How To Be Amazingly Good At Asking Questions Online

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

URGENT HELP REQUIRED!

I get one of these emails at least once a week, if not more. The default response that comes to mind is to call 911. I don’t reply that for not wanting to come out rude.

No question is a silly question. But ask it well if you want an answer.

Respect the other person’s time and energy when asking a question.

Do your research before reaching out. Not all questions are to be asked to a human. Ask Google. Someone else may have come across a similar problem. But if you do decide to ask,

Have a good title that summarizes the problem. Hi; Hello; Heeeeeelp; I am stuck. Please help me does not count as good titles. Write the question as you would to your busy colleague.

Provide relevant information along with the question. Mention the different things you tried. If you don’t have any, do your research.

Don’t drip information across multiple messages. Please don’t say Hello and wait for a response. Give all the information at once.

Format the question well. Your brain dump is not easy to read. Separate into paragraphs, use sections and headings where necessary. If you are sending code, make sure it is formatted well and readable.

Re-read before sending. Use automated proofreading tools like Grammarly. You don’t need to be good in the language, but you can put in an effort.

Ask on a Public Forum if possible. Send the link to the people you think might help.

Help others, help you.

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