The new user should be no different from others in terms of treatment, and it is mostly their responsibility to adhere to the principles of the platform they have willingly chosen to use.
More knowledgeable users sure can and ideally should assist in each specific case their help is justified, but I find it unlikely that we can come up with a useful and somewhat complete set of tips that would help every entrant.
It's just not how it works and in my opinion the root of the problem lies in a different place.
We live in a society
Probably not the answer you would expect, but I find the recent trend of seeking ways to provide special helpful assistance to newcomers rather troubling.
This potentially creates a precedent for unequal treatment of questions from a marginalized group of individuals and eventually this exceptionality would lead to decline in overall quality.
Stack Exchange is not special in terms of basic requirements for the beginners.
SE sites adhere to the same basic principles accepted on other knowledge exchange platforms, shall it be an online forum or a seminar course:
- Communicate clearly and competently.
- Respect other people's time and established codex of the platform.
- Show interest and effort in solving your own problems.
The first item on the list is almost entirely on the user, their parents and culture (predominantly, education system) which are responsible for providing a person with basic behavioral and linguistic skills.
We cannot teach them all at once.
We can only correct minor typos and errors as well as technical issues with chemistry-related notations and formatting.
The latter pretty much never leads to a closure and is fixable in the background routinely.
The second item stems from the first one.
Wasting man-hours because of laziness and unwillingness of doing rudimentary prior research is universally not accepted.
In real life people are getting fired, fined or even prosecuted on their first day at work because of their incompetence.
A closed question is nothing in comparison (and is easily reversible) — so one should get used to consequences of their own sloppy behavior and take ownership of their own actions beforehand, and closed question should be interpreted more like as a fail at a training ground to learn from, not as a personal insult.
I get that there are several issues with education systems around the world and not everyone has communication skills of Robert Shapiro or chemistry knowledge of Barry Sharpless.
When I first arrived here, I spent about two weeks observing how the system works, and never had any issues as a newbie.
Even without reading a concise and competently written Help Center — Asking section (which I consider the "codex of the platform"), the primitive "monkey see, monkey do" motto works just as well.
Wasting other people's time implies poorly-written questions with horrible punctuation, capitalization, blatant grammatical and syntactical errors requiring deciphering.
A brief, not well-elaborated question requires guess-work, writing clarifying comments as well as double work when editing hastily posted answers.
Both cases are essentially chaos and presuppose burn daylight.
The third part ensures there is a back-and-forth communication and a vector of effort coming from the beginner's side.
After all, the site belongs to Stack Exchange network, not "Stack Solve-all-my-problems-4-me-4-free".
Metaphorically speaking, I think a more valuable advice than any other successful first post "tricks" would be not to be like a bike that rides while pedaling and comes to a halt when pedaling stops.
Get an own engine.
This "engine", as I see it, should be the discipline, which cannot be acquired from the internet site: it is something that a person needs to establish for themselves.
Once it is done, everything else, including starting a conversation with strangers or posting the first question on the random website should not even be an issue that would be in need of discussion.
So, what was the question?
Getting back to Why do some hydrates need to be heated over 100 Celsius to evaporate the water?, I cannot really roast the question and I definitely would not single-handedly cast a close-vote here: it appears to lie within the scope of Chemistry.SE all right.
However, I also see how closure by the community members is justified: the question is too laconic, OP didn't return to respond to the comment, and it is not clear what kind of answer is expected.
On the one hand, OP uses improper terminology (it is not evaporation), the question in the main text body is based on the false premise that all crystallohydrates decompose above 100 °C, and the unit name is missing "degrees".
Should it all be addressed in the answer because OP could've benefit from learning, or not — because OP's writing was sloppy and they already know this and it would be a waste of time and an edit would suffice — is unknown.
On the other hand, OP makes an apparently correct suggestion about intermolecular forces being involved — so, again, what level of understanding are we dealing with here and what to what extent it should be addressed in the answer?
Without further input from OP, I personally have no idea what would make a good answer and how to marginally improve the question, so I left the question as is, for better or worse.
Should a new user brace for the impact?
But whether the impact will be positive depends to the greatest extent on the pilot.
We can only clear the path in our field [of chemistry].
- SO Blog: Asking Better Questions
- SO Meta: How does a new user get started on Stack Overflow?