Hello everyone. Over the last two months of my most recent stint on Fandom, I have seen a lot of people asking for help ineffectively. So I decided to pass on a few tips I have learned over my decades of asking for help effectively all over the internet. These tips can be used anywhere help is offered.

  1. Don't ask to ask, just ask - In most places designed to offer help and assistance, it is fully expected that people will come in and ask questions. So you do not need to ask if you can ask a question. Just ask your question.
  2. Be patient for answers - In most cases, those who are able to help will know the answer right away. There are those cases where helpers will need to do a little bit of research to find you an answer. So after asking your question, you could sit back and wait for an answer or venture into the help pages on your own, maybe finding your own answer.
  3. Be specific - When asking for help, be specific for what help you need.
    • Examples:
      • Saying "I need help with templates" is so general as to be useless. However, saying "I need help with the X parameter of Template:Sample." will allow those who are willing to help to pull up Template:Sample, look at the X parameter of the template, and let you know how to use it.
      • Saying "I need help with css" is another general statement. However, saying "I need help styling a table cell to make the text bold." will get answered so fast that you may not have time to blink.
  4. Show your work - It is better to try to do what you want first and fail, then running to ask for help before even trying. Asking for help empty handed means the people who will try to help you have to do a lot more work. So, the less work you make them do, the more help you could get. So show your code for a new template, css, javascript, or whatever it is. If you are posting your question in the forums, use the <pre></pre> tags. If you are posting your question in chat, put your code in your /sandbox within the tags above then link to your /sandbox.
  5. Link things - It is important to remember to give links to your work and any other relevant pages. The more you show the people who will help you, the faster you get a response.

In closing, the more effective your question or request is, the more effective and faster the replies will be. Also, the more work you show you have put into the problem will make people want to help you more than someone who comes with the question without even trying. You see, some people who help others are a bit lazy. Playing twenty questions gets tiring. So, do not make more work for those willing to help you.

For me there have been times when I was writing an effective question with all the specifics in place, links to the relevant work of mine, and more when the answer came to me right before I hit enter. A really good question sometimes reveals the answer to you without even having to ask it. Think of the satisfaction you will get by finding the answer to your own question before you even asked it! Lady Aleena (talk) 06:22, November 13, 2017 (UTC)

If you have any other advice or stories about asking effective questions, I would love to read them! Lady Aleena (talk) 06:29, November 13, 2017 (UTC)

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