Discussion board blues College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Here’s your assignment: write an initial thread of two five-sentence paragraphs that answers the questions for this week. Post by Wednesday night at 11:30 pm ET and reply to one classmate’s initial thread in  a single five-sentence paragraph by Sunday night at 11:30 pm ET.

Is that clear and concise? Any questions so far? Note that the original thread is to consist of a total of ten sentences on the topic. The reply is five sentences in length and should refer to something that is in the original thread, so that I know you read it.

I have a student who writes two one or two-sentence paragraphs every time he posts his initial thread. Instead of posting a single five-sentence paragraph to one classmate, he instead posts to ten to fifteen of his classmates, with one or two sentences. Aughh!!!! (To quote Charlie Brown when he is kicking a football that Lucy is holding.)

It is my policy to read every thread that is posted and to post my feedback on it. Instead of having two posts to read from this one person, I now have eleven to sixteen posts to open and comment on. While he is technically meeting length requirements, based on the sheer number of postings he is making, he is missing the point of the exercise.

Most of my feedback on his postings states something along the lines of “Please stick to the topic at hand” and “this posting does not meet length requirements.” Complaining that he doesn’t know what to write does not address the topic we are discussing. Ever.

What do you suggest to get this individual to follow the requirements, not just the spirit of the letter? He will receive his first participation grade at the end of this week. What should that grade be, in your opinion?


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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