Writing Forum Post and Responses Correctly

Want to learn what writing forum post and responses entail? Or maybe you need to refresh your skills? Then, this post covers this topic and much more. Students today participate in online discussion forums as part of their learning experiences. Based on a student’s academic level, the length, quality, and frequency of forum posts vary considerably. Hence, having relevant skills for writing a successful response to another’s post is advantageous. It benefits you academically and professionally. But what is an online discussion forum?

What are Online Discussion Forums?

Online discussion forums are learning management systems (LMS) that facilitate course-related online discourse between students and instructors. If you are wondering about how to start a discussion? Then wonder no more as typical discussion forums begin with an initial post – usually a question, or prompt – to which participants answer or respond. In this way, online communities share their knowledge and expertise on a specific subject.

Online discussions occur either asynchronously or synchronously. In asynchronous forums, participants contribute ideas over an extended period-perhaps a few days or weeks- at different times. On the other hand participants in synchronous discussions share ideas simultaneously, for example, via chat tools. Despite the technological intricacies of online forums, this article will focus on the essential skills students require to leverage these platforms. Use the recommendations provided below in writing forum post and responses. Also, review our good discussion example for developing compelling forum posts and responses.

writing forum post and responses

Purpose of Online Discussion Forums

Online forums serve various pedagogical functions. They help students review and reflect on coursework before exams or reporting to class. Well-structured discussion forums also bolster student engagement outside of class.

Written assignments promote reflection and information synthesis and are less intimidating than speaking in class. As a student, writing forum post and responses is a practical learning pathway. Besides, online forums minimize the likelihood that someone will dominate the conversation. Prolific online contributors are not always the most outspoken individuals in classrooms.

A 2015 Harvard study found that female students are more active in online discussion forums than male students. Online forums also increase the ability of introverted students to engage with peers and instructors. Also, online forums are permanent records of your participation in an online forum. As such, instructors, teachers, and tutors can review your performance, revealing your weaknesses and strengths. In contrast, it is challenging to track student performance during face to face interactions.

Now let us tee off and look at the skills and tips for writing forum post and responses, respectively.

On Writing Forums Posts Correctly

As an online student, you probably want to master the art of writing forum post and responses. If so, then worry no more as in this section, we reveal the core techniques and skills you need.

writing forum post and responses

Skill # 1: Do Your Homework

Before writing your post, ask yourself, have I studied the assigned readings thoroughly? Why? Because the quality of your posts depends on how well you understand the link between assigned readings and coursework. Besides, writing about a topic you barely know makes it difficult churning compelling forum posts. So, please read the provided materials diligently while connecting the information therein to real-world scenarios. Doing so helps you identify how the content you are learning applies to life.

As you read the assigned readings, ask the following questions. What value does the content have? What extra value do the readings add to the context of the discussion prompt? Finding the answers to these questions requires immersing yourself in the texts before writing an authentic and meaningful response to a prompt.

Skill # 2: Create Posts that Entice Classmates

Develop a compelling argument and use relevant evidence from coursework reading material and personal experiences to support it. Completing this objective entails researching and citing your sources appropriately. But ensure your ideas are concise, articulate, and thorough. Use texts to pose additional questions. Next, explore the different elements of the discussion prompt to get students thinking beyond what you have covered beyond class. But what if your ideas fail to gather the response you expected? Then, it’s time to review the grading rubric. Do so to ensure that your posts remain within the discussion’s context.

Skill # 3: Strive for Relevancy

Remember, placing quotes in the right context is a potent way of generating insightful responses and encouraging discussion. So, integrate personal and professional experiences where possible. Also, make sure you present credible evidence in support of your ideas or viewpoints. Use what you are learning at your workplace to add value to the ongoing conversation and connect with your peers. Always incorporate direct references to concepts you have learned about. This way, you increase your reader’s connection with the material you present.

writing forum post and responses

Skill # 4: Compose Unique Posts

Consider what value your post adds to the ongoing conversation. For example, upload a video, an authoritative article, multimedia, or links to external resources. Providing additional information challenges others to think deeper about the discussion prompt. Including these resources also establishes your standpoint through concrete evidence. Plus, you demonstrate your ability to connect ideas to coursework. While writing forum post and responses use the provided discussion post template to format your assignment.

Skill # 5: Use Your Favorite Word Processor to Write Posts

Before submitting a post, draft it using your favorite word processor. By doing so, you increase your likelihood of posting error-free content. Note that word processors are potent applications. So, use them to compose, correct mistakes, and format your posts according to the provided instructions.

Skill # 6: Leave Your Peers Yearning for More

Submit your posts, engage with peers, and ask several follow up questions. This way, you become an integral component of the discussion forum. Plus, you add value to the discussion. Keep it in mind that the best discussion continues long after you post. Ponder this question after you post: What value have I added to the debate? Then research, support your claims, and work hard to present your viewpoint. As a result, you consolidate your proficiency in writing forum post and responses.

writing forum post and responses

On Writing Forum Responses

If you are new to online discussion forums, responding to your peers’ posts is essential for your online course. As stated earlier, discussion forums are opportunities for students to interact with both teachers and classmates. Some students think engaging in online forums is easy. However, many students find it difficult to write effective discussion board responses. This is because writing thoughtful responses can be awkward and uncomfortable.

The section below offers several tips for overcoming the pervasive discomfort associated with writing forum responses. Integrate these tips to generate quality responses to your posts and create beneficial learning experiences.

Tip # 1: Understand Your Online Community’s Culture

Before writing your responses, find out about your community’s online culture. Just like social clubs, online forums have a set of rules and guidelines. Acquainting yourself with a forum’s rules helps in managing one’s expectations. You also understand what the discussion is about from the beginning.

Tip # 2: Understand the Discussion Prompt

Note that instructors have different expectations for initial posts and responses. Even so, if no guidelines are apparent from the assignment board, consult with your instructor. This way, you will understand what her or his expectations are regarding the discussion board assignment.

Tip # 3: Engage Meaningfully

Online forums are conversational activities where each post builds upon the foundation of previous ones. Valid responses are opportunities for expanding the conversation. So, use assigned readings, external sources, and personal experiences where appropriate.

Note that you do not have to agree with your peers. You can choose to disagree. But do so amicably as your goal is to continue the interaction. We call this responding constructively. But you might ask, how do I compose effective forum responses?

Here are a few discussion board feedback examples for your perusal. When it comes to responding to your classmate, you have three options:

  • Disagreeing respectfully
  • Agreeing and adding to a peer’s post
  • Agreeing and expanding a post

Let us look at each substantive response example in detail.

Option One: “No, because…

Sometimes you will have to disagree with your classmates. Even so, respond in a manner that shows you appreciate different opinions. Avoid engaging in personal attacks or emotionally charged appeals.

Instead, focus on the point your classmate has raised. Ask yourself, does it make any sense? Do the presented causes and effects connect logically? Do the writer’s claims follow another? What are the flaws of a peer’s post? Use questions when writing your response to understand your peer’s perspective.

Option Two: “Yes, and…”

Use this option when agreeing with a peer’s post and to provide additional information. It is an effective strategy as it lets you improve an initial post by presenting unique perspectives. For example, consider whether the respondent omitted some important angles about the discussion topic. Then again, provide unique insights to equip the audience with a better view of the topic.

Option Three: “Yes, but…”

Although this is like Option Two, it is exceptional. Why? Because it is an opportunity to play the devil’s advocates. Use this approach to present opposing viewpoints in a discussion forum. This strategy also lets you pinpoint flaws in your peers’ posts or claims. So, employ this strategy whenever you need to make it hard for peers to defend their arguments, claims, or posts.

Pro Tip: At times, you might find that you are losing points on discussion assignments. If so, ask your instructor why. Also, visit your institution’s writing center for clarification. Remember, though, that Myhomeworkempire.com is always willing and available to help in writing posts and responses that impress your peers and tutors as well. So reach out to us for discussion post help whenever you need it. Our expert writing team can help you in writing forum post and responses.

Option Four: “No, but…”

Below are two discussion post examples demonstrating how to disagree respectfully with your peers in a forum.

Your Peer’s Post

Unmarried women should procure abortions in the absence of the father. This is because children born out of wedlock have a higher chance of causing severe problems. For example, fatherless children are more prone to engage in delinquency and illicit drugs. Later, these habits can result in drug addiction. I think having an abortion is an effective way of demonstrating one’s responsibility towards society and the self.

Sample Response

Here are two examples of discussion responses demonstrating polite disagreement with the post’s writer.

Example 1

I would like to disagree with your viewpoint respectfully. Even so, I recognize the validity of your argument, but I am uncertain of the link between drug addiction and a fatherless life. I would like you to expound further on this link as well as explain why some fatherless children lead responsible and successful lives.

Example 2

As a forum, a review of the logic used in this post is necessary. While your concern for the welfare of the fatherless child is apparent, I think your logic is erroneous. Could you or anyone else who feels this way perhaps elaborate why this is so?

Pro Tip: Whether you agree or disagree, retain a pleasant disposition Although your peers cannot see or hear you in an online forum, misinterpretations of your meaning do occur. So, use a relatable tone in your post to avoid conflicts.

Meanwhile, if disputes arise, settle them privately and avoid calling out your peers in an ongoing discussion thread.

Conclusion

Indeed, writing forum post and responses is an art. For this reason, ensure you participate actively to maximize the benefits you receive. Always approach the forum with a learning attitude. So, go ahead and apply these tips in your assignments leaving others desiring to engage with you.

If it is challenging writing forum post and responses, contact Myhomeworkempire.com for help. Plus, we are willing to provide you with a discussion post sample upon request.

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