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How to Write a Proper Question for the Editorial


by slinkee

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I’ve noticed of late, much to my chagrin, that most of the questions being answered in the editorial have been rather poorly executed. So, I’ve decided to lend my expertise in an effort to save the sanity of The Neopets Team and hopefully to remind all of my lovely Neopians that good manners never go out of style! Follow this step-by-step guide and I will lead you through the pitfalls of writing a proper question for the editorial. And it just might help your odds of having your question answered. *wink*

Step 1: The Greeting.

The beginning of a successful query starts with a proper greeting. As tempting as it may be to shower The Neopets Team with compliments and flattery, it isn’t necessary. It is merely a waste of space on the question form and just more words that some poor, tired and surely overworked Neopets Team Member must muddle through. Short and sweet is the way. There is nothing wrong with jumping straight to your question! If you feel you absolutely MUST address the staff personally, keep it short, polite and gender neutral. For example: “Good day, TNT!”

Step 2: Throwing is an Outdoor Sport!

Please, please, and please again, I beg of you: stop throwing things at the poor Neopets Staff! No matter how careful you may be a wayward pitch is always a possibility and you don’t want a team member being taken out by an errant, albeit well intended, gift. And most certainly, never throw food at them! I know that ALL of your loving mothers taught you not to play with your food and keep in mind that even a cookie could poke out an eye!

Step 3: Question vs. Fame

There are a few things one must consider before submitting a question to the editorial. It is important to remember that The Neopets Team is very busy running this site and we should not bother them with every hairy little thought that pops into our heads! So I’ve compiled a list of questions we should ask ourselves before troubling a Staff Member:

1. Have I HONESTLY done my best to find the answer to my question on my own? Remember the old saying: If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you TEACH a man to fish, he will donate all his rotten left shoes to the Money Tree. I don’t think that’s quite right... but you get the gist! Moving on; here are some helpful resources for any questions you may have:

  • The terms and conditions for questions regarding rules.
  • The Neopedia will answer questions about the characters and items on the site.
  • The boards are an ever useful resource where you can seek from more knowledgeable players.
  • There are many, many, MANY helpful pet pages out there chock full of game guides and other site secrets.
  • Read the news daily. It is the MOST important source of information on the site!

2. Do I really need the answer or am I just trying to get my name in the Times? It is sad to say that some people are so desperate to become famous that they are willing to send in any question, thought, or pure nonsense that pops into their heads to the Editorial. Please do not do this; the Staff has plenty to do, and no one finds a flat forehead (from repeatedly slamming it on their desk) attractive.

3. Can others benefit from having this question answered? If the question is something you truly believe others may want to know the answer to, then ask away! It would be a disservice to others not brave enough to ask for themselves not too ask! Consider it your civic duty!

Step 4: The Question

Now we come to the most important part, the question itself. You may think at this point all the hard work is over with. Nay, say I; this is the hardest part yet! First off, you must be sure to submit a complete and well formed thought to get the answer you seek. You do not want to leave a grey area for misinterpretations or absolute confusion on the Staff’s behalf. In other words, make sure that you are specific and clear with your question. I personally recommend writing a rough draft or two and trying it out on your friends before submitting it. Secondly, grammar, grammar, grammar, Neopians! No one will be impressed by your mastery of chat speak or your inability to spell. If you have, as I suggested earlier, written a rough draft of your question, now is the time for spell check! Once spelling issues have been addressed, then be sure that the question flows smoothly. A proper question should simply roll off the tongue like a sweet song. Lastly, let’s not forget punctuation! We can’t have all of our words garbled together into an inseparable mess. Please note the different meanings of this sentence when we simply change the punctuation:

Giant moving, sale Friday!

Giant moving sale Friday!

You would be terribly upset to post this in the paper only to have no one show up for your moving sale because they misunderstood and thought you were trying to tell them that a giant was moving!

Step 5: A Proper Closing

As the Staff are paid and specifically assigned to read, edit, and answer your questions, it is not necessary to add anything beyond your question. If you must add some sort of closing, simple and sweet is still the key. “Thank you.” A little often goes a long way! I am including some examples of closings that you would, of course, want to avoid using:

  1. *Jumps up and down waving at all my friends*
  2. Sending a “shout out” to anyone.
  3. Negativity, ie “I know you will never answer my question...” With that attitude, they probably won’t.
  4. Again, avoid the urge to throw things. (Especially rocks!)
  5. Doing the Hokey Pokey.
  6. Threatening the Staff.

Step 6: Please DON’T remove my name!

If you are asking a question that you do not want to have your name associated with, think twice before submitting the question at all. Why don’t you want people to know who you are? Is it because you’re pretty sure you have been breaking the rules and don’t want others to know? Are you just too embarrassed that your friends might see your question? If that’s the case, a true friend would have already tried to answer the question for you. Or are you afraid that the Meepits will see your question thus opening yourself up to an invasion of your home pc which TNT would not be able to exterminate before they ate all of your socks? Be bold, be brave, be ruthless, and ask your question without fear!

 
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