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The Writing Center, OWL and Virtual Writing Center: Discussion Forums and Citing

Your writing resource center with help from brainstorming to polishing your papers.

Discussion Forums

          Confused about how to handle your discussion forum? This is the page that will help you.

Discussions in General

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The first thing to remember about discussion forums is the purpose behind them. Discussion forums often take the place of in class discussions. This means that rather than talking face to face in a circle or small groups, you are having the same discussion online.

Things to Remember:

  • You are either typing or recording your thoughts and posting to a board where your small group or class can read and respond to what you have to say. Thoughts should include support and/or explanations.
  • In a discussion, you don't simply say one thing and then not talk again or not build on what other's have said.
  • You don't simply pipe in with something like, "I swallowed a doorknob" without putting it into context for your readers.
  • You then should respond to questions and comments that other group members will post.
  • In other words, you are going to spend more than one day working on your discussion forum to get the most out of it and to meet instructor requirements.
  • I agree. I like what you had to say. You say that well. Are all nice comments - they are not posts and will not count as such.
  • Sharing an opinion is nice. However, it is superficial and will not help you earn full points. Support what you have to say with quotes and paraphrasing from the source that is required. Don't forget to cite.

Citing in Discussions

Cite!

Remember when you are writing in a discussion forum, you need to cite your source.

  • Even if you are citing from the course book, you still need to cite your source. ex: (deGroot, 2017, p. 156).
  • Canvas will not allow the formatting to carry over for hanging indents, so you should attach the Reference list or Works Cited page to your discussion.
  • When in doubt, always check with your instructor about the format that s/he requires for the Reference list or Works Cited page.
  • You cannot copy and paste from a website without citing your source and putting it in quote marks.
  • Always cite your source - then you are not committing Plagiarism.