On MathOverflow there is a link on the top bar "How to ask", giving a very detailed guide for formatting and asking good questions.
It is of no doubt why a question needs to be good, especially in these sort of Q&A sites. We thrive on good, if not great, questions. Ones that can be answered by many people, in great length and in specific detail.
Furthermore, a well stated question is a good incentive for the answerer to write a well written answer. It shows the OP has tried to solve it, has tried to think about it, and from my personal experience it is always much much more enjoyable to explain mathematics in great detail to someone seeking out these details, and wants to understand them.
However, we don't want to solve someone else's problems either. We instead, I think, want to encompass the topic and give the needed detail and understanding - if we go by the fish metaphor: we want to give them the fishing rod and teach them how to fish, not just give them a fish each time.
For this a question stating the progress and work of the OP, and possibly their background on the topic and/or other relevant topics is a very useful thing. Even further when dealing with homework problems (when the OP admits it is a homework problem and wants some hints, and not just for us to solve it since the deadline is in two hours (cf. this question's comments).
As I typed the title for this question, several relevant discussions on the meta came up:
- How to ask a homework question?
- How can I ask a good question?
- How not knowing anything about a subject, does one ask better questions?
I was wondering if we should endorse such page for math.SE as well, to write a guide for those whom are willing to try and write better questions?
After all, these people who want to write better questions form the core of users we want to have here - people who ask good, well presented questions (of course we also want a core of people who write good answers, but this is not the issue here).
Any thoughts about the topic will be appreciated.