose the wording point more clearly to (a), so that people will be more likely to click on the link and read the "How to Ask" page.

Note: I must credit @raceyouanytime for the rephrasing suggestion, provided at ELU Meta.

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    "... so that people will be more likely to click on the link and read ..." Do you actually believe that? – πάντα ῥεῖ Apr 29 '17 at 15:39
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    "Asking for help" doesn't mean what is intended AFAIK. It is intended to mean "help on the topic of asking questions.". Your second suggestion would seem strange as the title of the box is already "How to Ask" so how about "help about asking"? – Martin Smith Apr 29 '17 at 15:52
  • @MartinSmith - If you look at the url after you click on "asking help," you'll see that the page itself is called "how-to-ask." Perhaps the little guidance box that pops up could either be larger, with more content. However, if you think it should remain as is, and the redundancy bothers you (and I do see your point), it could get a different title, such as "Question Tips." – aparente001 Apr 29 '17 at 16:00
  • Yep I don't think it is the redundancy just that if the box is claiming to already tell you "How to Ask" it isn't clear how the link will differ so an alternative title would resolve that. – Martin Smith Apr 29 '17 at 16:03
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    The Spanish site has cómo pedir ayuda (how to ask for help). The Portuguese site has Ajuda sobre Perguntas (help on/for/about questions). Would either of those be an improvement? – tchrist Apr 29 '17 at 18:04
  • @tchrist - in my opinion, yes, definitely. But maybe it would be best to take a step back, and put the most important things right there in the guidance box (which would have to be somewhat bigger). The more clicks one has to do to get to the meaningful instructions, the less likely one is to follow them. – aparente001 Apr 29 '17 at 22:19

I agree that "Asking Help" is a slightly awkward phrase because it looks like "asking for help," but "Asking for Help" wouldn't convey the same meaning as "Asking Help."

"Asking help" means "Help with asking." It would be akin to having a sign that said "Writing help" at a literacy center. In that sense, you can even use it in a sentence.

I went to the literacy center for writing help.

I clicked on the link for asking help.

It's also intended to be short and succinct, which "help with asking" is not.

So IMHO, it's probably fine as it is.

  • IMO, it's probably not fine as it is, at least if we actually want even a reasonable fraction of new users to click that link and read the page behind it. Even if they manage to parse the awkward grammar correctly, it still doesn't actually convey much useful information about what it links to, or how it's different from "visit the help center". – Ilmari Karonen Apr 30 '17 at 12:54

Yes, "asking help" definitely looks awkward and ambiguous, especially to new users who speak English as a second language (and may not have fully internalized the subtle grammatical differences between "asking" and seemingly synonymous verbs like "requesting"). If we actually want people to have some idea of what's behind that link before they click it, it really should have a better link text.

As for what the text should actually be, may I suggest simply using the actual title of the help center page it links to, or something close to it, like:

how to ask a good question

That's clear and self-explanatory, and not so long that it wouldn't fit in the guidance box.

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