How to ask questions

Since this site has a number of users who are new to this kind of thing I thought it would be a good idea to post this link.

How to ask Questions the Smart Way

This is a worthwhile read.

It gives advice on how to search for answers (most questions have been asked before).
It provides guidance on strategies to format questions to get the best possible answers.
It provides an overview of web forum / mailing list etiquette.


For what it is worth,


good post! Perhaps it is time for us to write a sticky, and to also include such basic things? I’m always amazed that people sometimes don’t do a basic Google search for the info. Mellis, what do you think?

What about this:

Before you post:

  • Read through current and past posts in the forum to see if your question has already been answered.
  • Check the troubleshooting guide to see if your question is answered there.
  • Search with Google to see if your question has been answered. For Arduino with an LCD, for example, try (without the quotes) “Arduino + LCD”
  • For information on interfacing specific parts or on software issues, include the part number or issue. For example: “Arduino Parallax GPS” or “Arduino software serial”. If your search item is two words, like “software serial”, enclose it in quotes for better results.
  • Use Google to search the forum. As the forum search is limited, use Google to search the Arduino domain name.
    Example: Google “ + LCD”.


  • One post is enough. Please don’t double-post to separate parts of the forum. Don’t worry, we’ll see your question.

After you post:

  • If your questions brings about new knowledge, it is appropriate to share that knowledge with the community. This can be done easily by opening an account in the Arduino wiki, called the “Playground”. Arduino is a collective effort. Make yourself part of the collective.

Forum Etiquette:

  • Please be patient and polite. The forum is a volunteer effort that supports the open-source Arduino community. There are no “Arduino employees”, everyone who answers your question is a volunteer.
  • We are happy to help you with student assignments, but not to do your assignment for you! Many of us in the forum are instructors ourselves, and we wouldn’t want you to miss the learning experience. :slight_smile:

PS: maybe this, once collectively revised, could be at the top of the forum page, so people do actually read it? Sometimes people don’t read stickys :slight_smile:

One thing I would suggest is updating the Troubleshooting section of the FAQ.

Prominently including the 10k resistor problem is one.

Something about inductive loads (motors, relays, etc…) potentially frying chips.

The issue with math.h (if it still applies)

How do I connect … (links to the appropriate sensor pages)

Programmer not responding (should be first item)

Most importantly I would include a need more info link for each question that performed a google search on the arduino site with appropriate keywords.

Good ideas all.

I just added a table of contents to the troubleshooting guide and moved some of the more common questions to the top. I hope this helps people find answers to their questions. If you have any other suggestions for that page (e.g. other things that should be listed), please let me know.

I think the sticky’s could be good too, but I’m not sure how much gain we’d get (are the people who don’t Google for the answers likely to read a sticky?). What about just putting a sticky in the two troubleshooting forums pointing to the troubleshooting guide? The rest of your suggestions are excellent, but I’m not sure where to put them. They seem to apply to the entire forum, but I’m wary of putting a big block of text at the top of every page (or even the bottom of the “Post Reply” pages). Thoughts?


I would add a “Need More Information” link to each of the troubleshooting sections that perform a google search of the site with the appropriate keywords. I believe that the biggest problem that beginners have to using search function is not knowing what keywords to use. as an example something like below for the uploading question

Hi Mellis

seems like it would be a good idea to have a short intro text on the main forum page, Where it says “news” at the top. How about this three-sentence ditty:

Welcome to Arduino’s volunteer-powered support forum.

  • For answers to common troubleshooting questions, click here.

  • As the forum search function is limited, please use Google to search both your topic and the Arduino site, to see if your questions has already been answered.

  • Thanks for asking smart questions.

Of course the logical thing would seem to be to add inline Google search, is that possible? Edit: just looked at the Yabb site and it seems V2.2
will be out soon, with improved search!


I have made use of the script in suggested in arduino for serial port communication.
I want to upgrade to WIFI communication. Could someone advise me how to connect to arduino yun via Powershell to to control my arduino yun.