I feel that this has been discussed before, and that this problem is never going to go away.
I've been going through the review queues since a recent Meta.ELU post about too many questions needing review. Most of the questions in the close queue qualify for "Please include the research you’ve done". I also feel that a vast number belong on ELL, and then should be closed anyway for being too unclear to answer, or for being duplicates.
I think ELU is in a unique position within Stack Exchange of having a sister site where the main distinguishing factor is whether it's a "beginner" question or an "advanced" question. As such, it feels as though all new users should be directed to ELL, and only if their question doesn't fit there should they ask it here (assuming it's on topic here).
Is it possible to write an introductory note that covers the common cases?
Before asking your first question
- Are you learning English? Please ask your question at English Language Learners.
- Is your question about finding the meaning of a word? Have you looked in a dictionary first?
- Are you looking for a word with a particular meaning? How would you use that word in a sentence?
Is this possible to do? Would it be helpful? If it was done as an introductory questionnaire with only one question asked at a time, the user could be directed to take the correct action after each question had been answered:
- Are you learning English? [Yes / No]
- if Yes, prompt user to go to ELL instead
- Is your question about finding the meaning of a word? [Yes / No]
- if Yes, prompt user to look in a dictionary
- Are you looking for a word with a particular meaning? [Yes / No]
- if Yes, prompt user to provide an example sentence