Writing Comments

Making Connections

Writing comments on other people’s blogs is a way to connect with other students, academics, professionals or authors who have similar interests. I usually write a brief comment that is positive, refers to details and adds something new.  I also add a link back to my own blog so that the author or anyone who reads the post and my comment can connect with me.

To be safe online and to create a positive digital academic profile, I never write disrespectful or negative comments. 

Sometimes I want to write in-depth so instead of writing in the comment box,  I will write a reply to post on my own blog.

Check your Settings

In Settings go to Discussions and make sure that you tick the boxes to moderate all comments before they appear on your blog. See the Edublog guide here.

How to write a Comment

 To write comments I use the Dialogue Toolkitit from Harvard University. Below is a copy of the toolkit. For the original, open this link.

The Harvard Dialogue Toolkit

This toolkit was created with support from educator Chris Sloan, co-founder of Youth Voices.

Throughout your learning journey, we encourage you to use a range of dialogue tools as you engage with the work of other people.

For example, you can comment on other student’s work with the Appreciate move. This move is meant to go deeper than the “Like” button often found on social network sites.  Be specific and detailed about what you appreciate in other students’ work. Similarly,  Notice details and even Snip thoughts that interest you and explain why. Other tools invite you to describe Connections and Probe with thoughtful questions, and share when and how your thoughts Extend in new directions.

We also invite you to use the Thinking Routines below as you look at and comment on other students’ work.


 Notice: What stands out to you or catches your eye in this person’s post? In other words, what do you notice in particular? Be specific.

     Appreciate: Share what you like, appreciate or value in the post you’ve read. Be specific.

   Probe: Probe for more details. Ask questions that will help give you a better sense of another person’s perspective. (See Creative Questions & Sentence Starts below)

      Snip: Cut and paste a phrase or sentence from the original post into your comment. Ask a question about it or say what you find interesting or important about what is being said.

     Connect: Make a connection between something in the post and your own experiences, feelings, or interests.

     Extend: Describe how the post extended your thoughts in new directions or gave you a new perspective.


See, Think, Wonder

  • What do you see?  (Make lots of observations)
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

See, Wonder, Connect 

  • What do you see? (make lots of observations)
  • What does it make you wonder?
  • In what ways do you connect with what you see?

Creative Questions & Sentence Starters 

Brainstorm a set of questions about a student’s post. Use these question-starters to help you think of interesting questions:

  • “Tell me more about…”
  • “I wonder if…”
  • “Help me understand…”
  • “I was surprised by….”
  • “I connected to…”
  • “What I found interesting was…”
  • “I learned from your post that…”
  • “One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is…”

Step Inside

  • What is this person thinking about or focusing on?
  • What might this person understand or believe?
  • What might this person care deeply about?

Connect, Extend, Challenge

  • Connect: How do the ideas and information presented connect to what you already know?
  • Extend: What new ideas did you get that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?
  • Challenge: What is challenging or confusing for you to get your mind around? What questions, wonderings or puzzles do you now have?

The Edublog’s Comment guide

Edublogs has a similar approach to writing comments: to be positive and to write quality comments using details, making connections and adding new information. Edublogs also stress the importance of checking your grammar and punctuation. Watch this video


Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Sloan, Chris. Comment as Genre. Youth Voices: A National Writing Project community. http://youthvoices.net/node/35079

Edublogs User Guide


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