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Discussion Post Guidelines At various points during this course, you will be asked to interact with your instructor and your classmates by participating in class discussions. You’ll be asked to post your own thoughts about a topic and/or respond to your classmates’ posts. In order to receive the maximum number of points for your threaded discussion assignments, please review the following guidelines PRIOR TO posting your responses to threaded discussion assignments: 1. Clarity of thought: Rather than just posting something “spur of the moment,” it’s a good idea to spend a little time thinking about what you want to say. Go back through your readings, your notes, etc. Consider your personal experience related to the topic. It might also be a good idea to compose on your own word program first so you can consider it for a moment. Once you’re satisfied that what you’ve written is actually what you want to say, then copy and paste it into the online post dialogue box. 2. Organization: Make sure that your post follows a logical sequence. Many times, students post written thoughts as if they were actually speaking. Remember that the online environment changes things – tone, sarcasm, and storytelling don’t come across as well. Organize your thoughts from general to specific, addressing each part of the prompt in order. 3. Support when applicable (references, pages in text, website links, etc.): In almost all cases, you’ll be able to support your thoughts (or contrast them) with something from the text, readings, etc. While APA style isn’t too important in threaded discussion posts, it is important to cite any relevant information that has helped inform your thoughts. You can list pages in the text; add a website link to an article, photo, or videoclip; or provide a reference for some out of class reading you’ve been doing. In this way, your instructor knows you’re fully considering the course material, and your classmates can benefit from how you came to your thoughts and opinions. 4. Respect/Appropriateness: As with any professional discussion, you MUST demonstrate not only a respect for your classmates and their opinions but use appropriate language. Threaded discussion posts are not private, meaning that everyone will be able to see not only your posts, but your responses to others’ posts. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Would I be upset or embarrassed if someone responded to me this way?” or “Is this something that would better be said in private?” If the answer is “yes” to either one of those questions, revise your statements before posting. Threaded Discussion topics may be sensitive at times, and it’s possible that tempers may flare. However, it is never ok to post something, especially when you’re emotional about it, without reading it over (and possibly having someone else read it over) first. Any posts that do not meet the guidelines for respect and appropriateness will be removed by your instructor and you will receive no credit for that assignment.

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