For each unit of study, there are discussion forums. You are usually
required to make two posts per forum. One of these should be substantive responses to
assigned readings and one should be a response to the post of a
classmate. The two posts should total a minimum of 600 words per week.
The first post should be completed by Friday; the second post by Sunday.
Your grade for
the discussion forums will be based on:
- the timeliness of your responses
- the length, quality and substance of your responses
- your use of assigned readings and citation of those readings and any
additional sources you have consulted
An online class like ours depends on everyone being willing to state
their ideas publicly and respond thoughtfully to others. In other words,
we must all be committed to working cooperatively--and on schedule--to
share our ideas and questions.
Your posts should be clearly written (full sentences and paragraphs, standard
spelling and punctuation) thoughtful and respectful of others. However, because
these posts are our class time together, it is OK to be more conversational than
in formal papers. Just a few suggestions:
- You should describe past events in the past tense ("The merchants of
Philadelphia struggled to survive and innovate in the expanding postwar
economy."). But when describing what an author has written about the past,
use the present tense ("The author discusses the role of the merchant in
bringing about economic growth.").
- Write in the active tense rather than the passive whenever possible
("Henry Ford developed and mass-produced the Model T," rather than "The
Model T was developed and mass-produced by Henry Ford.").
- When quoting from a text (and these should be rare if used at all),
simply place the last name of author and page number in parentheses
following the quote but before the period ("The customer can have it any
color as long as he wants it black" (Ford, 34).). If quoting from another
- Make sure that your ideas are organized into distinct paragraphs that
flow logically through the post.