General Discussion Ideas
Follow these suggestions for ways to respond in a helpful way to any written assignment that doesn't
provide specific response directions.
- Write substantive comments. Here are four possible types of comments:
- Provide supporting evidence or information.
You might write something like the the following, for example:
"Rianna, you wrote "...autistic people aren't less intelligent." Did you see this week's Newsweek?
An article reported that autistic people often test poorly on IQ
tests because they are done by interview. I think this supports your point. Jen
Begley, S. (2007, August 20-27). The Puzzle of Hidden Ability. Newsweek, CL(8/9), 50."
- Link or summarize what several others have said. For example:
"Ali, did you read Bill's posting about his dream of being late for a
final exam? It's very similar to the dream you described. I
mentioned this kind of dream at a family gathering yesterday, and 4 out
of the 6 people present said they have had similar dreams. Then I
counted all of the dreams reported in this forum, and 13 out of 38
involved some kind of embarassing failure on the part of the
dreamer. I agree with you that emotional arousal during a
dream is an important clue about why we dream. Jordan"
- Ask clarifying questions. For example:
"Reggie, when you wrote that research confirms that most
people develop moral reasoning in similar ways, did you mean for
all three levels? Myers (2007, p. 168) says that studies confirm
the first two stages of development in many cultures, but there is
some controversy about the third level. Were you thinking
primarily about kids and the first two levels of development?
Myers, D. G. (2007). Psychology (8th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers."
- Provide additional examples. For example:
"Rava, what you wrote about Maslow's hierarchy of needs reminded me of
a child adopted by my friends. His father abandoned his mother
while she was pregnant with him. His mother was a chronic drug
abuser who often left the child home without food for days. When
my friends adopted him, he had a hard time fitting in with their other
two children. He wouldn't share anything, and he would steal food
and money from them and from kids at school. Now, after 5 years
in a loving family and lots of counseling, he's starting to behave more
normally. It seems pretty clear that his basic physiological and
safety needs weren't being met by his natural parents. He had to
trust he was in a more secure environment before he could begin to
develop socially. Martha"
- Cite your sources. Refer to Purdue University's OWL for help with how to write references. This allows others to find and read your source material if they wish.
- Respond respectfully, with the goal of helping everyone learn in a cooperative and friendly environment.
- Answer any responses to your own assignment.