Quality contributions to online discussions
Use these models to build off someone else's project or subsequent contribution.
- Any question must be open ended. (It must not call for a binary (yes/no) answer.)
- It must evidence additional thought and/or additional research on your part.
- It must to invite continuing thought and/or research by the others unless it is a summary statement posted to conclude a long discussion.
- Point out apparent flaws in others thinking indirectly by asking them to explain themselves, or by pointing out some possible contradiction.
- All contributions must gracious and not hostile, even if you strongly disagree.
Call for a display of thinking or feeling
- To what extent would you agree that ...?
- What are some ways ...?
- What evidence do you have for ...?
- What are your reasons for ...?
- How would you answer the objection that ...?
- What examples would you cite to support your statement that ...?
- What sources would you cite to support your statement that ...?
- How do you see your idea about ... working out in ... situation?
- How do you feel about ...? [Name something in the readings, current events, or the class postings.]
- What reasons do you have for saying ...?
- Why do you agree (or disagree) on that point?
- How are you defining the term "..." as you just used it?
- What do you mean by that expression "..."?
- How is what you are saying here consistent with what you said before?
- Please clarify what you mean by "...".
- What are you implying when you say "..."?
- It appears that you and ... are contradicting each other. Please expand your remarks to show how you do agree, or explain the basis of you disagreement.
- It seems to me like you are contradicting yourself on the issue of .... Please explain how you are able to resolve the tension between ... and
Extending or summarizing statements:
- I think I would summarize our discussion here by saying ....
- Another issue that we should probably discuss here is .... [Now make an opening statement on that issue.]
- Another resource I found helpful on this topic is .... [Now explain why and how it is helpful.]
- What we are discussing here seem to me to apply to [name some current event in your church/area/country/world]. [Now state how you see it applying.]
- I am wondering if the converse of this is also true/valid. It seems to me that ....
- Another position that might be valid could be ....
Calls for clarification
- Will someone please help me understand the distinction between ... and ...?
- I don't understand what you mean by .... Will you please explain?
— compiled by Dr. Marty Michelson Online discussion tips for students at University of Waterloo
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma
City, OK 73132 | Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax:
Copyright © 2002 - Last Updated: January 21, 2015 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/discuss.htm
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