How can I write a really good discussion post?

Answer

Discussion posts and replies serve as an opportunity for you to communicate your thoughts about what you are learning in your course. Your audience is your instructor and your peers.

View the Discussion Posts page of the Writing Guide for step-by-step instructions for writing and submitting discussion posts.

Ideally the posts you write should prove you are thinking critically about the content of the course and should highlight and expand upon what is being taught in the course.

When writing a discussion post:

  • Be sure to read your course syllabus, announcements, and discussion instructions to find the requirements for the timing, number of replies required, and potential word-count requirements.
  • Read the discussion prompt carefully.
  • Complete the required course work. This includes reviewing lecture materials, completing the readings, completing assignments, conducting research, etc. so you fully understand what you will be discussing.
  • Back-up your position with quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from quality sources, such as:
    • eTextbook
    • Course lectures and slides
    • Articles from the online library
      • Magazine articles
      • Journal articles
      • Encyclopedia articles
    • eBooks from the library
    • Quality websites
  • Give credit to the sources that you used. Visit the APA Guide for more information about citing your sources.
  • Organize your thoughts. It is important that everyone reading your post understands what you are saying, so make sure your comments are well articulated and easy to read.

Initial Post

  • Choose the title of your post carefully.
    • Your title should capture your reader’s attention and hint at what your post will be about.
  • Make sure your post facilitates dialogue.
    • Your post should allow your peers and instructor the opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion with you. Some ways to solicit feedback:
      • Ask a thought provoking question at the end of your post.
      • Take a controversial stand on a topic.
      • Incorporate current events.
      • Incorporate your own personal experiences.
      • Use Grammarly to avoid spelling and grammatical errors; you do not want anything to detract from all the hard work you put into crafting your post. 

Response Post(s)

  • Follow the discussion post requirements. If you are supposed to respond to several posts a week, make sure you do so.
  • Give substantial information in your response posts.
    • Your response posts should never consist of just “I agree” or “Nice idea;” instead they should be thorough and thoughtful.
    • Try adding something different or new to the conversation to keep the discussion going.
    • Respond to posts that contradict or support your own ideas.
    • Try to respond to all of your classmates throughout the course. When you show that you value your classmates’ thoughts, they will value yours and are more likely to respond to your posts as well.
  • Your instructors may provide their own posts throughout the discussion, be sure to read their posts and reply as appropriate.

Follow Up

  • Participate frequently in the discussion room.
    • It takes some time for a good discussion to build momentum so it is important that you keep track of the progress. Even after you have already written your initial post and response posts, you may find that you have more to add to the conversation.
  • Do not disappear after you have written your posts.
    • Discussion rooms are meant to be lively and interactive. You want to keep the discussion flowing and you never know when someone will respond to your post seeking clarification or asking a question. Make sure to check in routinely.

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  • Last Updated May 26, 2022
  • Views 8122
  • Answered By Kate Anderson, Business Librarian

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