How to Write a Discussion Post | The Ideal Guide

As a student, writing a discussion board post is vital for your online learning experience. You will find several articles on how to write a discussion post, and most of them always just scratch the surface. Essentially, there’s a lot more to writing online discussion posts than meets the eye. It’s also important to note that enrolling in a discussion post isn’t like any other academic requirement that you check off your learning list. An effective discussion forum should enable you to share information with your colleagues as well as get assistance from them.

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It’s, therefore, vital that you create stellar postings in your discussion forums if you want to ace your course. Additionally, there is also the issue of making a good impression with your colleagues in the same discussion post. To that regard, there are a few critical things that you must know about discussion posts before you start posting in one.

How to Write a Discussion Post

College professors consider discussion forums to be a safe space where students can share their thoughts and ideas about class content. It’s, therefore, vital that all university/college students know how to write a discussion post. Don’t see it as another platform that’s filled with anxiety, stress, and academic burnout. Generally, you will realize that a fully productive semester often also has a very engaging discussion forum. And the more engaged and interactive you are in your discussion posts, the higher your final grades will be.

Here are some quick pointers on how to write a discussion post and what you can do to make your discussions more interactive:

Prepare Yourself Adequately

As a student, it’s vital that you always do in-depth research on just about anything that’s academic before you even start writing. Of course, you will mostly communicate with other members in your discussion forum via written communication. It’s, therefore, critical that you prepare yourself appropriately to avoid getting yourself in an embarrassing situation. Naturally, neither your colleagues nor professor will appreciate reading posts that don’t have anything concrete to share.

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Read Instructions Carefully

This is perhaps the most effective way of protecting yourself from writing inappropriate content in your discussion forum post. Generally, going through and following your professor’s instructions should earn you more points. You will have an idea of what your professor expects from you and strive to deliver on that.

Carefully reading all of your instructor’s instructions also lets you know what he/she wants you to write about, what the word count should be, what allowance the instructor allows you to write over or under, etc. The key to earning more points lies on how well you read, understand, and implement your instructor’s instructions.

Analyze All Your Points

The secret to learning how to write a discussion post is always to know and analyze what you want to share in the post before you share it. It’s also important that you limit whatever you share to the main topic of discussion. All your posts should, therefore, always be relevant and to the point. You can also always contact your instructor for guidance if you are not sure about something. Doing this will enable you to polish your posts and make them relevant to the topic of discussion.

Follow the Rules

Think of an online discussion forum as a conventional classroom. It will, therefore, also have rules and guidelines that all members must abide by when using the platform. You must know all the rules of using your discussion forum before you write anything down on it. This will eventually help to make you more effective and productive while using the forum. If your professor, therefore, expects you to write posts that range between 200 and 300 words, don’t write 150 or 400 words.

Post on Time

It’s always important that you know the deadlines of your posts at all times. Submitting your posts late is one of the easiest ways of losing points. Remember, also, that the due dates of your initial posts and replies can be on different days. And that’s why we advise that you get familiar with every posts’ requirements.

While some discussion forums may allow you to submit all your posts at once, others may need your daily participation. Such forums usually limit the number of post submissions to one per day. Don’t lose points as a result of late postings or replies.

Don’t Just Agree or Disagree

As a college student, you must already know by now that simply typing ‘I agree’ or ‘I disagree’ doesn’t always cut it. If anything, your colleagues and instructor will view you as lazy. It’s vital that you back your choices by expounding on why you chose them. Share with the discussion board the reasons why you agree or disagree with certain points. It’s also always a good idea to add a source or two to back up your claims and justify your claims.

Use Credible Sources

First, it’s important to note that not all online sources are great for citations. Unfortunately, most websites aren’t always reliable enough to be used as citations. You may also end up in a discussion group that doesn’t accept sources older than five years. Ensure, therefore, that you always know how your instructor wants you to cite your posts.

Additionally, you must remember to format your sources properly lest you end up losing points unnecessarily. It’s important that other students can find and access your source and relate it to your points.

Avoid Plagiarism

Yes! Plagiarism rules also apply to students using discussion boards. As a student, you must always remember to stay authentic and original in all your posts, questions, and replies. It is also vital that you reference other people’s ideas properly and take great care not to claim their ideas as your own. Plagiarism will not only cost you points but also end up getting you kicked out of your discussion group.

How to Introduce & Engage Yourself in a Discussion Post

As with everything else, your first impression matters a great deal when introducing yourself to a new discussion forum. Ensure, therefore, that you have enough time to refine and tweak your introduction depending on who your peers and instructor are. This is the first phase of learning how to write a discussion post. You don’t necessarily have to overthink how your first impression to a discussion board post should be.

These vital tips should help to get you started in any online discussion board post as a new member to the group:

Use Your Personal and Professional Details

As a new member of the discussion group, it’s always important that you share some personal and professional information, if available, with the already existing members. However, there’s always a fine line regarding the amount of personal or professional details that you should share. For instance, nobody wants to know how many siblings you are at home or how many breakups you’ve had. This is the wrong audience for such kind of information. Some of the personal and professional details that you can share include:

  • Your real name and location
  • Your course
  • You can say a few things about your interests
  • What do you hope to gain from participating in that discussion post?
  • How did you come to enroll in that discussion forum?

It’s also important that you always be as precise and detailed as possible with your answers. Where possible, upload your picture beside your student ID as well. This will make it much easier for other students and the instructor to identify you easily.

Know Your Peers

Introducing yourself in your discussion group makes it a lot easier to interact with your peers on the discussion forum. You will also get to know more about them by sharing more details about yourself. Usually, you will find that some of your peers in the forum have similar interests as you. Knowing your peers can help you to create and maintain good relationships with other members of the group. You will also know which members are a great fit for group work and projects.

Know Your Instructor

It is also always important to introduce yourself to your discussion instructor. You can do this by emailing them and maintain communications throughout your course. You always want your instructor to remember you. Knowing more about your instructor and analyzing what he/she expects from you is just as important. Meeting your inspector’s expectations is one sure way of securing more points as well.

Use Multimedia Links

Some discussion forum posts may also require that you add links to your personal web page and social media profile as well. This allows other members to get to know you better. It’s an excellent way to communicate and interact with discussion peers outside of your discussion forums.

Write a Discussion Post

How to Write a Discussion Post: Discussion Board Etiquette and Tips

Like with conventional courses where students are advised to follow certain rules in the classroom, discussion board members must behave appropriately. Here are a few tips and tricks that you should implement when creating posts and how to write a discussion post response:

When Posting on an Online Discussion Forum

Know All Members of the Forum

After you have received an invitation link to join a discussion forum, it’s good practice to introduce yourself in your first post. This will also allow other members to re-introduce themselves so that everyone gets acquainted. This is the best route to use for students looking for how to write a discussion post response.

Use Simple Formatting

Whenever you post any information in your online discussion platform, remember to format your post in a way that other members can easily read and understand your post. Try, therefore, to avoid the use of fonts that are too fancy or too difficult to read. Usually, your instructor will have set regulations on the proper format to use when creating posts. Try and stick to that specified format.

Avoid Posting Jokes

By now, you probably know that not everyone gets jokes the same way. What you might consider being quite funny might not be to someone else. What’s more, the discussion forum isn’t a place to post funny remarks. Additionally, it’s impossible to know whether the person posting the joke is actually joking or not. This may end up causing nothing but discord within the forum, which is why it’s best to refrain from posting irrelevant or funny remarks altogether.

Post with Clarity

It is important that you make all your posts as clear and specific as possible. That means using the correct grammar throughout your post. Also, ensure that you always proofread your posts before you submit them. Where possible, you may need to use grammar sources to help make your posts easier to read.

Take the Assignment Seriously

This is perhaps the most important advice of the lot. You must take online discussion boards seriously if you want to gain maximum points from them. Ensure, therefore, that you answer all prompts completely, on time, and in the correct format. Think through anything that you want to post before you actually post it. Remember, this is not a social media platform where you can just post anything. Everything you post directly impacts your final grades.

When Responding to a Peer

Be Substantive

Always refrain from starting your responses with insignificant statements. Go straight to the point and ensure that your response explicitly recognizes your classmate’s point. Remember, always to continue all your responses by adding to your original posts. This is also effective for instances when you are presenting different perspectives to your peer’s point.

Be Polite

Interacting online doesn’t mean you throw your manners out the window. It’s important to start polite and respectful throughout your interactions on the discussion post. If you want to know how to write a discussion post, being polite is a good place to start. Being polite will also create a stronger community among all members of the post. Your peers and inspector will give you more tips on how to write a discussion post and respond to queries as well.

Always Provide Proof

It is always important that you back up responses that you post with evidence. This can be in the form of statistics or quotes from known authors. You can also use class readings to prove your point in discussion posts.

If you want to learn how to write a discussion post effectively, then you should always train yourself to back your posts with evidence. Remember, also, to include the name of your source’s author and page number to make it easier for others to find your source.

Common Mistakes Students Make When Using Discussion Posts

If you want to know how to write a discussion post, you must also know a few mistakes that you are likely to make and how you can avoid them. Here’s what you need to know:

Getting Too Personal

While there are instances when the topic being covered may remind you of some personal experiences. While it may not be easy to keep your feelings and emotions down, airing your personal issues isn’t the most appropriate approach to take. This isn’t the forum for discussing issues that aren’t related to your course. Remember, therefore, that you limit your conversations to relevant topics only.

Not Being Thorough

Another common occurrence when learning how to write a discussion post is not putting effort into researching your posts. A prompt may require you to address several different points, which might need you to do in-depth research on a topic. Failure to put enough effort when answering such posts can prove to be costly. The best remedy is to put effort into your research so that you post only relevant content on the discussion board.

Making Posts Too Long

Another classic school-boy error when learning how to write a discussion post is not paying attention to the specified word count. Unless your instructor issues a word count limit for all posts, it’s vital that you keep your posts as short and to the point as possible.


Don’t wait until the last minute to start rushing your posts. This often results in the student submitting poor-quality papers. You may even end up missing the submission deadline altogether. The trick around this is always to post your conversations early to avoid the unnecessary last-minute rush.

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