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Writing a Discussion Post

How to Write a Discussion Post?

What is a Discussion Post?

In a virtual, interactive online classroom situation, discussion posts are a great way to interact with the other class members and course instructor. A discussion post is an online post or a type of mini essay that students post on a discussion board to participate in a virtual classroom. In traditional classes, after a lecture or a class, students discuss the content of the course with the instructor. Since, this sort of face-to-face interaction is not possible in a virtual or online class, discussion posts allow students and tutors to interact and discuss the contents of the class online. A discussion post shows what the student has learned, and through the brief posting, the student also gets a chance to express his or her opinions about the subject or online class. Discussion posts are usually brief and to the point. A post presents one or two specific arguments with substantial evidence.

What is the purpose of a Discussion Post?

Write a Discussion Post

Online discussion boards are meant to be a learning experience for students. Each student enrolled in a class is expected to participate in a discussion board and post their own opinions or comments about the subject. Students tend to learn from each other's post and the discussion board is meant to be a platform for students to interact . The students can have a detailed conversation about class material and coursework and the discussion board is the ultimate platform for students to participate, learn, express their opinions, and interact in a virtual or online classroom situation.

How to write a Discussion Post?

Discussion posts are usually brief or precise, focused, to the point and based on specific arguments. To write an effective post, read the discussion prompt and try to respond to the prompt directly. Check the purpose of the post, what question or problem does the post aim to respond to? Also check the type of response needed. Is it an argument, a critical reflection, a response to a question or a solution to a problem? Is it meant to be argumentative, reflective, critical or analytical? Check also the other details of the post, including word limit, formatting requirements if any, due date, etc.

You must follow the following five steps while writing or presenting a discussion post:

1. Read the discussion prompt and determine the type of post required.

2. Check the details, word count required, due date, formatting requirements and other particulars.

3. Prepare and read or collect the necessary information that will help you to write the post. If it is about a topic or subject relevant to an online class, go through the readings and decide how you should respond.

4. Prepare a draft and write down all the points you will use in the post and how you will argue your position or present your reflection or opinions with sufficient evidence.

5. Revise the draft and present your final post by submitting it online on the discussion board.

What are the different types of Discussion Posts?

Discussion posts can be categorized according to the purpose of the post. Does the post begin a discussion or respond to another post? Discussion posts can thus be an original post or a response post or a reply to an already existing discussion. When you begin a new discussion, it is an original post which may or may not be based on a prompt. Sometimes discussion posts can be open and flexible, allowing you to start a discussion on a class. In most cases however, there will be a definite prompt or direction and you may be the first person to begin the discussion. This will be the first post or original post that will begin a discussion thread and others will respond by posting their replies to your arguments. The response post is usually a post that replies to discussion already started on the board.

Discussion posts can also be categorized according to whether these are reflective, descriptive, narrative, analytical, critical, conceptual, or opinionated. The discussion prompt will determine whether it will have to be based on your personal reflection, present a description (similar to a professional resume), or whether you will have to present an analysis, objective concepts or your own critical opinions.

Concluding Remarks

A discussion post is one of the most effective tools for student interaction in an online classroom situation and helps students and instructors to interact online, sometimes in real time. Discussion posts is a platform for students to participate in classroom discussions about a course topic or class content and shows the student's level of understanding of a subject. Discussion posts are usually brief and thus have to be precise and focused. Writing an effective discussion post is crucial to your success as an online student. Learn how to write a successful discussion post from writers and students in a thriving student community at