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How to ask questions the smart way

Is this because I have less reputation? Or my questions are so simple to answer? Surely that can't be. I only post a question when I'm in real trouble and no else know the answer?

Any tips to increase of my chances in Stack OverFlow?

marked as duplicate by Arjan, random Apr 19 '11 at 0:31

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 18 '11 at 23:15

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  • How do you select the questions you answer yourself? – Arjan Apr 18 '11 at 23:18

It's probably because you are vague. For example you haven't even provided a link to the question you are referring to. If I looked at it I wouldn't be suprised to find you haven't clearly outlined the problem or narrowed it down enough to be answered.

You also don't do your background work because there are numerous questions and FAQ's dealing with this.


I have some tips on getting your questions answered. I've not asked any questions on SO yet, I do know what questions I like to answer or vote up.

  1. Your question should be understandable to your audience. Just because you know the meaning of what you say, doesn't mean other people know what you're saying. So be very clear in what you want to ask.
  2. Don't ask for the answer without showing you did any work. In the same way, don't ask for the answer without showing that you gave it some thought. Please show some effort.
  3. Before asking, be sure there isn't another question that is like your question elsewhere on the site. You may get negative feedback.
  4. If the problem is complicated, try to phrase your question ask simply as possible.
  5. Your question could be too general or vague. Try rephrasing the question to be more specific.

There is also always a chance that nobody who has seen the question can answer the question, so that brings us to:

Have patience. Most members of SO and Stack Exchange are just like you. Other developers seeking to help each other, in a mutually beneficial way.



If you haven't already, read the FAQ and How to Ask pages. Also, scanning through your list of questions, I noticed several of them start with "please help" which isn't necessary and might be a turnoff to some people.

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