Step 1: Make sure you are registered on the forum system and logged in. If you are not already registered, click on the “Register” button and follow the instructions for Study Society Members or Visitors. (Visitor registration is very quick, but it may take a day or so for members to upgrade to full member registration as your Study Society membership details have to be checked by the Administrator.) Once you are registered you will need to login, so click on the “Login” button.
If you are logged in you will see your username on the right hand side of the screen a little way down from the top, next to the word “Logout”. It looks like this:
If you are not logged in you will see the word “Login” in that position and no username.
Step 2:Go to the topic where you want to post your reply. If you are not a member of the Study Society, you will be able to reply to messages only in the Visitors’ forums.
Step 3: If you want to reply to some specific point in one of the messages, you can go to that message and click on the “Quote” button on the right-hand side of the message.
If you just want to add a general reply, you should click on one of the “POSTREPLY” buttons that you will find at the top and bottom of the message thread. Try to avoid taking the discussion off-topic.
Step 4: If you clicked on "Quote" you should see a screen like this one:
Write your message in the message input box starting on the line just below the quote. Try to avoid using jargon, texting language or abbreviations, and remember that unless your topic is in a members only area it can be read by anyone who uses the internet. If you clicked on POSTREPLY, the only difference is that the original message will not be quoted in your reply so the message input box will initially be empty.
Step 5: You will see there are formatting icons just above the message input box. The most useful of these are bold and italic. To use either of these, select the word or words that you want to make bold or italic and then press the relevant button. You will see that some codes have been inserted on either side of the text you selected. These tell the system how to display the text.
Step 6: When you have finished writing your message, press the Preview button. You will see your message with all the correct formatting near the top of the screen. If you used Quote, you will see that the message you are replying to appears above your reply in a differently- coloured box. Check that your reply looks OK. If you need to make any changes – correcting spelling or changing the wording – go back to the message input area and make them there. (You can’t change anything in the preview area.) This is a good time to check for possible ambiguity or misinterpretation. It is easy to offend people inadvertently just through careless or ambiguous wording.
Step 7: Once you are sure you are happy with the message, press the Submit button.
Some More Tips
1.When you use Quote you can delete part of the message you are replying to by removing unwanted bits from the quotation. This is useful if you are just answering one point in a long message. But be careful not to remove the quote instructions in square brackets.
2. You can choose to be notified by email when anyone replies to your message. To do this, click on the “Notify me when a reply is posted” check box just below the message input area before you submit the message.
3.The forum does not have a spell-checker. If your spelling is a bit flaky you can prepare the text of your message in Microsoft Word (or another word processor that has spell-checking) and spell-check it there.
Then select the text, press Ctrl C, go to the Forum and follow instructions 1 to 4 above. Click in the box for your message and then press Ctrl V.
4. If you find haven’t got time to finish your reply you can press Save. This will send your message to your drafts area. You can retrieve it from there and finish it later.
To retrieve it, click on User Control Panel on the left of the screen near the top. Then click on “Manage Drafts” on the left hand side.
You should now see your draft message. Click on “Load Draft” in the box to the right of your message title.
This will take you back to the Message input screen where you can finish the message (Steps 4 to 7 above)
5. If you find you have made a mistake in your reply after it has been submitted, you can edit it. Go to the appropriate forum and find your reply. Press the Edit button. Your reply will be displayed in a message input screen (see 4 above). You can then make the changes, preview and submit a revised version.
Do you have any suggestions for improving this Beginners' Guide? If so, please post them as a reply to this topic.
All visitors, and members new to the forum, please read these instructions. If you want to ask about the Society, or have any problems using the forum, you can ask a question here.
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