In response to some recent questions on posting rules for "Ask Hjort" I decided I would address the issue.
1) If I am referring to the previous posting in a thread, should I copy the previous posting in my posting?
In general, I prefer that posters avoid this. While some moderators prefer this method, I feel it adds unnecessary clutter since it is usually pretty clear what the poster it is talking about from the context.
2) Is it OK to post the same question to different moderators?
I highly encourage candidates to pose the same question to different moderators. Indeed, the economist
in me is intrigued by the grand mystery of why candidates would fail to pose the same question to more than one admissions advisor. After all, the marginal cost of re-posting the question is virtually nil. In short, this is one of the few "free lunches" you are likely to find in life. If you fail to post in more than one of the "Ask . . . " forums here you are just depriving yourself of potentially useful information. Some people have expressed to me their reluctance to post the same question to other advisors was based on the fear that different moderators might give different suggestions. These differing views are actually extremely valuable - they allow you to benefit from a diversity of views on a given subject.
3) What should I avoid when posting questions?
Common sense is a pretty good guide here. To state the obvious, everything you write is visible to the public. If you don't want your boss, co-workers, fellow students, etc. to know something, don't post it. I prefer not to discuss specific essay ideas in postings- send me a PM instead.
4) Should I convert my grades/marks to the 4.0 scale in my question?
Please do not perform any conversion of your grades. I am familiar with most global grading scales, keeping your grades in the original system is easier for me. The most useful information is often the rank in class and the marks/grade of the top student in that class.
5) Is there any type of question you dislike?
I guess I should start with the sappy yet true answer- my least favorite is the one that is never asked. I suppose a more useful answer is I never really cared much for the one sentence "what are my chances" style questions e.g. "I got a 3.1 in college, what are my chances for the ultra elite?" I really prefer longer posts that provide more background information on education,skills, experience, and goals.