How to Write a Discussion Post in APA Format

How to Write a Discussion Post in APA Format

As a psychology student, you may want to know how to write a discussion post in APA format. But what is the APA formatting style? APA is an acronym for the American Psychological Association, the most popular format in psychology and the social sciences. However, how does one compose perfect discussion posts in APA 7?

how to write a discussion post in APA Format

What is an Online Discussion Board?

Online discussion boards are virtual platforms in which people discuss ideas and respond to questions posed by others. For example, companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple maintain portals for interacting with customers about products or services. Typical customers post questions and receive replies from companies’ representatives.

In educational settings, however, institutions harness digital Learning Management Systems to provide students with asynchronous learning activities. Students share their ideas, thoughts, and concepts through posts and reflective responses, leading to in-depth learning.

Why Participate in Online Discussion Boards

Online discussion boards confer several benefits to students, including:

  • Establish a community of peers and instructors in an environment that facilitates learning.
  • Provides students with opportunities to sharpen and practice their skills. For example, discussion boards increase your ability to research, collect, analyze, and evaluate differing viewpoints.
  • A discussion board allows shy students to engage with others in a non-threatening way.
  • They also are safe avenues for the occurrence of interactions between students and instructors.

Nonetheless, it is challenging for most students to start a discussion. If this is true for you, what can you do? Here are the most important things to focus on.

  • Timing: ensure that your posts are timely. Never post on the due date. Post a few days before the deadline.
  • Ask questions: include provocative questions at the end of your post to encourage discussion between your peers or instructors.
  • Provide meaningful responses: instead of agreeing or disagreeing with a peer’s views, state why you agree or disagree.
  • Stick to the prompt: make sure you answer the provided promptly. Also, avoid rambling just to achieve the required word count.
  • Don’t post all your responses in one day: most students perceive online discussion board assignments as a burden. However, your instructor expects you to respond meaningfully as well as promptly.
  • Mind your language: always proofread your posts for proper grammar and spelling. Although online discussion boards are informal settings, they are critical elements for your academic and professional development.

how to write a discussion post in APA Format

Writing a Discussion Post in APA 7

Students often pose questions on how to write discussion posts in the APA 7 academic referencing style. This is because the APA 7 format has no specific guidelines on how to write discussion posts. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot do so, unlike writing an academic paper. Being asked to submit a discussion post in APA 7 is not an arbitrary requirement to gratify your instructors. Instead, they use of the correct format simplifies communication and the transfer of knowledge between students and professionals. If your instructor requires you to format discussion posts in APA 7, you should know how to apply it in writing a discussion board post.

Follow these tips when writing your discussion board posts in APA 7.

  1. Use sound arguments to persuade your friends of the merit of your views. Write in a thought-provoking manner if you want to retain the interest of your peers. Although you’re not an expert in a specific area, including APA 7 in-text citation in your post increases the credibility and appeal of your posts to others.
  2. Linking your ideas or real-life experiences to the topic under discussion makes your post attractive. Probably your audience will like the approach you used to incite them to apply for course work in their lives. Encourage your audience to think beyond the traditional boundaries.
  3. Create relevant discussion posts. Most students fail because they post irrelevant content. Avoid making this type of mistake. Even when you think your initial post or response posts are interesting. Ensuring that all your posts are within the context and scope of the discussion is key to earning better grades.
  4. Introduce unique viewpoints about the prompt. As discussions are like dialogue, consider making your post exciting and meaningful. To come across as unique, include details that attract the attention of your peers and instructors. One way of accomplishing this objective is researching deeply into the assigned topic. This way, you discover new material making your audience recognize the insights you are offering. Also, pay attention to how you present your opinion as it determines how well others receive it.
  5. Finally, use a word processor to craft your post. Sometimes you already know what you are going to say. Even so, use a word processor to write down your posts, check for grammar, spelling, and formatting issues. While at it, review your post to ensure it flows logically from one idea to the next. Most importantly, make sure that your post has no errors, including grammar, spelling, or typos. Otherwise, submitting a post with multiple errors affects your chance to earn good grades.

Now let us look at what it entails to format a discussion in APA 7.

APA 7 Format for Discussion Posts

Assuming you don’t understand how to write a discussion post in APA format 7, let help you. Our writers have the expertise for citing both academic papers and discussion posts in APA 7. Besides, we are a reputable online writing agency with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. In this post, we provide guidelines to online students on how to write discussion posts in APA 7. But we begin by looking at the formatting issues and parts of a discussion post.

Discussion Post APA 7 Formatting Requirements and Issues

We know you have questions regarding the APA 7 format for discussion boards. Even so, we recommend using Microsoft Word or your favorite word processing application to prepare your post. Ideally, you should use this application before submitting your discussion post. Note that formatting will differ between what you see in Microsoft Word and what appears on your discussion board text editor. In this section, we address any questions regarding formatting requirements and issues on how to write a discussion post in APA format 7.

Pro Tip: Using a word processor to write your post allows you to counter-check and correct any mistakes while letting you save a post on your personal computer. As a result, you protect yourself against the inadvertent loss of your work as well as facilitate your ability to upload posts to the discussion board.

As indicated previously, formatting differs between the word processor you use and a discussion board’s text editor. Don’t worry, though, as APA 7’s requirements on in how to write a discussion post in APA format 7 overlook style rules governing indents, line spacing, title pages, and margins. This is true even when an assignment requires you to format posts in APA 7. Even so, you must cite your references and sources using this format for the different academic sources used in a post. So, include appropriate APA 7 in-text citation in your post. Also, be sure to include a list of your references at the end of posts.

Apart from that, all formal discussion posts are expected to conform to the APA 7 style. Properly citing your references according to the style’s requirement improves the credibility of your post while demonstrating you know how to write a discussion post in APA format 7, research, and support your views professionally. We recommend consulting online resources if you feel you need some discussion post help.

APA 7 Template

The APA 7 style provides scholars with guidelines regarding the formatting of essays and academic papers. It is one of the most widely used referencing styles by students, professionals, and researchers. Even so, how do you write a template in APA7  format? APA 7 requires the submission of academic papers formatted in a certain way. Here are the basic guidelines of APA 7th edition governing how to write a discussion post in APA format 7:

  • Margins of 1” all around.
  • A font size of 12 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Double spacing between lines.
  • Running head on professional papers. Students omit this requirement.
  • Each paragraph has a half-inch indent from the left margin.

How To Cite An Online Class Discussion APA

To cite an online discussion in your post or paper, you need to provide the following details:

  • Name of a post’s authors.
  • Date posted.
  • Discussion thread name.
  • Course URL.

Some of you might be wondering how do I cite a discussion post in APA 7? Here is an example for your review.

Murphy, P. J. (2020, June 23). Resources for visual recognitionWashington State University Blackboard.

NB: Although APA 7 guidelines require the submission of formatted, this requirement does not apply to discussion posts. So, the presented template only applies to professional papers and essays. Even so, you should cite and reference sources according to the APA 7 regulations for discussion posts.

NB: Note that you can use single spacing in discussion board posts. But remember that APA 7 mandates double-spacing content in research papers. Also, sacred sources – Bible, Koran, Canon of Three Baskets, and Hindu Vedas – do not appear in APA’s References section.

How to Write a Discussion Post in APA Format

Example Discussion Post Formatted in APA 7

Below is an example of an APA 7 formatted discussion post. Review it to obtain useful insights on how to write a discussion post in APA format 7.


Based on what we have covered in class this semester, explain how Jesus exemplified charismatic leadership skills as Hartog, D. N., & Boon, C. (2018) posit.

Your Post in APA 7

Hartog & Boon (2018), assert that charismatic leaders “embody and communicate the values of the organization more strongly in their vision and behaviors, which is likely to affect the attribution of charisma to these leaders, but only for followers who themselves strongly identify with the organization.” This allows charismatic leaders to build an enduring foundation that blends professional will and personal humility. Indeed, Jesus is a prime example that epitomizes these observations.

However, his example is ambiguous because of several factors. He demonstrated his humbleness by submitting to the Father’s will in everything (Luke 22:42; John 6:38) while remaining committed and resolute to the mission he came to accomplish (Philippians 2:6-8). Moreover, Jesus embraced his earthly commission in the most unusual ways.

For instance, washing his disciple’s feet indicated his recognition of his role as a servant (John 13). Yet, he was bold and determined in fulfilling this role to the extent that he broke down barriers that religious elites imposed on ordinary people by reaching out to marginalized individuals and communities (Mathew 23:3-5).

As Hartog & Boon (2018) argue, charismatic leaders provide examples that followers strive to emulate in their dealings with others. Jesus set a time-tested and historical example that appealed to and impelled his followers to adhere to a charismatic lifestyle (Brecher, 2016). Today, Christianity’s survival over the past two thousand years is an indication of the paradox of charismatic leadership.

And there you have it! An example of a discussion post in APA 7 format.


Brecher, M. (2016). Charismatic leadership: Concepts and comparisons: Nehru and Ben-Gurion; Other leaders. Political Leadership and Charisma, 227-243.

Hartog, D. N., & Boon, C. (2018). Great minds think alike? Congruence in leader and follower organizational identification and perceptions of leader charisma. Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir, 177-194.

And now you know how to write a discussion post in APA format 7. In our next post, we shall provide discussion board feedback examples.

This section will guide you through the most commonly used formatting and citation styles. The most common citation styles are:

  • APA 7 (American Psychological Association) is an author/date based style, where emphasis is placed on the author and the date of a piece of work to uniquely identify it. APA 7 is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences;
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style, which is used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities;
  • Chicago and Turabian, which are two separate styles but are very similar, just like Harvard and APA 7. They are widely used for history and economics;
  • Vancouver, which is mainly used in medical and scientific papers;
  • Harvard. Where APA 7 is primarily used in the USA, Harvard referencing is the most well used referencing style in the UK and Australia, and is encouraged for use with the humanities. We recommend our writers to settle it with the customers, which manual for Harvard referencing should be used in each specific case. While the common US formats like APA 7, MLA and Chicago are easily accessible at the Purdue OWL website and other reliable resources, we urge you to prompt the customers to provide you with the Harvard manuals they wish to be used. Otherwise, feel free to use the link to Harvard manual provided below.

How to Write a Discussion Post in APA Format

Formal English Versus Informal

In short, formal English is used in writing essays, cover letters to apply for jobs, or emails and letters at work. Informal English is used in every day communication with friends and relatives. Informal English includes various terms and expressions that are not used by the majority of English speakers. Speaking of informal English we mean colloquialisms, jargon and slang.

There is a certain difference between the slang, jargon and colloquial terms. Slang is used in definite social groups (for example among the teenagers); colloquialisms are commonly used across age and socioeconomic groups; jargon is a set of terms used in a particular professional setting (IT, law, medicine). Definite informal terms may be vulgar and inappropriate in specific situations. Some terms are not understood by the non-native speakers or vice-versa. Irrespective of the differences between these concepts colloquialisms, slang and jargon are parts of informal language, which is not used in formal and academic writing.

By contrast, formal English presumes professional language and choice of terms. The following table will help you choose proper terms and avoid informal counterparts, that diminish the quality of your formal writing.

Please, also review the ‘Colloquialisms’ section of our Manual on Academic Writing.

As the most legit paper writing services we’ve MLA and APA 7 to be the most commonly used citation and referencing systems. Please, follow the links below for comprehensive guides on the most common referencing styles:

You can also review sample papers and other useful documents in the attachments below.

how to write a discussion post in APA Format

Wrap Up

Participating in an online discussion forum is an exciting and stimulating undertaking. However, a lack of knowledge and skills on how to write a discussion post in APA format can adversely affect your academic progression. Remember that virtual classrooms let students share various perspectives and participate in profound discussions around course content. Plus, these opportunities lead to dynamic and memorable experiences for students. As a result, mastering the art of writing discussion posts in APA is an excellent way of integrating and learning coursework material. Besides, it helps students develop persuasive writing, reasoning, and researching skills.

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