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Recently I have started editing lots of posts and here are some common themes I have noticed.

There is a tendency for people to start questions saying they want something, personally I find this rude as it makes the person asking the question sound greedy. So I have taken to replacing I want with I would like, which I think is a little more subtle.

Secondly users will not be specific enough when asking questions, a common example is they will say I have a Raspberry Pi. Great, excellent, but they fail to forget there is important differences between models, which affect the appropriate solution to the problem.

On that note users are not always clear about what OS they have installed and more importantly what version.

Also on more than one occasion recently I have noticed users have included code in their question, but have decided to put it in italics or in bold. Rather than indenting in by 4 spaces, which actually makes the code readable.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. The examples I have listed are the really basic stuff that users should be getting right all of the time. I understand new users perhaps do not realise this, so my proposal is this.

When a user is writing their question a checklist of things like have you been specific enough or have you spelt "Raspbian" correctly comes up in a box on the right. I understand this sort of stuff is in the help center, but if this information is readable whilst someone is writing a post, I think more people would take note.

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    Are you about to restore order to the galaxy? – Ghanima May 14 '16 at 11:17
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There is a tendency for people to start questions saying they want something, personally I find this rude as it makes the person asking the question sound greedy. So I have taken to replacing I want with I would like, which I think is a little more subtle.

That's fine if a grammatical correction is also involved. Even if not, and the change is sufficiently subtle, I'm okay with that as long as there are other corrections which are about grammar.

If you are editing just for this purpose, I would reject it because what you are doing, in essence, is editorializing. You are imposing your attitude and tone onto the original author which is inappropriate.

Of course, if it is something that is genuinely offensive, then that's different. But while some people may consider "Give me the sugar" rude this is not Downton Abbey and it is not your job as an editor to play Miss Manners.

Secondly users will not be specific enough when asking questions, a common example is they will say I have a Raspberry Pi. Great, excellent, but they fail to forget there is important differences between models, which affect the appropriate solution to the problem.

On that note users are not always clear about what OS they have installed and more importantly what version.

Yeah, these examples and the general theme of not enough appropriate information is certainly a very common problem (indicating the OS and model is never a bad idea, even if it turns out to be irrelevant). If you think you know what that info is and can edit it in, great, but more often there's two choices:

  • Ask the OP to provide the information in comments.

  • Vote to close the question as "unclear".

Of course the latter takes 3000 rep, which is a bit absurd around here, but there's nothing that can be done about that. It should also usually include a comment elaborating at least a bit on why the question is unclear. Closing this way is just a more forceful way of getting people to provide information and make an effort, or if that is too much to ask, we're all spared having to make any more effort on the Q as well.

Note that I pretty much as rule never close a question without some explanatory comment. There are occasion exceptions to this, including if someone else has already made such a comment.

There's actually a third option here which I encourage people to consider:

  • Just ignore the question and move on to something else where someone has made an appropriate effort. Nobody has an infinite amount of time to spend answering questions, and providing/working with good examples provides, well, good examples. This make it easier to say to other people, "Yours is not a good example".

Also on more than one occasion recently I have noticed users have included code in their question, but have decided to put it in italics or in bold. Rather than indenting in by 4 spaces, which actually makes the code readable.

Another PITA. It's understandable from new users because some/many/most people (including myself) can be initially frustrated/irritated/overwhelmed by new interfaces and try to stick to what seems simple and obvious. You can always point out:

  • The Ask Question page does have a sidebar about formatting.

  • At the bottom of that sidebar is a link to the formatting help page, the top of which explains how to indent code.

When a user is writing their question a checklist of things like have you been specific enough or have you spelt "Raspbian" correctly comes up in a box on the right. I understand this sort of stuff is in the help center, but if this information is readable whilst someone is writing a post, I think more people would take note.

Suggestions like this are the realm of Meta SE. We don't get to customize all our own policies on a per site basis.

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You're certainly right that on more than one occasion some users do not pay much attention to spelling, proper formatting, or to providing all the necessary information.

If someone is new to the Pi and/or new to StackExchange I think it's natural that they might miss to include some specific details that are helpful to answering the question. That's where comments come in to kindly (be nice) inquire said information and provide some guidelines how to retrieve them (if necessary).

While writing questions there are already two boxes with useful hints and information: a very basic guideline to asking and a few points on formatting. To take your example of formatting code by indenting it 4 whitespaces, well, it's there, still not done by each and everyone. I am afraid that more checklists or boxes or any text for that matter will not change much in user behaviour. (Good question for UX though.)

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