Practice identifying the correct format for your written communications.


Activity: What is the role of the writer and what is the best format?

In the following scenarios we have provided you with the audience and the topic. You should choose what your role is and what is the best format to communicate in. You can select more than one option to answer each question. Click 'See our suggestions' to see our answers.

  1. You need to find out which referencing style you should use for your assignment.

    What is your role here? Roles: explaining, questioning, persuading, describing, exploring, contrasting, informing, enquiring. 

    What is the best format? Formats: email, discussion board, online classroom, instant messaging, blog. 

    See our suggestions

    Role: You are asking for information, so your role is questioning and/or enquiring

    Format: You would like to receive an answer, so email or discussion board are appropriate. As it is not a sensitive question, you could help other students to learn from your question - they may even help to answer it; we would choose a discussion board for this reason.


  2. You have found a useful article that you want to share with other students.

    What is your role here? Roles: explaining, questioning, persuading, describing, exploring, contrasting, informing, enquiring. 

    What is the best format? Formats: email, discussion board, online classroom, instant messaging, blog. 

    See our suggestions

    Role: You would like to share information with other students, so your role is informing.

    Format: You could share by email or on a discussion board. It would more students if you shared it on a discussion board, so this is what we would choose.


  3. You have read the recommended reading and do not fully understand some of the concepts and want to ask other students what they think.

    What is your role here? Roles: explaining, questioning, persuading, describing, exploring, contrasting, informing, enquiring. 

    What is the best format? Formats: email, discussion board, online classroom, instant messaging, blog. 

    See our suggestions

    Role: You are asking for information, so your role is questioning and/or enquiring.

    Format: The best places to discuss something like this with other students are a discussion board or online classroom. Choose an online classroom if your question is relevant to the classroom session, and the time is convenient. Otherwise, a discussion board may be more practical.


  4. You want to improve your writing skills, start to publish your ideas, and share them with your online community.

    What is your role here? Roles: explaining, questioning, persuading, describing, exploring, contrasting, informing, enquiring. 

    What is the best format? Formats: email, discussion board, online classroom, instant messaging, blog. 

    See our suggestions

    Role: By writing down your ideas you will be exploring and explaining, and by sharing your ideas you will be informing other students.

    Format: We think that the best format for practising writing skills is a blog.


  5. You want to get to know others on your course so that you have a supportive place to ask quick questions.

    What is your role here? Roles: explaining, questioning, persuading, describing, exploring, contrasting, informing, enquiring.

    What is the best format? Formats: email, discussion board, online classroom, instant messaging, blog. 

    See our suggestions

    Role: You are sharing information about yourself - informing - and asking for information about others - questioning and enquiring.

    Format: We feel this depends on the preferences of the group, but instant messaging is often appropriate for informal conversations like this.


Last modified: Friday, 26 Jul 2019, 10:37