It doesn’t work

If you’re asking for help, please don’t use those words…

There are 2 types of information you should be conveying; specific details and general attitude.  The latter is so much more important then the former.

What kind of specifics should you give?  Anything relevant really.  In essence, be detailed and specific.  No need to write an novelette.  No need to explain why you are doing what you are doing.  I look for:

The general attitude though is more important.  First of all, please be polite, and please speak in full sentences (yes, even if u r email plz, kthxbye).  Take a few moments to explain how you’ve already tried to help yourself.  Is there documentation you could read first?  Explain what you read.  Have you searched for answers yet?  Time to start.  Basically, just show that you are trying, and you aren’t just wasting the time of the person whom you are asking.

After you’ve given help, do 2 things.  First, I polite “thanks” is always appreciated.  Next, if you are part of a community, take a few moments to help out others around you as well.  Answering other people’s questions is a fantastic way to learn - and to become more skilled yourself.

Ah yes, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t like link to Eric Raymond’s “How To Ask Questions The Smart Way”.


This entry was made on and filed into Education.


Cliff wrote on

But I want you to do it for me now Now NOW!!! It doesn’t work.  People can be such babies sometimes ;-)

Lisa Wess wrote on

It doesn’t work.  What’s gewgle?

Grammar Geek wrote on

I always knew that’s what you were thinking in class… *grin*

Derek wrote on

Ha.  Grammer Geek, you guys suffer from the opposite problem, you don’t don’t tell me when things aren’t working ;)

Ron wrote on

Just tell them their computer is overheating and they need to pour water on it.  Usually ends things right then and there. ;)