7 Tips on Discussion Board Post Writing: How to Start a Discussion Post Effectively
Students taking online classes are often assigned to create posts and publish them on the online discussion boards.
A discussion board is not merely a place where you can check the specifications for producing posts and doing other kinds of assignments. This is the place where you can learn more about your classmates and professor. Being a member of the discussion board, you get a great opportunity to exchange information with other participants and get assistance if needed. If you crave to impress your readers, you should know how to start a discussion post, develop its ideas, and finish it. Check out our tips at discussion board writing help.
7 Major Steps to Creating a Discussion Post
- Identify the purpose of the discussion post
- Prepare yourself to writing
- Study the instructions thoroughly
- Ponder over your ideas
- Collect supporting data
- Create your response
- Publish your post on schedule
Step 1. Identify the purpose of the discussion post
In classes, professors and students often discuss diverse subjects. The same discussion is held online on the respective boards. The only difference is that online, the communication tool is the keyboard and not your voice.
When creating posts, your language and writing style have to be conversational. It is worth commenting on other board members’ posts and answering the questions posed to you to make the communication go smoothly. It is essential to take this step to understand how to start a discussion post.
Step 2. Prepare yourself to writing
Before the writing stage, ensure you have conducted a thorough research and read the material needed to create your post. Otherwise, you will not be able to create a post focused on the topic.
Step 3. Study the instructions thoroughly
What exactly do you need to react or respond to? Ensure you are aware of the matter that has to be discussed. You may need to express your personal opinion about the discussed issue, restate the ideas highlighted in the given text, etc.
It is also worth looking through the discussions built around similar topics. In this case, it will be easier for you to concentrate on your subject.
Step 4. Ponder over your ideas
What message do you want to convey to your classmates and professor? Stay focused on the matter in question and make certain that the ideas which you want to express are pertinent to it. If you desire to get a high grade, you have to ensure there is a connection between the theoretical concepts and examples from real life.
(Tip: If you need clarifications on your topic, email your professor to make everything clear and publish your post on time.)
Step 5. Collect supporting data
Each idea or viewpoint has to be backed up with strong arguments. To support your ideas, you may use course material, news, your personal experience, studies, etc. In this way, you will show readers that you are knowledgeable about the matter.
Remember to make proper citations when using someone’s ideas. It is essential to give credit to others even if it goes about discussion board assignments. Otherwise, you may be accused of plagiarism. You have to ensure that readers can find the material you are referring to. Thus, your citation should include the title, author of the used work, and date.
Step 6. Create your response
- Arrange your text appropriately. When creating your post, you should not forget about its format. Thus, use bullet points and make paragraphs. It is also worth using a spell checker to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.
If you do not have any spell checkers as well as other tools used for arranging the text, you may use MS Word and then just copy your writing and paste it on the discussion board.
- Stick to the guidelines. No matter the kind of the assignment you are supposed to perform, make sure to follow the provided directions. When choosing the post to comment on, mind the classroom environment – would you comment on your classmate’s post?
The instructions for discussion posts are usually provided either in the introduction to the course or syllabus. Remember to follow them.
- Write meaningful posts. Avoid making such short responses to someone’s posts as “Totally agree,” “That’s right,” etc. It is necessary to provide details. For instance, you may say, “I share Donna’s opinion as I also had the same experience of dealing with …”Broad responses will help you get the desired grades.
Note that it is normal to express disagreement. You just need to be polite and explain why you do not consider some comments right.
- Make your posts useful. When writing posts, you should not only provide theoretical concepts but also show how they can be applied in practice. In such a way, your entries will be more interesting.
Step 7. Publish your post on schedule
Remember that professors do not approve lately submitted assignments, discussion board posts included. Hence, you need to strive mightily to create your piece of writing and post it on the discussion board on time.
In case you are supposed to answer a specific question and then comment on other posts, you should do the task that has been assigned first and then do the ones in turn. Be sure that your discussion will be noticed if it is a good one.
Commenting on the Posts of Others
Make everything clear
How to start a discussion post? First, you should create a catchy title. Additionally, include a quotation taken from the text you are going to comment on. If the quotation is long, remove the part which you consider irrelevant to your answer or comment. In case the post you are responding to has several paragraphs, you may provide your comments under each of them.
Add weight to the discussion
Saying, “It is true” or something like that does not make discussion engaging. You need to explain why you have a specific viewpoint so that your classmates could also comment on your post.
To make the discussion broader, pose the following questions:
- What makes you give such a response?
- Why do you consider the response appropriate/inappropriate?
- How are you interpreting the notion you have just mentioned?
- What does the used expression mean?
- Could you be more specific?
- What do you want to say with these words?
- Are there any alternatives to this expression?
You may disagree with your classmates
In order to clarify some points, you may need to disagree with your classmates. Remember to keep a polite tone of writing and support your claims with sound arguments. Your contribution to the discussion will make it lively and engage more classmates in it.
Involve your classmates in discussion
Discussions cannot be held by one person. On the contrary, there should be many people engaged in the debate. Once you learn to take an active part in online discussions, you will gain considerable benefits from such an activity. Thus, do not be afraid of commenting on posts, making jokes, addressing your classmates personally and suggesting help. Avoid offensive comments! Additionally, you should not forget that your face cannot be seen to understand what you feel about some posts. Thus, you need to express your emotions in words, e.g. “I am bothered about it, etc.”
Mind your emotions
If you see that you are filled with strong emotions after reading a specific post, wait till you calm down and then provide your response. You may regret commenting on a post being highly emotional. Such a reaction may damage the entire discussion. Remember that reasonable comments on the post can be provided only when being in a peace of mind.Online discussions are very helpful in mastering communication and writing skills. To succeed in holding online debates, you need to transform your “offline” skills to the “online” ones.