How to write a successful discussion board post step by step

Considering that participating in an online class discussion forum accounts for 20% of your overall grade, you cannot afford to write a mediocre post. Writing a strong discussion board post requires that you present a professional, a meaningful and a well-thought-of post that responds adequately to the discussion question.

Here are 7 keys steps to follow into writing a successful discussion board post

Read and understand the prompt/ discussion questions

In everything that you do, preparation is vital. Before diving into research and writing of a discussion post, ensure that you read and understand the prompt. You can also request assistance from your course instructor if you fail to understand the topic requirements. Alternatively, refer to class notes and reading resources for further understanding. Besides, most professors and course instructors usually elaborate on the discussion prompt by posting on the announcement. Therefore, ensure that you review the announcements before getting into the actual writing.

While trying to understand the prompt, it is essential that you keep track of all the resources that you come along. These resources will be useful when writing your post.

Review all the required readings and resources

Usually, discussion board posts are based on the course reading and resources. In most cases, students are expected to show their understanding of week’s readings and learning resources by integrating them into their post.

Before you start writing a discussion post, ensure that you review and understand all the reading and other resources provided. Ensure that you read the required chapter from the course book.

Review the grading rubric

The essence of writing a discussion post is to earn the 20 points allocated to it. In order to earn all the points allocated, your post has to be conform to the grading criteria as provided in the rubric. While most schools provide the grading rubric alongside the discussion prompt, sometimes it is not readily available and you will have to ask for it.

The rubric provides criteria by which your post will be evaluated. When reviewing a grading rubric read it from bottom-up. Pay particular attention to what you need to show in order to achieve the highest marks. For example, check the minimum number of words required to earn full points, citation and formatting criteria, grammar and spelling, discussion questions coverage and readings and resources required.

In order to write a successful discussion post, you have to ensure that your post passes all the criteria given in the grading rubric. More so, ensure that you countercheck your written post alongside the rubric before making your submission.

Organize your thoughts

Planning is everything and it means the difference between success and failure. Before you begin writing a discussion post it is vital that you prepare adequately by organizing your thoughts and ideas.

Before you dive into the actual writing of a discussion post, ensure that you have read and understand the prompt. This will enable you organize your thoughts into writing mode. A successful discussion post needs to be engaging, memorable, creative and unique. To achieve this, you need to brainstorm in order to come up with new and unique ideas. More so you need to identify specific areas or ideas from the week’s readings and resources that answer the discussion prompt/ questions.

Create your first draft or outline

Similar to other types of writing, discussion posts require that you write an outline or a draft before writing doing the final copy. An outline or an initial draft gives you the opportunity to list your main ideas and thoughts. An outline will also ensure that you have covered all the points as required by the grading rubric.

Creating a draft or an outline also ensures that you can test how your ideas connect with each other before making your final pitch.

An outline or a draft acts a skeleton of your main post and therefore it should be an actual representation of your final post.

The biggest mistake that students make while participating in a discussion forum is to forget that a discussion is equally important to other forms of writings given in a class such as essays and research papers. As such, they do not give it all the necessary attention required.

Write in a coherent organized way: answer the discussion question thoroughly

Once you have done the initial draft or outline, it is time to start writing your final draft. A successful discussion board post need to be coherent, well-organized and a perfect answer for the discussion question.

It is easy to write your final post from an initial draft or an outline. When writing your initial discussion post, ensure that it is well organized, organized and easy to follow.

Students mainly assume that a discussion board is just an exchange forum to help them get noticed by the lecturers and other students. However, a discussion board is an equally important academic activity similar to writing a dissertation or a research papers. In a discussion post, quality and clarity matters more than the length. Nevertheless, you have to ensure that you meet the given threshold.

Unlike other assignments given to students in an online classroom such as essays and case studies, you only have one chance to ace your discussion board post. You can never resubmit or edit your post once you hit the submit button. Thus, your response to the discussion question has to be precise, void of repetition, free from grammatical and stylistic errors, be objective and respond to the discussion questions.

Check For spelling and grammatical issues

Although discussion forum provides a text editor from which you can type your discussion board post, always write your post on your favorite word processor such as Google Docs, LibreOffice or Microsoft Word. This gives you an opportunity to check for grammar and other stylistic issues before you submit your post. Writing from a word processor also enables you avoid submit your post before you are done with the writing.

Grammar and styles are grading criteria for any online discussion post. Therefore, you have to ensure that your post is grammatically correct. If you are looking forward to achieve all the points allocated for good spelling and grammar, you can use grammar tools such as grammarly. Grammarly is a cloud-based service used to correct grammar and punctuation errors.

Post your initial discussion post before deadline

Once you are done writing your discussion post, it is time to post it to the discussion forum. Ideally, you are required to post your initial discussion post within three days prior to the start of an academic week.

While you have up to three days to respond to a discussion board questions, it is important that you make your submission early enough. This ensures that you have adequate time to respond to other classmates and for other classmates to comment on your post.

According to Brian Redmond a senior lecturer at Penn state university, posting a last-minute discussion post does not allow for a thoughtful and informative discussion and beats the purpose of having a discussion in the first place. Therefore, you should be among the first students to submit their initial discussion posts.

How to respond to other student’s discussion post

To earn all the points from a discussion post, you are required to respond to your classmate’s posts as well as comments on your initial post. Most schools require that you respond to at least 2 of your classmates. In addition, you are required to make counter-replies to any comments posted alongside your initial posts, answer all questions posed by your course instructor as well.

Having a meaningful discussion requires that the parties involved participate equally. Therefore, you should respond to as many posts by other students as possible. Here are some tips to remember while writing your responses

Read and understand the post to respond to and make notes

Before writing any response on your classmate’s posts, you need to read and understand their post. You are also required to review the discussion prompt as well. Once you have finished reading and reviewing, start to write a response as directed by the rubric.

Make it meaningful- actually write something

Discussion boards are meant to be like a conversation whereby a post is build or based on a previous post. Therefore, replying to a post gives you the ability to expand on an already existing or an ongoing conversation. A good response should be academically sound and should be in context of the week’s learning as well as the discussion prompt. A meaningful response ought to be constructive and should be built on the post. It should expand on the post, highlight a new approach, suggest new or additional ideas, criticize or highlight any errors present. You can either agree or disagree with the writer’s point of view. Nevertheless, a response need to be constructive and you should not just agree or disagree to end a conversation.

You can respond constructively to a discussion post in any of the following three ways:

  • “I don’t agree with you, because...”
  • “I agree with, and…”
  • “Yes I agree, but…”

Be courteous

When you respond to someone’s discussion post you have to be respectful and professional. If you choose to agree or disagree with their point of view, you have to do so in a respectable manner. The following are some of the ways by which you can respond to someone’s post while remaining respectful.

  • Respectfully disagreeing: If you don’t agree with someone’s ideas or point of view, you first show your appreciation for their opinion. You should never confront the writer despite them having a different opinion. Also avoid using an emotional approach while writing a discussion board response. Instead, focus more on the logical aspect of your classmates post. Check whether his argument make sense and make a constructive criticism on their post based on facts and logic only.
    You may also ask questions or provide an insight or a clearer picture to help build on the discussion post.
  • Agree with and adding upon a post: Yes, And When you choose to agree with your classmate’s point of view, you should not do so just to end the conversation. Instead, your agreement should be a basis for you to contribute on to their ideas and opinion. In this case, you should expand on what the writer was thinking, provide more ideas, give an example or ask a question related to the post.
  • Agreeing with a but “I agree with you but”: Suppose you agree with the writer’s main idea, but there some few issues that you don’t buy into. In this situation, you should show your agreement with the author’s post while explicitly showing your unique or different point of view. You can point out the problem and offer a solution for the same.

Write within context

While writing a discussion post, context is everything. A discussion prompt can have varied responses based on context. Thus your writing should be in the context of week’s reading, the discussion prompt, and course / subject and study resources provided.

Often students make a mistake of writing a lengthy response post that is out of context. While there are no any length requirements for a response, your reply need to be substantial and it should be written in context to the original post. If you look thorough the rubric, you can agree that points are awarded for an insightful response and not a long post.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Discussion posts are meant to enhance interaction among students and the course instructor. While writing a peer response, you are allowed to ask questions. However, the questions should be academic and in context of the discussion question and the classmate’s post that you are responding to. A good follow-up question should be constructive. This means that the question should expand on the already existing question, invoke curiosity, and encourage further discussion.

Asking the right questions also prove your involvement and participation in the discussion board. Thus, your questions ought to be academic and should add value the conversation.

APA citations and referencing in a discussion post

Similar to other assignments, discussion posts are not exempt from citations and referencing. When writing a discussion post, you often use ideas that are not originally yours. This includes facts, data, theorems etc obtained from study resources such as books, journals, web articles etc. All sources need to be cited clearly and have a reference entry or representation.

To be sertain of getting a grade A, every discussion board post and reply should be viewed as a mini-research paper. Therefore, there should be atleast 1 citation in every post/ response

APA citation is the most commonly used reference or citation format. Learn more about APA Citation and referencing here.

Discussion board post checklist:

Before you submit your post to the discussion post you need to ensure that it complies with the following:

  1. Verify that you have written at least two paragraphs long
  2. Present evidence with examples
  3. Ensure that you have responded to the prompt/ discussion questions as required
  4. Check For spelling and grammatical issues
  5. Confirm that you have written in a professional tone


After all is said and done, you need to remember that discussion posts account for 20% of your overall grade.

Therefore, when doing research, writing your initial post or responding to your classmates, you should remember that your post is been watched and it should stand out.

As a student you should not settle for a low grade just because you don’t know how to write an A-class discussion post. If you don’t have any previous experience writing a discussion post or you don’t have time to go through all the procedures, we have the right solution for you. We can help you write a successful discussion post from scratch.

With our service, you never have to worry about late submission or a poorly done discussion post. Our professional essay writers can do your discussion post in minutes. We can help you with last-minute and urgent discussion posts too.

Ready to get started? Hit the button below to have your discussion post written for you by a professional writer.

Example Discussion posts and responses

Response Example

Wk 3 discussion response

Hi Suzette,

Thank you for your contribution to the topic. Performing a job analysis helps HR personnel to clarify the roles’ needs and define employer or organizational expectations. The information gathered during the process creates the right fit between a job and employee. It evaluates the employee’s performance to determine the value of a specified task. I agree that job analysis and competency modeling strategic tools go together as they provide managers competent alternatives to choose from different levels of skills and knowledge of potential candidates and existing employees. Kindly contact me for any queries.


Scott, J. C. & Reynolds, D. H. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of workplace assessment. Retrieved from


Hi Levana,

Your contribution to the topic is appreciated. I notice you point out that analysis can be of an individual or job position. A job analysis provides a deeper understanding of a job’s behavioral requirements. Competency modeling forms the basis for significant HR functions like hiring, performance management, training and development, and recruitment and hiring. I agree that with any job position, analysis and competence is useful. Kindly contact me for any queries.


Scott, J. C. & Reynolds, D. H. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of workplace assessment. Retrieved from



Hi Stacy,

Thank you for contributing to the topic. Unlike most of your peers, you have titled your questions, making it easier for the reader to know which one is being addressed. A job analysis helps find ways to improve work processes and performance within an organization, providing employees with the necessary support to help with their individual career aspirations and drive organizational goals. Competency modeling serves as a foundation for skill standards that identify the level of a person’s abilities, knowledge, and skills needed for success. I agree that the two tend to reinforce the rigor behind the knowledge base being developed for future employee-oriented decision-making. Kindly contact me for any queries.


Scott, J. C. & Reynolds, D. H. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of workplace assessment. Retrieved from


Example of a Good Discussion Board Post

Week 1 – Discussion 2

A leader fosters a teamwork environment by promoting a synergy culture within a team. The team cannot succeed if there is not thought behind its composition, clearness of responsibilities, and understanding of the mission they are working on. Team synergy occurs when the team members’ interaction and outcome is greater than their total individual efforts. In 1995, psychologists Slem and Levi investigated teamwork in high-tech organizations and identified several factors necessary for successful team development (Levi & Slem, 1995). In relation to this, I thought about a team that I was part of that was particularly high performing.

To facilitate positive team actions and behaviors, the team leader intentionally created a supportive team culture using team-building exercises. These encouraged us to establish stronger associations within ourselves as team members. It also made us feel valued, eventually trusting and respecting the leader. She would always work to address any conflicts emerging within the team. Our leader would speak to the parties involved directly, inviting them to reflect on their behavior and how it would be changed to support the team’s goals (Levi & Slem, 1995). She had the fifth factor identified by Levi & Slem (1995), leadership. The leader facilitated team interactions and offered help to us when problems occurred.

I believe that synergy was demonstrated on the team. The team leader believed that teamwork synergy is real and powerful. By putting together a powerful and qualified team, she believed that we would work together effectively, be fully committed, make good choices, and get productive outcomes than anyone could accomplish alone. Synergy within our team was evidenced by a common purpose, values, humility, shared vision, and trust. Each of us had a complementary skill necessary for great team work and our leader recognized it. Synergy was present because each team member was willing to contribute to the team effort.



Levi, D., & Slem, C. (1995). Team work in research and development organizations: The characteristics of successful teams. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 16, 29 – 42.