5 minutes read
8 Simple Rules To Get Help From The Community

8 Simple Rules To Get Help From The Community

Hey, I'm Lana. I love forums, and SoloLearn's Q&A Discussions is one of my absolute favorites. But I occasionally see people who have trouble getting help through the forum.
In order to get the most out of using a forum, you must first learn how to ask good questions. Here's what I’ve learned as a part of the SoloLearn community:  

Try to search first

There are thousands of forum posts, and it's likely that someone else has a question similar to yours. Use the Search feature and try different combinations of keywords. If you don't find answers, or if the answers you find aren't satisfactory, then ask your question.

Note: When writing a new post, try to add relevant and descriptive tags to make it easier for future users with the same issue to find the solution!

Title is king

Your title should include a brief description of the question. A good title helps attract attention, and you should have prompt responses. It also helps other users decide if they're able to help you without having to read the whole message.

Describe the issue carefully

Including all necessary details in the body of your question maximizes your chances of receiving useful answers. General questions ("My program throws an error; please help.") with no descriptions will just attract generic responses ("What error?"). It's much better to include specifics: "My program throws an IndexOutOfRangeException on line 9. The code is below." This makes it easier to get helpful information from people who are knowledgeable about your problem and who are happy to help you.

Writing in CAPITAL LETTERS doesn't help!

Writing in capital letters is usually unwelcome. It's difficult to read, and in the long-term it can deteriorate your online reputation.

Avoid being overly friendly

It's important to be polite at all times, while also keeping your posts direct and to the point. Avoid the overly friendly "My dear friends" or "Dear fellow programmers". Also, anything that sounds desperate ("Help!", "Urgent!", "Please Help!") should be avoided. People are likely to ignore such posts.

Don't post your homework

If you post your homework with the aim of having others to do it for you, you'll end up with a pile of Down votes. It's okay to ask for hints, but not for entire solutions. Those questions are for you to work out, so you can learn from the experience.

Avoid asking multiple questions in one post

If your original question has been answered, don't use the same post to ask a different question. It may not be answered, because your new topic doesn't match the post's title. If you have a new question, create a new topic.

Follow the forum rules

If you follow the Community Guidelines, you'll be on your way to having more fun and gaining valuable information through the forum.

Last, but not least…

Please don't be afraid to ask questions. Just try to follow the advice that's offered. And be nice! :)

//Lana Wilson