Skip to content
RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Content and structure


When writing a post on a discussion board it’s important to consider the nature of your post. While most discussion posts follow the same general rules, there are some differences in terms of the content you need to cover and the structure you need to follow.

Writing a general discussion post, in which you share your knowledge and personal experience informally, is different to a task-based discussion post which will be assessed and marked by your tutor. The following information will help you understand the differences between these two types of discussion board posts.

Writing a general discussion post

Following some simple tips can help you carry out some meaningful discussions online. For a general discussion post:

  • Post early and before you post, make sure you read all other posts to avoid repeating what others have already said.
  • Write clearly and concisely; because you can’t rely on eye contact and body language, it’s better to make sure you write clearly so that everyone can understand what you mean.
  • Refer to points others have made in their posts when you respond. This will help them understand how your ideas relate to the discussion.
  • Explain yourself clearly by elaborating on your answers or by sharing personal experiences and examples.
  • Check your grammar and punctuation and avoid using slang or abbreviations.
  • Always be respectful and remember that what you write may come across differently when it’s read by others.

Writing a task-based discussion post

Following some simple tips can help you achieve higher marks on your discussion board tasks and assignments. For a task-based discussion post:

  • Read the task instructions carefully.
  • Make sure you follow the required number of words, and the number of sources you need to have.
  • Check out the referencing requirements, for example the number of references to include in your post, and follow the referencing guidelines in your posts.
  • Read the rubrics to understand what you are being marked on.
  • Edit and proofread before you submit your post.

Icons: Happy Art/