The "How do I ask a good question?" Help Center page could use some work. Part of it is wrong, some of it could use more info, and some of it could be expanded. Let's go through what's there, and then let's brainstorm some ideas for improving it!
Search, and research
Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn't meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!
Yep, if there is a obvious dupe target, explaining why it didn't work is important. Specifically that OPs should include what exactly they tried and how it didn't work. A.k.a. "It didn't work" isn't sufficient for not being a dupe.
Our community is defined by a specific set of topics that you can view in the help center; please stick to those topics and avoid asking for opinions or open-ended discussion. If your question is about the site itself, ask on our meta-discussion site. If you're looking for a different topic, it might be covered on another Stack Exchange site.
If you ask a vague question, you'll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer.
Incorrect. Vague questions that can't be answered without more info should (and hopefully will) be closed as "Needs Details or Clarity", perhaps with a (polite) comment explaining what else is needed. Vague, incomplete answers aren't the correct action for insufficient detail in a question. Either the question is specific enough for a good answer, or it isn't.
Make it relevant to others
We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.
This is true, but unhelpful. To me and most active SE users, this makes sense. But think about it from the perspective of a first-time question asker who knows nothing about the SE model - "Why should I care about it being useful to others, I just want an answer to my problem". I'll come back to this in a bit.
Keep an open mind
The answer to your question may not always be the one you wanted, but that doesn't mean it is wrong. A conclusive answer isn't always possible. When in doubt, ask people to cite their sources, or to explain how/where they learned something. Even if we don't agree with you, or tell you exactly what you wanted to hear, remember: we're just trying to help.
Yes, frame challenges (this) sometimes happen, and being open-minded is important. Although, frame challenges (on AU) tend to happen when the OP has an XY Problem, so IMO we should explain (or link to?) the XY Problem. Also, asking for a source is fine, but how they learned it really isn't the purpose of comments, so that should probably be removed (a brand new AU user is highly unlikely to use chat).
I also propose that we incorporate some of the MCVE page from SO into this page, but talored to AU. Here's what I propose (ish):
I don't point out the "Minimal" part, because I'd like to avoid XY Problems when possible. Maybe there is a way to do both...?
When asking a question, people will be better able to help you if you clearly explain your issue, and you don't include more info than is needed to clearly communicate your question. Your question should
- Provide all parts someone else needs to reproduce your problem in the question itself. If you're having an issue with Ubuntu itself, see if you can reproduce it in a live CD, and if so, include the exact steps you took to reproduce the issue.
- Include any and all commands (and command output) formatted as code blocks, not as images.
- Explain what you're trying to accomplish - this makes it easier to find a solution
Also, we may want to re-order these items to have the most important ones at the top.
Regardless of if you agree, disagree, or have more ideas, feel free to post an answer! I'm not attached to this perticular wording or these perticular things too much, my goal is to make that page as helpful as possible