I am having a lot of trouble understanding the meaning of paragraphs from articles. Is english SE the right place to ask for help?
I think that posting an entire paragraph, and asking for someone to explain it to you is not constructive or useful to others, and thus off topic. However, if you had a few sentences that you could not understand, you could post each individually. That is, if you don't understand what a phrase means, you could post a question and still be on-topic.
Asking the meaning of a paragraph would probably mean answering about the meaning of different phrases contained in that paragraph.
This kind of questions reminds me of proof-reading questions where the OP asks if a paragraph is grammatically correct, and the answerers must hunt for grammar errors.
The FAQ reports the following sentence:
Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
The other problem I see with questions about the meaning of a paragraph is that they don't show any research; if the OP made a little research, then he would be able to restrict the question to a particular phrase contained in the paragraph, or a group of phrases.
Asking the meaning of a phrase is fine, and part of the paragraph could be used to give more context. Asking the meaning of a phrase without giving any context would be equally wrong.
Questions about the meaning of a phrase should ask the meaning of a single phrase per question.