How to ask good questions - and get better answers.

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Simon Sheppard
Posts: 192
Joined: 2021-Jul-10, 7:46 pm

How to ask good questions - and get better answers.

Post by Simon Sheppard »

5 tips on how to ask questions in a way more likely to get you a satisfactory answer.

1) Before asking a question on the forum, do the following:
  • Try to find an answer by searching the forum archives or via google
  • Try to find an answer by searching the Web.
  • Try to find an answer by reading

When you ask your question, display the fact that you have made some effort to solve the problem already. Don't be shy of describing all the things that didn't work. If nothing else it will stop people suggesting things you already tried.

2) Post a descriptive topic name! Give a short summary of your problem IN THE SUBJECT field.

Good examples:
  • "Text logfile - how to sort by date"
  • "What permissions or rights are required to delete a Print job?"
  • "Robocopy - error when moving files"
With a really good subject line, the next person searching the archive will find (and perhaps add to) your thread rather than posting the same question again.

3) Put some thought into describing your PROBLEM as well as the SOLUTION you are looking for, be descriptive.
  • Write in clear, grammatical sentences with good spelling. Your writing doesn't have to be stiff or formal but it does need to be clear and precise, you don't want to be misunderstood.
  • l33t hax0r spelling will make you look semi-literate and your post will very likely be ignored.
  • If English is not your first language, mention it somewhere - we will cut you some slack for language errors :)
  • Don't flag your question as "Urgent", people will ignore a 15 minute old 'urgent' question assuming they are too late to be of any help.

4) Post Your Code.
  • If your code is more than about 20 lines long - only post the part that has problems.
  • If you post a huge long script most people won't have time to trawl through it all. Make it easy for people to help you.
  • Use code blocks to make your scripts more readable. The </> button on the toolbar can be used to insert these.

Code: Select all

@Echo Off
Echo This is some code.
  • State briefly the OS/environment you are running. Maybe you have 64 bit Windows 10 or maybe you still have Windows XP - we won't know if you don't tell us.
  • If there are any errors - copy them into the post.

5) Follow up with a brief note on the solution.

It doesn't have to be a long essay; one line describing the solution is often all it takes.
Name the people who helped you; you'll make friends that way.

User avatar
Simon Sheppard
Posts: 192
Joined: 2021-Jul-10, 7:46 pm

Re: How to ask good questions - and get better answers.

Post by Simon Sheppard »


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"I came here for a good argument,
No you didn't, you came here for an argument" ~ Monty Python