tl;dr - Is there a way to more easily direct users' attention to the How do I ask a good question? page?

I feel like recently there's been a huge influx of crappy questions; usually translation requests (either 直訳 questions, or "teach me this concept even though I haven't made any attempt to research it myself" questions), and usually by new(er) users. And I'm tired of explaining to them that "we don't do translations", or any of the other reasons that can easily be found in the help pages.

I realize there is a link to this section when you create a new question, but IMO it's not very visible and/or easily overlooked.

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Is there any way to move & rename this link somehow? Like make it say "How do I ask a good question?" and place it immediately above/below the Title input? Or is this standard StackExchange layout that can't be messed with? We do have the Furigana/Japanese extension help ≫ link below the text editor, so I would think some customization is possible.


6 Answers 6


I'd be surprised if anything effective can be done. At best you'll stop a handful of conscientious people, but there'll still be a lot of people who won't read the link or will read it and then ask their question anyway (just in case).

I think the 'put on hold' message is polite and clearly explains the problem, although I note that there's no direct link to 'How to ask a good question'. The problem is that the OP has to wait for the question to get closed before they see what they did wrong, and that can take a while. In the meantime kind people such as yourself add comments in advance explaining the problem.

I don't know if it's technically possible but a solution would be to have a message appear in the comment section after the first close vote.


The title "How do I ask a good question" may be a turn off for many. Perhaps thinking along the lines "I don't care, I just want to ask a quick question." I think it would help if it were something along the lines of "How do I ask my question so it will actually be answered" or "How do I ask my question so it will not be closed."

  • Yeah, whatever works. I just copied and pasted that text from the actual link & page.
    – istrasci
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 18:58

SO has been running an experiment with question templates which are also planned to be introduced on other SE sites if successful. There are also custom popups with hints which could be shown on some keywords detected in the question.


How about a decision tree like the one for flagging questions?

  • I am asking for a translation from Japanese
  • I am asking for a translation to Japanese
  • I am asking about grammar
  • My question is not about Japanese per se

and, for each, a new set of questions:

  • I came up with a translation but it seems to make no sense [-> "Please provide your translation highlighting as best you can what seems to be the problem"]
  • I came up with a partial translation but it I am missing a bit [-> "Please provide your partial translation and say what the problem with the rest is"]
  • I have no translation at all [-> place lecture on 'we don't do translations' here]

Just had a thought for your consideration.
Would it be possible to have an Advanced Users question page where you could only ask and answer questions with 3k reputation (or any arbitrarily high number where people are thought to know the site well enough to be a productive part of it), but that anybody could view and perhaps comment on. I'm sure there would be very few questions, but they would probably tend to be more in-depth (maybe even a bit too niche, but I think a lot could be learned regardless).

  • I think it all boils down to where Japanese Stackexchange wants to go. Do we want more participation at the stake of quality, or a more refined, "elitist" community (see the article Igor Skochinsky posted in the top comment)? I had pretty much the same idea as yours, but haven't given it much thought 'til now. I started being active since roughly 2 months ago, and I began by asking questions I might consider "low-effort" (or ranting) now. Currently, I sometimes ask better questions with hours of effort made, sometimes I don't.
    – Yeti Ape
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 1:03
  • The point being, reputation based division might deter beginners from participating. I think English StackExchange suffers from this approach, but this is just how I feel based on nothing really.
    – Yeti Ape
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 1:08

New users are going to be confused on your site i actually looked and even searched the meta for several things that i couldn't find before posting only because i came from math.stack the linked post is incredibly accurate the site is not setup to educate users on how/what/where is ok to do what. Even if there were perfectly clear and easily accessible instructions (which there are defiantly not) some people would ignore/misunderstand them. at best you can hope a new user is from anther stack exchange site and searches the meta about his questions before posting; but as i said i didnt find any answers to my questions in this way cause no one has asked the questions in meta and you can only post one question every 40 minutes which is shared between meta and the actual site which is incredibly stupid there is no reason there should be any kind of limit on meta questions when they can prevent so many bad questions.

  • maybe add a new meta post with the things that you could not find Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 22:22
  • That was what pissed me off when I tried to as I had already asked a question on the site I couldn't post for 40 minutes. It makes way more sense to just post and have people yell at me for doing wrong then try and wait 80-120 minutes to ask my question cause I made 3 meta posts! Pure nonsense
    – Faust
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 22:24
  • sounds like a good suggestion for the global meta... I don't think this policy is set by individual sites Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 22:26
  • It is math meta you can spam posts all day long.
    – Faust
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 22:32
  • I suspect it has to be changed by the community team; I don't have access (I think) to such setting on another site I mod Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 22:48

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