A discussion post is one of the first assignments you write in Walden courses. Discussion posts function as the primary way to participate in courses; they are a means to interact with the course content, course instructor, and classmates. The format and expectations for discussion posts may vary based on the assignment prompt and course. To learn more about writing and responding to discussion posts, see the Writing Center page on Discussion Posts as well as the webinar below:
The expectations for format, style, and content of papers in a U.S. academic environment may vary from other academic environments. Writing expectations also vary across different fields of study and programs. Here are some resources and information about what to expect at Walden.
In the Writing Center, we often discuss writing a paper as being an iterative process that includes planning, drafting, and revising. It may take some time to get accustomed to writing academic papers, and that is normal! Browse through our website section on Writing a Paper for more strategies and information about writing effective academic papers. Also listen to the podcast episode below for more help with writing a paper:
All course papers should begin with an introduction in which the writer explains the overall topic, context, and purpose or argument (thesis) of the draft. Papers should typically end with a conclusion or summary of the main ideas. View the archived webinar below for more information:
Part of a successful discussion post is also citing the ideas correctly. Watch this video on citing all ideas that come from other sources for more information about citation expectations in a U.S. academic institution.
Paragraphs are the structural elements in a paper that show the reader where the different ideas in a draft begin and wrap up. Maintain one clear focus in each paragraph. The Writing Center has various resources about developing strong academic paragraphs in the Paragraphs section of our website. More information can also be found on our Organizing Ideas page. Also see the video on developing arguments with evidence and analysis.
Revising and proofreading are important steps in the writing process.
Revision may take place throughout the writing process: near the beginning when generating and organizing ideas, while writing a draft, near the end when making some final decisions about organization, and any time in between. See the revising checklist and other strategies for revision on our Writing a Paper: Revising page.
These resources may also be helpful:
Proofreading is typically the last step in the writing process. Proofreading means searching for any minor mistakes that may have been previously overlooked during the writing and revision process. Proofreading is not an easy task, as it is easy to overlook the errors again. Here are a few tips to follow when proofreading: Writing a Paper: Proofreading.
Grammarly is a free tool available through the Writing Center that can identify and provide feedback regarding grammar, syntax, and spelling errors. Grammarly is a software that is best for writers who have a strong grasp of English grammar and may not be helpful for writers who have a large variety and number of sentence-level errors. If you decide to use Grammarly, make sure to consider each suggested change before accepting it, as Grammarly does not have human intuition about language use and could provide a suggestion that does not improve the sentence structure or meaning.
The Writing Center offers Paper Review Appointments for Walden students to help improve academic writing skills. During an appointment, writing instructors focus on patterns of error and academic writing feedback.