What hints or cautions would you give the writer as he or she develops the topic?


The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

If you are planning to use a repurposed or reused assignment, please let your instructor know about it. If an instructor is not made aware of work being repurposed or reused, an instructor will treat the assignment as a plagiarized task and may post an F grade until proof of originality is provided. Click here for more information.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.

Complete the following for this assignment:

  • Choose a topic for your argument or persuasive essay from the list provided in the Individual Project instructions.
  • Post your thesis and outline to the Discussion Board. Follow the model provided in the Individual Project instructions.
  • Post at least two follow-up responses to classmates. Each response should contain answers to the following questions:
    • Write down what you consider to be the essay’s thesis and respond to it.
      • Do you agree or disagree?
      • What experiences have you had that are related to the topic?
      • What hints or cautions would you give the writer as he or she develops the topic?
    • List the author’s three main points and describe how each is or is not related to the thesis.
    • Make at least 1 suggestion to improve the student’s outline.

Click here if you need to watch a tutorial on submitting Discussion Boards.

Grading Rubric:


Content Thesis statement is in response to assigned or self-selected topic (with teacher approval). Thesis statement is a single sentence that contains the topic and the writer’s position on that topic. Three topic sentences provide relevant main points in support of thesis. 40%
Critical Thinking Outline goes beyond statements of fact or generalities to assert a unique point of view on the topic. 30%
Presentation Posts adhere to college-level standards of effective written communication skills, including correct grammar, spelling and mechanics. 10%
Interactivity Actively participates throughout the week and provides substantive responses to at least 2 classmate posts following instructions provided.

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