Intro: How to Ask a Question in Instructables.
In cooperation with several of the regular answers of questions here I have put together this short "how to get the best answer to my question" instructable.
Step 1: Search Instructables
Use the search box at the top right of the page - This will give back any similar subjects - Your question may well already be there.
There are some questions that get asked over and over (like "how do I talk to this girl/guy?") - if you have a search, you may not need to ask the question at all.
However don't ask the same question again, a couple of days later, just because you don't like the previous answers. Very rarely will the denizens of the answerers give a flippant or silly answer without provocation, so the answers you receive will in the main be the best we can manage with the information offered
Step 2: The Question
OK so you want to ask a question of the many users of this site. To tap into their extensive and worldly knowledge.
So what is the best way to:
a) get a suitable answer which will help you
b) Help the kind people who give their time and knowledge for free to help you.
Be clear in your mind what information you need.
Start your question at the beginning NOT in the middle.
Write your question in very clear terms outlining any/all issues or restrictions.
Step 3: Extra Information
Tell us where you are (country will do).
What access you have to tools, materials, cash limits.
What your skills are - It's no good asking for information to resolve the energy crisis in the world if your unable to screw in screws or solder an electronic joint together.
How much time and money will you want to spend on this project?
What have you done or found out so far.
Step 4: Some Things Just DON'T Work
Perpetual motion in any form
Most things Ilegal
Most things that would in any sensible persons opinion be a danger to you and or your neighbours.
Anything very complicated for next to nothing.
Almost anything complicated that includes skills that are beyond your ability.
Step 5: Be Polite - We Do This for NOTHING
Be nice - it isn't just a matter of conforming to society - all the people answering you do it for nothing, most are going to be 30+ years old a little nice goes a LONG way.
Try to check the spelling - it isn't going to cost anything to down-load a spell checker and use it. Avoid text speak if only in the interest of clarity. Remember most of this site is in English, a very little of it is in Spanish, but none of it is in SMS. DON'T use leet speak, SMS speak or any shorthand that can't be read by any of our members for whom English is not their first language.
If you have a question, and it needs illustrating with a photo, PLEASE make the effort to make a decent, focussed picture of it.
RE-READ your question before posting, your talking to strangers so ask yourself: Am I being totally clear - Is there any better way to get a quick answer (Google is usually the option - try it) - Am I asking too much - or is the time scale ridiculous (Urgent isn't going to work over a global internet system be patient)
Step 6: Lastly
Just out of interest to us - (to keep us offering answers you know) - Come back and tell us what success you had. Publish an instructable and credit your knowledge suppliers. Say Thanks.