(Adding this because I suppose people are misinterpreting the post somehow.)
Of course that happens. Of course we can help them. It goes like this: close the question, have a discussion, the question gets better, reopen the question, badda-bing-badda-boom solutions can be offered with confidence.
Why so stressed about closure? Sure, maybe people bring their impressions from elsewhere about what it means. We should try to do better about changing that impression with comments and FAQ and whatnot. Let's not default to walking on eggshells just because they haven't heard the explanation about closure yet.
Now deletion, sure. Let's not delete such questions hastily. That would be a shame.
this is because the asker is struggling with the concepts involved and is unable to put their finger on exactly what isn't making sense to them.
That is natural, and as you say, assuredly something everyone has experienced at some point or another.
I think it's one of the times when some personalized guidance can help the most, and it seems like a shame that such questions would just be closed.
Yes, guidance would help. And luckily guidance and our site's process are not mutually exclusive.
A shame to close? There it is again. The stigma. Why a shame? Nothing is lost. Nobody gets it right the first time every time. It's just like caution tape around a construction zone. This misapprehension of what we intend closure to function as is a big headache for the site's culture.
If the caution tape isn't there, solutions will have to speculate, and that sometimes works but sometimes it generates irrelevancy.
The closure is a catalyst for improving the question
Improving, I say, in the sense of making it more fit for the site. When a question is closed for reasons like clarity or context, we hope to engage the user in the comments to suss out what the actual problem is. After exchanging comments with the community and getting suggestions, we should eventually hit upon what it is that the user did not know, and then with the new information either
- arrive at a solution on their own: They could potentially self-delete, or if they feel they have a nice solution they can request reopening for a self-answer; or
- revise their question to be more answerable. Hopefully it usually only takes a couple iterations of this step to convert it to something suitable. Then the question gets reopened and both parties have profited.
If there is an endless cycle of comments with the user that never seems to bear any fruit, or no engagement from the user at all, that probably signifies content that doesn't belong on the site. You see, it is better that this messy bit of clarification happens in comments rather than solutions.