There's a well-known document called How To Ask Questions The Smart Way that a lot of forums, newsgroups and faqs link to as an explanation of how to approach seeking help. It's well written, comprehensive and gives a very good explanation of how and why people should improve their questions. However, it's also really long, makes frequent use of the term "hacker" (which to the majority of people in need of help with asking questions has a meaning other than what is intended) and in my opinion is probably a little too long winded and a bit out of touch with many (but not all!) modern programming fora and newgroups. The following is my attempt at a more concise version without some of the dated jargon or opinions that may not be relevant to some communities.
Read the rest of the entry at Unrefined Awesome.