There have been a few threads on the forum that haven’t received as much attention as the poster probably wanted. I thought I’d write a quick guide that’ll hopefully help people looking for help get the help they seek. Here’s my quick checklist for your plea for help on the forum:
- Be polite.
- Be patient.
- Show what you’ve done.
- Explain your issue/difficulty.
- Be grateful.
I’ll go into a little detail to reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
You’re asking for a gift
Never forget that you are asking someone to give you their time and knowledge for nothing more than the possibility of a thank you. I’ve seen, on this and many other forums, an attitude of entitlement that almost guarantees the person asking for help will be ignored. So be polite, ask nicely, show the humility that should be shown when asking someone with more knowledge than you to help you.
This is not a “do my homework” forum
Since you’re asking someone to give you their time and share their knowledge, show them that you’ve put in some effort yourself. Explain what you’ve tried and where you’re stuck or had an unexpected outcome. It’s that sort of effort that will encourage others to help you. The short questions or statements of requirements often look like something you’re supposed to do for homework. Nobody is here to do your homework for you; most of the people with the knowledge you seek have it through hard work and long hours and will resent your laziness.
Being polite costs nothing
Above all, be polite and patient. This will go a very long way to encouraging feedback from people who are being patient and generous by helping people like you. Thanking people for their time not only encourages them to help others, but will encourage them and others to try help you next time you ask for help.
I hope that helps everyone who’s looking for help to get more of it.