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Do you want your project management questions to be viewed by a wider audience, get up-voted more often, and receive high-quality, outstanding answers?

If so, then read and follow the series of tips below for writing really great project management questions. These tips will help make sure you get the most benefit from your questions.

1. Make Sure that the Question Relates to Project Management

Giving a background about your problem and describing the challenge you're facing as a project manager is a great way to ensure that your question is viewed as being pertinent to the field of project management.

Ask yourself if your question could be asked by an accountant, marketer, editor, publisher, writer, programmer, or someone working in another field. If you think that your question could relate outside of project management, consider adding additional information to your question that singles it out as a project management question.

The more doubt you dispel about the on-topic nature of your question, the more likely the community will be to welcome your question.

2. Use Capital Letters in the Major Words in Your Question

Although this has nothing to do with the content in your post, it can help attract more viewers. Using capital letters to emphasize major words in your question is not only a standard guideline in the English language when writing titles, but it also helps draw the eye of your readers.

   Further reading: Should Every Word in a Post Headline be Capitalized, or just the first word?

3. Make Sure Your Question Is Enticing

In addition to capitalization, make sure your question draws attention in it's meaning. If your Question title is well... a question, you're more likely to elicit interest, especially if the question is descriptive of the topic:

   Example: How to Avoid Micro-Managing a Software Development Team?

Think of your question as if it's a post title. You can elaborate in the body of your post and ask for specifics. The goal of the title is to spark interest from the community and draw them to your question first. Sell your question. Your question is your headline. Picture yourself as if you're writing a news article, except in the form of a question.

   Further reading: Are You Writing Rockin' Blog Post Titles?

4. Use a Spell Checker

Sure, I understand that English isn't everyone's first language. But I also know that the professionals and people who have been in industry for a long time, and who are passionate leaders, learn to use the tools at their disposal to write and communicate professionally.

Your spelling and grammar surely doesn't have to be perfect, but there is a certain level of professional respect that you'll gain by demonstrating that you can communicate well. By using a spell checker, capitalizing "I", and writing structurally sound sentences that are free of run-ons, your question is more likely to gain the attention of other professionals.

In addition to gaining the respect of your fellow community member professionals, learning to write well is also great practice for advancing your career. People who are capable of communicating their ideas, both clearly as well as persuasively, have a significant advantage over those who gloss over these details. By taking a couple minutes to clean up some obvious mistakes, you are practicing valuable skills that can have a lasting impact on your future career goals.

5. Take the Time to Improve Others' Questions

Another way you can practice writing great questions is by editing others' questions. In addition to improving the quality of their question and helping them gain the above listed benefits, you also are improving your own writing skills.

In addition, some people have told me that having their questions edited helps them improve their writing skills by showing them the correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, or style to use in a particular scenario.

By editing others' questions, you not only help yourself, but you also help the original poster and the community as a whole.

6. Whitespace is Your Friend!

Don't overlook whitespace. It's easier on your readers' eyes, and it will help ensure that they get through reading your question. Psychologically, a single large paragraph is harder for most people to read than a series of smaller paragraphs that add up to an equal amount of material.

Whitespace not only makes it easier to digest the information, but it also makes it easier for your reader to glance back at your question, as a reference, when your reader is formulating a response.

Following these tips will help you write great questions and ensure that you get the most views, most question up-votes, and high-quality answers.

  • +1 Great post. Let's start this discussion to improve PMSE – Johnny Feb 22 '11 at 13:47
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Nice tips! Great questions is a awesome manner to promote PMSE and drive it to a successful Q&A site.

Some of these tips mentioned above can be applied to every questions like "Take the Time to Improve Others' Questions".

This blog post would also be useful to keep our community free of questions too simple.

Not every question is a super-great-question, but if it is useful for the PM learners then it is ok ask.

The flowchart below (taken from Jeff Atwood's blog post mentioned earlier) is a nice way to filter very basic questions.

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  • Nice flow chart! – jmort253 Feb 23 '11 at 3:00

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