Tips and Steps for Writing A Successful Discussion Post

Last Updated: 13 November 2022

If you are taking an online course, you will be required to participate in an online discussion forum where you and your peers will write discussion board posts and responses on topics nominated by your professor or instructor.

Even though writing a discussion post or response is not as challenging as writing academic essays and research papers, most students dread it. Through these discussion posts, students express their opinions, perspectives, views, and ideas while interacting with their peers.

Through engaging in different course topics, the students get to encounter diverse perspectives. Besides, they brainstorm, solve problems, and use creativity to address various issues. Discussion boards help to build strong communication and negotiation skills.

As short as it might be, the discussion board post exercises are efficient and vital in your academic life. You present and gain a different angle about an issue or topic. You also achieve excellence in your persuasion skills, which can help you relate well with diverse people in the job environment.

If you are wondering what to do to write the best discussion post and responses, this guide explores that to the last detail. You can write a successful discussion board post and a discussion response to your peers by following the tips and insights we share here. And if you need someone to write your discussion post ASAP, we have fast writers who can help you. Our discussion board services are the best online.

Why do Students Write Discussion Posts and Responses?

Two things you need to know: a discussion post and a discussion response.

A discussion post is a prose or essay-like post of around 200-300 words expounding, exploring, explaining, or describing a specific topic nominated by the instructor, who is the moderator. On the other hand, responses are short, 100-200 words responses to a peer’s original discussion post.

A discussion forum is a platform where students exchange and engage with their peers while being moderated by an instructor. They do so by writing a 200-300-word original post giving their views, angle, and perspectives on a nominated topic and responding to posts written by at least two of their peers.

As students participate in discussion board forums, they can identify their subjective inefficiencies. Mostly, other students peer review and critique the original post through responses. As they do so, you get to understand what you left out of explicit biases that you had as you researched and wrote the post.

Online discussion forums also enrich the negotiation skills of an individual. The students write discussion posts and responses and, in doing so, bring forth scholarly debates on topics and issues. You can negotiate by explaining why your perspective is excellent.

Discussion board posts follow specific guidelines and formats. Therefore, they also teach students how to interpret instructions. You gain self-confidence, hone your writing skills, and appreciate criticism as you engage in discussion forums.

Steps for Writing an Excellent Discussion Post

To succeed in an online class discussion forum, you need to write the discussion posts and respond to peers and sometimes your instructor or professor. Even if it is your first time or you have not been getting it right, you must know that discussion forum engagements contribute to a greater part of your grades in an online class or course.

Success in writing the best discussion post comes through understanding the forum rules, reading and understanding the task/topic/prompt, writing a plagiarism-free post, sharing your observations, opinions, and ideas coherently, concisely, and competently, and writing a critical and well-supported response.

Below are the steps you should take to write the best discussion post to see you succeed in an online class.

1. Review the discussion forum rules

The first thing to do before engaging in any online discussion forum is to read the rules. Your instructor or professor will give the ground rules at the beginning of the course or alongside the course materials.

You need to understand the formatting style preferred by your professor, the minimum and the maximum number of words, the final posting deadlines for the posts, and how many responses to post.

Understanding the rules helps you stay within what is expected and complete the forum discussion successfully.

2. Read the discussion post prompt/instructions

Before researching and writing any post or response, ensure that you pay attention to the instructions. Read the prompt or instructions provided by your tutor. Take notes and be very careful so as not to miss the point.

Proceed with preparations when you have understood what is expected from you. If you are unclear about something, write an email or message to your professor or instructor. You need to understand the purpose of the task and whether it is exclusively based on specific class readings, or you can also use external sources and how many.

You also need to know the specifics, including the word limit, due date, sources, and how many peers to respond to. It is also imperative to get facts about the types of responses. Is it comparing two ideas, coming up with solutions, making arguments, or using personal experiences?

Also, understand whether you are to use Chicago, APA, MLA, Harvard, or Oxford formatting style. Only if you are sure should you proceed to the next step.

3. Prepare Well

Adequate preparation is necessary for one to succeed in discussion forums.

Before writing a post, ensure that you have read all the required readings, extended your research, and internalized the course concepts and objectives. As you read and research, you must develop critical thinking, creativity, and an analytical mindset.

Focus on writing down your reactions, responses, or ideas to the specific readings when reading. If you have string ideas, rank them in terms of superiority and determine the ones you will center your post on.

You should only include the strongest ideas with enough evidence to support claims, assertions, or points. Research widely and piece together a rough outline of your experience so that you are persuasive. If your readings have a given perspective, strive to find scholarly resources with ideas to expound further.

4. Write an Outline

You need to come up with the central point of your paper. Think about the main idea you want to tell your classmates and the professor. Your thesis statement should be relevant to the topic. You also need to develop topic sentences and supporting details for your paragraphs. Your paragraphs should have strong evidence to respond to and persuade your readers. With an outline, you are set up for the next step. As you conclude the discussion post, ensure to rephrase the thesis so that you close the reading loop.

5. Write a Draft

Writing discussion post assignments needs to be meticulous, given that you might encounter multiple questions. As far as now, you should have collected the supporting facts, and you need them to support every argument, claim, or assertion in the post.

You need to write the post from the introduction to the conclusion. write the body paragraphs to show that you understand the topic, have researched extensively, and have read the course readings. As you write, include the relevant in-text citations. You can use bullets, listicles, and prose format to organize your post.

Write your post in a word document and format it accordingly. Your post should be analytical, critical, and in-depth. Avoid using caps, as that might be interpreted as shouting. Also, ensure that you have a reference list with all the references cited within your post.

6. Polish your Draft

After you write the first draft of the discussion post, you need to edit, review, proofread, and polish the post. Ensure that your main idea is clear and relevant to the topic. Also, ensure that you have adequately addressed the prompt or answered the questions.

Follow up to ensure that you have included enough evidence and critically presented the ideas. Your post should be done in a professional and scholarly tone.

You need to use a formal writing approach for the post. Finally, check your grammar, formatting, and organization to ensure your post is well-polished.

7. Submit the Original Post to the Forum

If everything is good, polished, and proofread, you need to copy and paste the final version of your draft into the discussion forum platform. If it is canvas or blackboard, ensure that you post the post without altering the in-text citations and reference list. Ensure that the formatting is maintained, so you are not denied grades for poor formatting. Some professors can be very unforgiving of these minor mistakes. After pasting, reload the page to ensure it was posted correctly and edit as necessary.

8. Write a Discussion Response to your Peers

After submitting your post, it does not end there. You must write a discussion post response to at least two of your peers to get an entire grade.

The responses should be both subjective and objective. Subjective in the sense that you can use a first-person perspective, and objective in the sense that you should support your claims, assertions, and arguments using evidence.

You can agree to disagree, which means you can object to a point made by your peer or support the points altogether. As you do so, you must provide a rationale for your stance. When criticizing your peers, draw from the readings they used and do extensive research to develop a perspective.

The response should have your views. Demonstrate that you have fused research with a personal perspective.

Final Words

A discussion post is a critical assignment for students pursuing online courses. If you have an online class and want to score the whole grade, these tips and steps set you up just for that.

Instead of perceiving it as a challenging exercise, you can now ace that discussion post and boost your grades for the online course. It is a craft that keeps improving as you engage more.

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Best of luck!