This article is from the Digital Broadcast Satellites FAQ, by Brian Trosko firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
To get a good answer one must ask a good question. It seems simple, but
many times questions are poorly written. There are two basic types of
question: requests for information and discussion questions.
When requesting information, one should make every effort to provide
sufficient context and to ask a specific question. Without context the
question might be hard to understand, open to misunderstanding, and
impossible to answer properly. If one doesn't ask a specific question,
it's hard to know what information is being requested. For example, one
common question goes like this: "I'm looking to get a satellite system,
and I need information. Which is better, DSS or Primestar?" What does
"better" mean to the author? Is he interested in the channel packages
available, or the features of the hardware? Saying that he needs
information is an incredibly broad request. What sort of information
does he need? Try to be more specific about what you're looking for.
For discussion questions, one should attempt to clearly define the topic
to be discussed. State clearly the situation, given information,
assumptions, conditions, exceptions, or other factors involved. That way
everyone stands a better chance of discussing the same thing instead of a
dozen barely-related issues.