5 Steps to Write a Good Discussion Board

    November 1, 2022

What is a discussion board?

In online classes, a discussion board is a “space” or “forum” where students share information about their understanding of a given topic or course model. After sharing an initial post, they have a chance to engage with their fellow students. Engagement may be in two forms:

  1. Reading the initial discussion post from the classmates
  2. Responding to peer discussion posts

What makes a good discussion post?

Any successful discussion board should facilitate learning opportunities in any class. To achieve this, it should:

  1. Address the course content in the initial post and peer responses.
  2. Reveal your understanding of the course content.
  3. Promote peer interaction. This can be done by asking a question at the end of the discussion post.

This guide can help you write a successful discussion board in any course.

5 Steps to Write a Good Discussion Board

1.    Read the discussion prompt carefully.

  • Every discussion has a purpose or a question that you need to respond to. Ensure that you carefully read these guidelines. Take note of the word limit, the desired date to submit your initial discussion post, preferred sources to include, and the formatting style and response type.
  • Please pay attention to these particulars as they are the main expectations from the professor to get a good grade.

2.    Prepare adequately.

  • The second step requires you to prepare adequately to write your discussion post. Begin by reading all the assigned material or course content relating to that discussion board question. In most cases, these may be weekly readings.
  • Access feedback from your professor for the previous discussion boards. Based on the input, not what you need to do to improve your next post.
  • Some professors may require you to write your discussion in paragraphs, while others prefer them in Question and Answer format. Thus, accessing the instructor’s feedback is very crucial to writing a good post.

3.     Construct a draft.

  • In most cases, discussion questions have multiple questions. As a result, you may need to use topic sentences to bring the points for a given question or all the questions together based on the length requirements.
  • Use evidence from the readings of internet sources (always use reliable sources for academic works). Always make sure that you cite the sources when using their evidence. While integrating evidence into your draft, you must maintain a scholarly tone.

4.     Review and revise.

After crafting your draft post, review the presented ideas. Your review should include but not be limited to:

  • Does my post include evidence from the assigned materials?
  • Does my post demonstrate proper mastery of the subject?
  • Have I cited any outside sources?
  • Have I proofread my work to ensure there are no grammar and spelling mistakes?
  • Have my post met the guidelines, including the word limit?

5.     Submit.

  • Once you are confident that your discussion post is right on target, copy and paste it into your discussion forum.
  • Some schools require you to create a discussion forum thread.
  • After submitting your initial discussion post, wait for responses from your peers.
  • Read other classmates’ initial posts and respond to them. Here is a guide on “How to Respond to a Discussion Post.” You can also get help with discussion boards Here.

Example of A Successful Discussion Post

Question: Recovery Financing

  • What are the various types of recovery financing, their advantages, and their disadvantages?
  • What do elected officials need to know about disaster recovery? Where can they get educated?
  • Describe the pros and cons of an Emergent-Norm vs. Bureaucratic approach to understanding recovery.
  • Describe some of the challenges and inefficiencies that hamper inter-governmental disaster recovery efforts.

Initial Post From a Student

  • There are various types of recovery financing. These include municipal bonds, catastrophe funds, fess on purchased items, loans, sales tax increases, insurance donations, and grants from government and non-profit organizations (Phillips, 2016). Each source has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, even though insurances are advantageous such that they can cover the damaged property cost, they must be acquired and paid for before the disaster. Also, insurance may have delays. Another example of such funds is loans which can help to recover the damaged property and thus recover a business. However, they need to be repaid, which is a demerit.
  • Elected officials should know the different ways of disaster recovery and some of the interventions or assistance they can offer to the affected businesses or community. Specifically, they should know the available resources for disaster recoveries, such as private financing, insurance, government assistance, and catastrophe fund. They can get educated in various ways, such as by reading books and articles on this topic and attending workshops. Even though there is a 100% fit solution to curb a disaster, understanding different disasters and resources that can be used for recovery is crucial (Phillips, 2016).
  • Whether someone goes for an Emergent-Norm or Bureaucratic approach to understanding recovery, they all have various pros and cons. The pros of the Emergent-Norm approach are that it is very flexible and thus easy to adopt because it is based on shared values. However, the fact that it is less coordinated and has no central authority makes it ineffective. On the other hand, the Bureaucratic approach as a central authority makes one of its advantages highly coordinated. Thus, it is very effective because the central authority sets rules and guidelines to be followed. Still, the set rules associated with this approach have disadvantages such that the method is flexible and not easily adopted when understanding disaster recovery (Phillips, 2016).
  • Some various challenges and inefficiencies hamper inter-governmental disaster recovery efforts. One of these challenges is that there may be a lack of coordination between the involved departments of the governments in question. Lack of coordination has detrimental effects on the recovery efforts, such as causing delays. The other challenge is the lack of similar goals and priorities between the departments of the affected governments. For example, state governments can prioritize a certain recovery effort that the federal government does not and thus cause inefficiencies (Phillips, 2016).


Phillips, B. D. (2016). Disaster Recovery. Taylor & Francis.

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