Guidelines for posting a quality question on Microsoft Q&A
Microsoft Q&A enables users to ask and answer technical questions on Microsoft technologies. To get the best and quickest answers, it's important to ask well-crafted questions.
This article provides tips and recommendations for writing effective questions on Microsoft Q&A, which will help you get answers from a variety of experts, including Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), Microsoft product group owners, and other knowledgeable users. By following these guidelines, you can maximize your chances of getting the information you need from the Microsoft Q&A community.
- Avoid duplicating questions
- The title is specific and summarizes your question
- Include information about the scenario and any supporting material like screenshots
- Ask one question per thread
- Use the right tags to increase visibility to the right experts
- Follow the Microsoft Q&A community guidelines
This is a site for support, so please use the right site to requests new feature requests about a Microsoft product or report any bugs. This will ensure that the experts can focus on resolving your problems instead of having to redirect you to the right site.
Avoid duplicate questions
To make the best use of Microsoft Q&A, it's important to avoid asking questions that have already been answered. We make this very easy for you! When you post a question, Q&A will show you related questions from Q&A, MSDN & TechNet Forums, and Stack Overflow. This helps you in several ways:
- By suggesting previously answered questions, you can quickly find a solution without having to ask a new question, saving you time.
- If you find a relevant question, you can add your question to the existing thread by providing more details about your scenario or by voting to indicate that you have the same issue. This helps draw more attention to the question, increasing the chances of a faster solution from the community.
Write a title that summarizes your question
When experts are trying to answer as many questions as possible, they may quickly scan the titles of questions to identify those they're likely to know the answer to. Questions with titles like "Urgent! Help needed!" are less likely to get answered compared to questions with a specific, detailed title like "How do I use the BinaryFormatter with IIS?" A title that summarizes your scenario and the technologies involved increases the chances of getting a response.
A good title should include three components: Service, Scenario, and Result.
- Service: The service or technology you’re using.
- Scenario: A brief description of the scenario or task you're trying to achieve. Result: The desired outcome, usually indicating an error or the need for guidance with a specific step.
Examples of good titles:
- Azure Windows Virtual Machine: Unable to RDP due to authentication error
- Azure WebApp: How do I upload and configure an existing SSL certificate
- Azure IoT Hub: All requests to IoT Hub fail due to an error code 403002 IoTHubQuotaExceeded
Keep it clear and concise
For a prompt and accurate response to your query, it is important to present a clear and concise question to the community. This helps members to better understand your issue and provide a solution. To make your question effective, include the following information:
- Service: Mention the technologies involved in your scenario or the ones you intend to use, such as Azure WebApps, Python, code snippet, etc.
- Scenario: Describe your scenario and what you are trying to achieve by highlighting the what and how of your question.
- Result: Provide the outcome of your scenario, including error codes, stack traces, and controls.
- Environment: Specify any specific requirements, system information, operating system or application version, and network details related to your scenario.
- Troubleshooting efforts: Mention any documentation you have referred to and the steps you have taken to resolve the issue.
- Supporting materials: If possible, include a screenshot, video, code snippets, or logs to help other users understand your issue better.
- Give reproducible steps: If applicable, provide a clear outline of the steps required to reproduce the scenario, along with any relevant documentation. For programming-related questions, provide a minimal test case that demonstrates the issue. Share just enough code to allow others to recreate the scenario and offer informed recommendations.
Ensure that you do not include Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This is a public site and any posts found with PII will either be edited or removed to protect that data.
Avoid posting multiple questions in a single thread
To ensure that you receive a clear and helpful answer to your questions, it is important to post them individually. When you have multiple questions, each with its own distinct scenario, it can make it more difficult for the community to understand the problem and provide an accurate solution. For this reason, we recommend that you create separate threads for each of your questions. This way, the community can give you their undivided attention and provide the best possible response.
Use the right tag for your question
Since the experts in various subject matters tend to stick to the set of tags that focus on those topics, selecting the right tags will increase the chances to receive an answer faster. On Microsoft Q&A, you can add up to 5 tags that are relevant for your scenario.
Once you receive a correct answer, mark it as "Accepted". This step is important, since it lets people scanning Microsoft Q&A know that they can find a verified answer to that question by reading the thread. See more information on the Accepted answers article.