The StackExchange community is different from other forums, communities, or wikis. It is a great stew of democracy, community editing, self moderation, and wonderfully simple standard formatting. New users won't get it right away, which can lead to awkward confrontations. Communicating and supporting one's question in a way that fosters quality answers is a skill earned through practice and awareness -- hopefully I can help with the latter (the former eludes me yet).
- title: keep it as short and to the point as possible. You don't have to describe your question exactly, just the jist of it. Cut filler words, like any of the 5 W's. If you think the title is a bit long, such as if it wraps to a second line, eliminate the least important identifiers, but not to the point of making the title ambiguous or vague. An example is here, though the "How To" stuck:
HELP: How would i sample an audio tract at nyquist frequency using c and a micro-controller?
How to sample audio at Nyquist frequency with MSP430F5438?
- tags: similar guidelines to forming a title, but you have less choice, as using common tags appropriately usually has more value for the community than making new ones. As mentioned in the SO FAQ and something I have trouble with, Don't try to summarize your question using the tags.
question: it needs to attract readers to the point to where they want to answer your question. This implies legibility, conciseness, and structure, all of which take effort.
legibility: modern browsers come with automatic spell checkers, so use them. Nobody really cares all that much about grammar, but they will notice the effort expunged in well written pieces.
conciseness: Large blocks of text are like eating dry toast, so keep it short; again, cull filler words -- not to the extent as in titles, but wherever it doesn't change the meaning of a sentence.
structure: this is all about using this forum's limited style palette to make your question (and answers) easier to understand. On the right side of your browser window you should see the "How to Format" window, giving a link to the available markdown and allowable HTML.
Whitespace is important -- it gives the reader space to breathe! For example, I intentionally put spaces between these sub-bullets, as there is too much text in each to sandwich them together and expect the reader not to shy away.
Common issues -- must skim:
Oh, and here's a badge: tyblu http://kevinx.net/labs/php/badge.php?txt=Read%20Through%20One%20Of%20tyblu%27s%20Megalong%20Questions . Put it on the fridge.