SE places expectations on users to ask high-quality questions, in the absence of which closure, deletion, etc. can drive away new users from the site. Further, it drains the effort of experienced users to request the same information again and again.
So why not ask before?
I propose customising the question interface for users below a certain reputation threshold to create a site-specific (fill-in-the-blank type) template that aids new users to ask high-quality questions.
As an example, I present a rough sketch of what the new user interface may look like on math.SE:
Make your title your question; use it to convey as much information as possible. Don't be afraid to make it long.
[Space to add title]
Write the statement of the question, including all assumptions and conditions. This may be the same as the title.
[Space to add question statement]
Mention where you came across the question and/or what prompted you to ask about it.
[Space to add source/motivation]
Indicate your level of familiarity with the question topic.
[Space to add background]
Define any important terms relating to the question.
[Space to add definitions]
Include your thoughts, observations, research and/or attempts to solve the problem.
[Space to add the OP's work]
Add any additional details relevant to the question.
[Space to add other details]
Link any references appropriate to the question.
[Space to add references]
Add up to 5 tags to describe what your question is about.
[Space to add tags]
The question can then render as follows:
After the question has been posted, the OP (and other users) can edit the question using the standard interface, thus being able to reformat and restructure the question if necessary.
The technology is here!
Although a customised user interface such as the Ask Question Wizard may be ideal, SE has already implemented a similar structure before (see below).
(Credit: Calvin Khor)
On related questions
Similar features have been proposed before on meta.SE (see 1, 2), and have received considerable support, but (as far as I'm aware) haven’t been implemented (across the network). Further, the discussions I find are relatively old, which suggests to me that this request should be revisited.
This was initially proposed on math.SE (see here), and is now proposed here on the advice of a few users.