Discussion Board Posting Instructions

Introduction

The following is a step-by-step guide for how to appropriately format the discussion board posts you will need to submit in response to class assignments.

For this course and all others in your program, you need to follow APA guidelines for citing your sources and references. However, when composing discussion board post replies using Blackboard's text editor, you do not need to follow APA formatting in regard to margins, spacing, etc.

What to do first?

When responding to a discussion board prompt, you should always draft your answers in a Microsoft Word (or your preferred word processing program) document. This way, you can save your response(s) to your personal computer and maintain a local portfolio of the work you have completed for the course; you will not need to later retrieve these assignment responses from Blackboard.

You can also use the word processing program's spell- and grammar-checking tools to ensure you are submitting a high quality, error-free post.

Copying your assignment into Blackboard

After completing this initial draft of your post, copy and paste the text of your local Word document into a new reply to the discussion prompt you are responding to in Blackboard.

To copy from Word:

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Then, to paste into Blackboard:

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If you need a review of how to access the appropriate discussion board prompt and post a reply, click here to watch a video tutorial.

Problems with hanging indents, font size, margins, etc.

When you copy and paste from Word, you may see that some of the APA formatting elements you used in your original document - such as font size, margins, and hanging indents - do not appear the same way in Blackboard. Though these elements are required for papers you submit to the assignment dropbox, your discussion board posts do not have to be formatted in this way.

For example:

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...compared to:

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If you are experiencing this problem, don't worry. Remove the hanging indents and the spacing from your reference list (see below). Just make sure that all of the appropriate citation information is included for each source (i.e., authors, title, publishing company, page numbers, etc.) and that this information is written in correct APA format.

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The same applies to font size, font style, margins, and other pagination elements that do not "copy over" from Word. Below is a screenshot of part of a post that is in acceptable format. Note that in addition to the reference list at the end of the post, in-text citations are included throughout the post as well:

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For more information on citation and reference requirements for discussion board posts, click here, for a brief tutorial.

Online sources for help with APA style

If you're feeling confused about APA style or need some extra help, don't worry! Check out some of the following links for more information.

APA Style Tutorial - Concordia Online

Academic Writing - APA Resources (from the Concordia Library)

APA Formatting and Style Guide (from the Purdue Online Writing Lab)

APA 6th Ed. Citation Tutorial