How to Ask Questions

Posting a question in a newsgroup may seem like a daunting task. You see all of the banter going on between people and you are not sure what you need to ask or even how to ask it. You've already read the newsgroup FAQ post and searched the previous posts for a similar problem.  If you cannot find the answer in those resources, here are a few guidelines that will help you author your post so that you will receive an answer to your problem.

  • Choose a descriptive Subject line: This will help subsequent visitors to the newsgroup accurately identify your question/problem and know if they can help you.  A subject line of "Help Me" says very little about your problem whereas "help with JavaScript popup" lets everyone know what you need.
  • Include all necessary information:   When asking a question, please include all of the necessary information.  Including information about your computer and OS.  Describe the exact problems you are experiencing, and include a link to an online example of your problem if posable.
  • Be concise: State the exact steps needed to recreate what you are experiencing not "my computer does not work". Post a link to the problem page if it is an HTML question.  Post a Link to a screen shot showing the problem or where you are having difficulty.  The more information you provide about your problem the quicker it can be resolved. State the steps you took to get your issue and what you have already done to try to resolve it so that you do not hear everything you have already tried.
  • Post a link: Upload your problem page to your web server and post a link to it in your message if it is a web related issue.  I guarantee if you do not do give a link to your problem the 1st response you receive will ask you for it. Being able to see what you are talking about will help other readers of the newsgroup in determining a resolution to your problem.
  • Do NOT post large attachments: Post attachments and graphics ONLY in the appropriate group that is set up for these (toolfox.public-binaries).  All posts made to the newsgroup are archived and your whopper attachment will become a permanent part of the newsgroup record. If your attachment is too large the post may be deleted.
  • Post in the appropriate group: If your question is about a hardware problem post in the hardware group, if it is about the Windows XP OS post in that group, if it is a security issue post in there, if you want to just chat, post in the group that is set up for this purpose ( If in doubt where to ask your question, post in the coffee-shop group. Do not cross post your question to every newsgroup.
  • Do NOT cross post: Cross posting is placing the same message in more than one newsgroup. Choose the proper group for your question and only ask it in one group. These newsgroups are frequented by many knowledgeable individuals and your question will be answered.  Cross posting will only anger individuals not help you get an answer quicker.
  • Don't get mad: Do not get mad or hostile in the newsgroups. All of these forums are frequented by knowledgeable users and regardless of where you ask you should receive an answer.  It is some times frustrating when you are experiencing troubles but getting angry will not help you find a solution to your problem. A thread that turns insulting will be removed.

View the PREVIOUS page

Return to the TOP of this page

View the NEXT page in this tutorial

[Newsgroup Home]    [Group Etiquette]    [Asking Questions]    [Answering Questions]    [News Readers]    [Links

All content copyright © 1998 - 2002 all rights reserved