Particularly with being fairly new to this site, I was wondering if there was some way to alert people that a question I ask quite likely isn't going to fit the guidelines for asking questions, and that it should be edited by someone with more experience?

Now, I'm not saying I intend to ask poorly phrased questions intentionally, but rather, until I'm more confident with asking well-phrased and concise questions that are on topic, is there any way I can ask to have the question moderated beforehand to make it more fitting to site-rules?

I'm aware of the rules of the site, and I've read/answered several questions and even asked a couple over the different SE sites, but it is still very possible that I will ask a question that will need editing to make it more easily answerable.

And I know that there are many people on this site who will correct badly-worded questions without any prompting, which is tremendously appreciated on my part, the community is one of the things that keeps me visiting this site often. But is there way I can give a 'heads up' to those people to make their life easier?


2 Answers 2


Welcome to the site!

One thing you can do is to use the site's chat room to ask for help or advice on formulating questions. Chat usage does tend to be a little erratic; you might get an answer in a few minutes or in several hours, but once somebody sees your question, in my experience, our users are pretty good about sticking around and helping out.


No, there's no formal "early input" or "get feedback" option here.

But fear not!

We basically have a two-pronged approach here:

  1. Users should make their best effort to be familiar with basic site guidelines.
  2. The site is moderated by the community, in a friendly, constructive fashion.

What this means for you is:

  • It's worth reading our help page, our On-Topic Summary, and our FAQ.
  • If you think a particular question is on-topic but you're worried it won't be entirely clear or will get some details wrong, do your best, and then don't worry about it. (Maybe note your concerns in the comments.) The community will be happy to help you out.
  • If you're conflicted about whether a particular question is on- or off-topic, you're very very welcome to ask about it here on Meta or in chat. You'll definitely get your answer here!
  • If you feel like you've got a post which feels off-topic, but you're wondering if it can somehow be salvaged - well, that's a little beyond what we want to be dealing with on a regular basis (if you could do it, so could many others...). But, it'd probably make great discussion for our chat room - both asking "can this be hammered into a workable question," and also just "Hey, here's what I want to talk about/ask about/get opinions on," and that's great too.

I'd like to think it's a simple deal: you do your best, within reason, and we'll appreciate that, deal with any issues as and if they arise, and be extra pleased to have you onboard. :)

  • 1
    While asking on Meta how to salvage a specific question may be problematic, I think Meta is a good place for working out how to make on-topic questions out of off-topic questions. I can understand wanting to avoid a massive influx of isolated ("too localized") help questions, but like critique questions there is usually a way to phrase such a question so that answers would be helpful to the specific problem and to the more general problem. Meta is also useful for site recommendations (presumably even including non-SE sites).
    – user5232
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 11:36

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