College-Level Communications on Discussion Boards

Grammar and Clarity

  • Always use good/appropriate grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and writing style.
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and Internet slang. This is true even if you are using a mobile device to create your post.
  • If you are quoting someone else or something you found on the Internet, you must make this clear in the discussion. Quotation marks, the source name, and page address are a minimum. Your instructor may require a particular style for citing other work such as APA or MLA.
  • The ultimate responsibility for post clarity and understanding rests with the originator of the post.


  • Help out your fellow students if you can – you may need their help later in the class.
  • Do NOT post solutions to assignments or solution files to discussions.
  • Do not hesitate to post. Your thoughts, comments, and perspectives are valuable and can provide a unique way for the class to see an issue.
  • Forgive minor mistakes of others while you work hard to eliminate your own. Sometimes typos and punctuations errors escape us. Sometimes things that are glaringly obvious to you may not be so clear to others. The discussion board is a place to exchange ideas not berate each other.
  • Do NOT post “Thank you” only replies and “I agree” replies – they add clutter to an active discussion and they generate additional notifications.


  • Post to the correct discussion board – each major course topic will have one.
  • Before you create a new thread, be sure to read all of the existing posts in a discussion board. There may already be a thread established that you should “reply to” rather than creating your own with the same information.
  • Identify a meaningful subject. This should be content/problem specific and should not include “Help me” or urgency words. Ideally, the subject will be appropriate for immediate identification purposes as well as for reference purposes later in the semester. Chapter number, assignment number, exercise number, and summary words would be useful in the subject.
  • Do not double-post (post the same content to two different discussion boards or send it as a message and post to a discussion board).
  • Remember that effective posting in class discussion boards is part of your grade in many classes!