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How To Write A Discussion Post: A Comprehensive Guide

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Read on below to learn more about discussion posts and how UnemployedProfessors can help write your discussion post

WHAT IS A DISCUSSION POST?

WHAT IS A DISCUSSION POST?

A discussion post is a short written assignment where you are typically asked to post a reflection on a given question or the week’s readings to an online message board. Discussion posts are most often used in online classes but are occasionally used in face-to-face classes. If you are asked to submit a discussion post in an in-person class, you will typically print it out and present it with a title, your name and student number and references to your professor. When you are writing a discussion post for online submission, requirements are typically less formal. Either way, a discussion post typically requires that you make a small written post showing your understanding of the material by giving your personal reaction to it or by relating it to a scholarly source.

With this in mind, writing a discussion post can be easy if you simply ensure that you understand the material that you are responding to. If you do not have time to read the material assigned to you, you will likely want to read other students’ discussion posts before you write your own. Assuming that your peers are right, you can skip a lot of the reading assigned to you by rewording their interpretations of the text or readings all the while inserting minor variations. This is a great strategy for writing discussion posts at the last minute, but it can be obvious. You are thus better off if you read the assigned materials and complete your discussion post without cribbing off the work of your fellow classmates.

Some discussion posts will then ask you to respond to posts made by your classmates. This can be a tedious process but should not be viewed as being difficult. You must simply skim or read the other postings made by people in your course and use critical thinking or your knowledge of the readings so as to engage with at least one point of what they are discussing. Quite simply, these replies involve taking one point made by your peer and either agreeing or disagreeing with them. Do not simply write that you think their post was great. You can be brief when writing a discussion post response, but you need to at least say why you hold this belief.

Ultimately, a discussion post is centered on responding to the week’s assigned readings or in-class material. Most classes which require discussion posts will require that you write and submit them every week. This is a way for the professor or teacher to make sure that you are keeping up with the readings and other course material. While each discussion post you write might not count for much of your grade, there is a significant chance that you will get a poor grade in the class or even unwanted attention from your teacher or your professor if you skip writing discussion posts.

HOW TO WRITE A DISCUSSION POST? s

HOW TO WRITE A DISCUSSION POST

When you are writing a discussion post, the first and most important step is to ensure that you have at least a basic understanding of the material. Writing a discussion post either means giving your personal opinion on the material that has been assigned to you or engaging in a scholarly examination of it using an outside academic reference. Either way, you need to understand what you are discussing to write a discussion post that is coherent, effective and likely to get you full credit for your work.

As you are writing your discussion post, you should elaborate on the angle that you have chosen in relation to the text. As most discussion posts are short, ranging from 150 to 500 words, you should try to be concise with your language. An angle represents the specific element of the assigned material that you will be engaging with. It is much easier to write a discussion post when you are focusing on a small element of the reading as it means less work for you. Additionally, the capability to isolate and write about a specific detail of a reading or other piece of material will make your professor or teacher think that you have mastered the reading. This will further increase your change of getting a great grade when writing a discussion post.

When you are writing replies to your classmates’ discussion posts, a good tip is to not be overly critical of them. While you may say that you believe what they are saying is wrong, say it nicely. Otherwise, the student might come at you in another discussion post, and you will be forced to defend your own position. When writing a response to another student’s discussion post, the main point is to show your teacher of professor that you have engaged with the material without creating extra work for yourself. If you truly disagree with someone and feel that you absolutely need to make your point known to them as to why they are wrong, feel free to do so. That said, the consequence of aggressively criticizing another student’s post is that you will be creating more work for yourself in the longer term. You are much better off politicly disagreeing than engaging in what would be referred to “trolling” in the world of social media when replying to your classmates’ posts in writing a discussion board post response.

In the end and with discussion posts being ubiquitous in online courses, you have to understand that, for most professors, they are nothing more than busywork. Your professor is likely to grade the discussion post you wrote on a pass-fail basis and is likely to skim it rather than read it in detail. The larger your class size, the more likely this is to be true. In some very large online classes, your professor might never actually read your discussion post and you may receive the relevant points simply for posting it. This said, this advice does not apply to online graduate programs for Masters and Doctoral degrees. Because discussion between students is one of the main ways by which learning is achieved in these programs, your professor is likely to take online discussion posts far more seriously in a graduate program than in an undergraduate program.

HOW TO FORMAT A DISCUSSION POST? s

HOW TO FORMAT A DISCUSSION POST

Discussion posts tend to be formatted in a very informal fashion. Since they are mostly intended to be posted on message boards for online courses, you should simply write them as you would any paragraph. You can usually make use of the first person. It is still recommended that you proofread your work to ensure that you are not making grammatical mistakes or typos. If your professor has asked you to provide and integrate a source when writing your discussion post, make sure to do if you want to receive full credit. If however you are submitting a paper discussion post, make sure that it has your name and information on it as well as a title and formal citations for the references you have used.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DISCUSSION POST AND A RESPONSE PAPER?

The main difference between a discussion post and a response paper is that the discussion post is shorter and does not involve as significant an evaluation of the material under consideration. While both discussion posts and response papers will ask you to provide your opinion on the material under study, discussion posts are typically weekly assignments worth a small portion of your grade. In contrast, a response paper is typically much longer, involves real formatting outside of the online message board setting, and represents a more significant portion of your grade. A discussion post is thus a less important type of assignment than a response paper but shares many of its characteristics in terms of being graded on the basis of how well you are able to write about your understanding of the assigned materials.

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