We assume, here, that you have looked at all relevant FAQ answers you can find, you’ve looked in any books you have, and scanned relevant tutorials… and still you don’t know what to do.
There are two more steps you can take before formulating a question to the TeX world at large.
First, (if you are seeking a particular package or program), start by looking on your own system: you might already have what you seek — the better TeX distributions provide a wide range of supporting material. The CTAN Catalogue can also identify packages that might help: you can search it, or you can browse it “by topic”. Each catalogue entry has a brief description of the package, and links to known documentation on the net. In fact, a large proportion of CTAN package directories now include documentation, so it’s often worth looking at the catalogue entry for a package you’re considering using (where possible, each package link in the main body of these FAQs has a link to the relevant catalogue entry).
Failing that, look to see if anyone has solved the problem before; places where people ask are:
So, how do you like to ask questions? — the three available mechanisms are:
StackExchange has a scheme for voting on the quality of answers (and hence of those who offer support). This arrangement is supposed to enable you to rank any answers that are posted.
StackExchange offers hints about “good behaviour”, which any user should at least scan before asking for help there. (The hints’ principal aim is to maximise the chance that you get useful advice from the first answer; for example, it suggests that you supply a minimal example of your problem, just as these FAQs do. There are people on the site who can be abrasive to those asking questions, who seem not to be following the guidelines for good behaviour)
This answer last edited: 2014-01-28