Seven Important Forum Post Writing Tips

The grades you get in your distance learning classes aren’t based solely on test scores. Participation also counts towards your grades. When it comes to distance learning, instructors frequently use forums as a means of communication. And that means in order to participate, you’ll have to write.

The following 7 tips will help you create forum posts that are informative, effective, and efficient.

1. Gather your thoughts

When you have something to say, resist the temptation to start banging on the keyboard. Instead, take a few moments to gather and organize your thoughts regarding the subject matter. If you’re familiar with the topic or feel strongly about it, you may have an easier time with this step. If not, you might need to reread the material to make sure you understand and haven’t missed any of the essentials. Not only will this help you communicate your written thoughts better, it’ll help increase your understanding of the material.

2. Double-check spelling and grammar

Grammar and spelling mistakes in your forum posts probably won’t impact your grade. But they can make it more difficult for readers to understand your message. Before posting your messages, slowly read aloud what you have written. That’s really the best way to make sure your message is accurate and worded correctly. Be sure to use automatic spell- and grammar-checking tools, but don’t rely solely on them. Equally important is to avoid all temptation to use keyboard shortcuts. Remember, you’re involved in a learning environment; you’re not texting or instant messaging your friends.

3. Reply to others

That’s what you’d do in a traditional classroom and it’s expected when communicating in forums. Be respectful and polite with your responses and anticipatory of what others may say regarding the posts you’ve made. Look to see whether you can identify any weaknesses in the arguments you’ve made so you can be better prepared to defend what you said.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

If you don’t understand something whether it’s an assignment, what another classmate means, or something else, ask for clarification. Also ask whenever you’re curious about something. Asking questions is a great way to start a dialog and show your involvement.

5. If you notice contradictions, point them out

If you ever notice a contradiction remember, it’s okay to bring it to the attention of others. Just do so politely. It doesn’t matter if the conflict involves course materials or something another classmate said. Doing so shows you’re interested and engaged.

6. Make your posts easy on the eye

One of the reasons for heeding the advice in tip #1 is so you can become a better editor. Rather than post to forums right away, write your thoughts down elsewhere, like in a word processor. Then reread them with an editor’s eye. Remove anything that’s repetitive, unclear or irrelevant. Make spelling and grammar changes as needed. Break your thoughts up into several paragraphs and keep your sentences short and concise. Keep topic sentences strong and attention-grabbing. When you’re done, copy what you’ve written and post it. If your posts aren’t easy to read, guess what? They likely won’t be read, no matter how remarkable they might be.

7. Don’t monopolize

Everyone needs a chance to participate in every discussion so listen often and never monopolize the dialog.