When You Write

From Summary to Insight: A Guide to Writing Commentary Essays with Depth

Writing an essay can be daunting, let alone if you’re also providing commentary on it. But the reward of a job well done is worth the effort when you’re finished!

It has been noted that essays with thoughtful commentaries have a higher chance of being accepted for publication. So I’m here to help make it clear that essay writers need to understand the power of commentary and how to incorporate it into their work.

In this article, I’ll share my experience as a writer and provide insight on how to make your voice heard in an essay by using effective commentary. By following my advice, you’ll be able to craft a piece that stands out from the crowd and makes your thoughts shine through!

What Is Commentary In An Essay?

Over the course of your writing, you may have heard of the term ‘commentary’ in relation to essay writing. But what does it mean?

Simply put, commentary is analysis. It’s when you take a text and try to identify the deeper implications at play. In literary texts this could be symbolism, metaphors or dual meanings; with non-fiction texts it could include examining how an author makes use of evidence and arguments to support their position.

Writing a commentary essay requires close reading skills and the ability to interpret a wide range of information. It also requires you to think critically about how ideas are connected and draw conclusions about why certain elements are included in the text.

Commentary is an essential part of any essay because it allows your reader – who may not be as familiar with the text as you – to understand why you have drawn certain conclusions based on your interpretation.

It’s like giving them a guided tour through your thoughts and ideas so they can explore what makes your argument unique and interesting. Commentary also enables you to make connections between different aspects of the text that might not be obvious on first glance, helping bring out its significance even further.

By using commentary effectively, you can write an engaging essay that really gets your point across clearly.

The Significance Of Commentary In Essay Writing

Writing commentary in an essay can be a powerful tool for communicating ideas and arguments. It is essential to engage in critical thinking, interpretation, and analysis when writing commentary. Writing effective commentary requires the ability to construct a well-developed argument that supports the main point of the essay.

Here are 4 key elements of effective commentary:

  • A clear thesis statement
  • Relevant evidence that supports the argument
  • Interpretation and analysis of the evidence
  • A conclusion that summarizes the argument

Commentaries should be written with an engaging style that encourages readers to think critically about the topic at hand. Good literary commentary should be accessible, yet thought-provoking; it should both inform and entertain the audience. Additionally, it should challenge preconceived notions about a subject and provide an insightful perspective on why something matters or how it affects our lives.

In order to write effectively, one must first understand their audience and what they hope to communicate through their words. With this knowledge in mind, one can craft a compelling commentary that offers fresh insight into any given topic.

Transitioning seamlessly into the next section…

Key Elements Of Effective Commentary

Like the rising sun that signals a new day, effective commentary can offer a fresh perspective to an essay. With the right words and emphasis, it can engage readers in an entirely new way and bring them closer to understanding your argument.

Like a shimmering beacon of light, it has the power to grab their attention and draw them into your ideas.

Commentary does more than just summarize facts or provide background information – it also evaluates, interprets, and analyses information.

It’s an opportunity for you to delve into the heart of what you’re writing about, offering insight into its significance and exploring potential implications. By taking this approach, you can evaluate the importance of each point and develop your thesis with greater clarity.

Through thoughtful commentary, you can make connections between ideas that your readers may not have previously considered and help them reach their own conclusions about your argument.

Strategies For Writing Potent Commentary In Essays

Writing potent commentary in essays is essential to making a successful argument and gaining the reader’s interest. Here are four strategies that can help you write a good essay commentary:

Develop a strong thesis statement

A thesis statement serves as the core of your essay, and it should be explicit, engaging and supportable by evidence. It should also be concise so that readers can understand your main message immediately.

Understand the topic better

Spend some time researching the topic before you start writing to ensure you have a thorough understanding of it. This will give your commentary more depth and clarity.

Body And Paragraphs Organized

Make sure your body paragraphs are organized logically and clearly explain how your points relate to the overall theme or argument of your essay.

Each paragraph should have a single purpose, and make sure that all sentences within each paragraph work together to support that purpose.

Use literary analysis

When writing your commentary you can draw on elements like tone, imagery, diction, and syntax to make your argument more persuasive and compelling for readers. This will also help them better understand what you’re trying to communicate in your essay.

By incorporating these strategies into your essay writing process, you can create powerful commentary that effectively supports your argument and engages readers with meaningful insight into the text or topic at hand. With these tips in mind, let’s look at how to use quotations and examples in commentary to further enrich our arguments!

The Use Of Quotations And Examples In Commentary

Now that we’ve discussed strategies for writing powerful commentary in essays, let’s explore the use of quotations and examples when constructing these sentences.

Quotations and examples are essential for making strong commentary sentences that support an argument or analysis. When used correctly, they can be a great way to illustrate a point and add interest and texture to your argument.

When including a quotation in your commentary, it is important to make sure it is properly attributed. You should include both the author’s name and the source from which the quote was taken. This not only strengthens your argument by adding credibility, but it also shows you have done your research.

Examples are also effective for proving a point or introducing a new concept. They help to break up longer paragraphs, explain difficult concepts in more detail, and provide evidence or substantiation for an idea or opinion. When using examples in commentary sentences, it is important that they are relevant to the topic at hand and accurately represent what you are attempting to say in your essay.

With this information in mind, let’s move on to examining types of commentary in essays; comprehending the contrasts.

Types Of Commentary In Essays: Comprehending The Contrasts

As a student writing a commentary essay, it is important to understand the differences between analyzing, summarizing, and evaluating. To help comprehend these contrasts, let’s take a look at four main points:

1.      Analyzing – Looking closely at something and breaking it down into smaller parts to better understand it.

2.      Summarizing – Taking the information from a larger group of data and boiling it down into its key elements.

3.      Relating – Exploring how two or more ideas are connected and how they affect each other.

4.      Evaluating – Examining different aspects of an issue or argument and determining its worth or value by expressing an opinion about it.

Using these four points as a framework for writing your commentary essays can help you to be more effective in your analysis, summary and evaluation of any given topic.

Furthermore, this knowledge will also serve you well when crafting strategies for writing literary essays that contain thoughtful commentary elements.

With this in mind, let us now turn our attention to creating such strategies…

Strategies For Writing Commentary In Literary Essays

Having discussed the differences between types of commentary, let’s now turn to strategies for writing effective commentary in literary essays.

When it comes to providing commentary, it is important to understand that you are making a statement about something; whether it be an interpretation or opinion, you need to make a clear statement.

You should also comment on any phrases or passages that have stood out and explain why they are significant.

It is also important to identify the underlying message of the text. This means going beyond surface-level analysis and delving into the deeper meaning of the work.

To do this, think about what is not being said as much as what is being said.

Make sure your comments add depth to your analysis and provide new insights for your readers.

Finally, take care when constructing your sentences so that your points come across clearly and convincingly.

Writing Commentary For Convincing Essays

I’m sure you’re excited to finally get started on writing your commentary for a convincing essay! It can be intimidating to write about something without knowing what type of essay you’re working on. But if you take the time to read through the assignment and passage, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to write.

When it comes to writing your commentary, try not to worry too much about “sounding smart” or “having all the right answers.” Instead, focus on writing like yourself—in your own voice, with your own ideas. The more authentic and engaging your writing is, the more persuasive it will be to readers.

So don’t be afraid to express yourself—you may just surprise yourself with how creative and interesting your thoughts can be! With that said, let’s move on to creating commentary that supports your thesis statement.

Creating Commentary That Supports Your Thesis Statement

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back now, it’s clear that writing an effective commentary for a convincing essay requires some finesse and insight.

When starting to write, it’s important to have a good understanding of the topic you are discussing and to provide enough context for your audience to understand what you are discussing. Additionally, it helps to have an understanding of opposing viewpoints before you start writing so that you can avoid falling into common traps.

To create commentary that supports your thesis statement effectively, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

1.      Make sure your argument is sound and won’t be easily refuted by an opposing point of view.

2.      Avoid introducing new evidence or topics in your commentary; instead focus on the evidence already presented in the essay body.

3.      Take the time to help explain why certain evidence matters and why readers should care about it.

The goal of commentary is not just to express an opinion but also provide meaningful analysis that will help prove or disprove a point of view. By being mindful of these considerations when writing, it is possible to create effective commentary that will help readers better understand your argument and its implications.

Common Mistakes To Avoid In Commentary Writing

I think one of the biggest mistakes I can make when writing a commentary essay is to overgeneralize my points. It’s important to provide specific examples and evidence to back up my opinion and avoid making sweeping conclusions.

Additionally, when writing a commentary essay, it’s also easy to forget to include evidence to support my argument. Making sure to include evidence will make my piece of writing much more convincing and credible.

Avoiding Overgeneralization

When writing a commentary essay, it’s important to avoid overgeneralizing your topic.

Sure, it may be tempting to make sweeping statements about the issue at hand, but this won’t do justice to your argument.

Instead, try to focus on concrete evidence and facts that back up your opinion.

For example, include statistics or subjective accounts from experts in the field.

This will ensure that you don’t come off as too biased or uninformed in your commentary.

By avoiding overgeneralization and being specific in your evidence, you can present a much more convincing argument and captivate readers with innovation.

Remember: always strive for accuracy when building an argument!

Lack Of Evidence

When it comes to commentary writing, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not having enough evidence to back up their argument. Without any supporting evidence, your argument can easily be dismissed as biased and uninformed.

This is especially true when discussing contentious topics like politics or religion. It’s important to remember that you’re usually assigned a commentary essay for a reason—so make sure you have enough facts and figures to give your readers an informed opinion. Otherwise, you may struggle to convince them of your point of view.

To make sure your argument stands out from the crowd, research extensively and use concrete evidence whenever possible. This will show that you’ve put in the effort and will help ensure a more innovative outcome for your audience.

Tips For Revising And Editing Commentary

Revising and editing your commentary is an important step in writing an essay. It helps to ensure that you are conveying the most accurate and persuasive message.

To do this, it’s important to read through your writing again and summarize any points that you noticed while reading. This will allow you to make sure that each point is clear and concise. As students need to be able to write effectively, it is also important to pay close attention to the language used throughout the essay.

Looking for words that could be replaced with more precise ones or focusing on certain aspects of literature can help bring life to a paper.

It is also essential to check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors before submitting the essay. Making sure all of these elements are correct can help enhance the paper’s overall quality.

Additionally, as you review your work, look for any areas where clarification may be necessary. Taking a second look at what you wrote will help ensure that the reader fully understands all of your points and implications.

By following these tips when revising and editing commentary in an essay, readers can gain a clearer understanding of the author’s intended message.

Examples Of Strong And Poor Commentary In Essays

A necessary part of writing an essay is the commentary. It’s the all-important part that allows for a deeper understanding of what is being written and allows the reader to get a fuller picture of the writer’s thoughts.

Unfortunately, not everyone understands the need to understand commentary. Many writers think they can simply paraphrase their sources without paying attention to how they are using irony or antithesis, missing out on valuable opportunities to add depth and complexity to their work.

Commentary should be used to engage readers in a way that speaks directly to their subconscious desire for innovation. It should be written in a personal tone of voice with contractions and an engaging style that will grab readers’ attention and make them want more.

If done correctly, it can bring new life and insight into an essay, allowing it to stand out from the rest.

Paragraph Construction With Commentary

In this section, I’m going to be talking about paragraph construction with commentary. As part of writing an essay, it is important to think about how you are going to use literary elements and techniques to convey your main idea or argument. I was always taught by my instructor that the way you structure your paragraphs can really make a difference in how effective your message is.

So, let’s take a look at some tips for constructing well-crafted paragraphs that provide an engaging commentary.

First of all, try not to write too long of a sentence as this can lead to confusion for the reader.

Secondly, make sure that each paragraph has one clear point that ties back into the main argument or idea you are trying to convey in your essay.

Finally, use transition words and phrases as needed throughout the essay so that readers can easily follow along with your discussion.

All these steps help ensure that readers understand and appreciate what you have written in your essay. With these tips in mind, let’s move on to discussing transition words and phrases for commentary.

Transition Words And Phrases For Commentary

In the world of higher education, commentary is a powerful tool that can bring literature to life in a way that no other piece can. It’s almost magical how one can take an otherwise mundane poem and turn it into something extraordinary with just a few words. Commentary has the ability to transform isolation into coherence in ways that are simply astounding!

Here is a 4-point list for successful commentary:

1.      Read the text multiple times before writing any comments.

2.      Take notes on what stands out most to you.

3.      Use concrete examples from the text to better illustrate your points.

4.      Be sure to engage with your audience in a way that encourages them to think more deeply about the subject matter at hand.

Commentary is an invaluable skill for anyone looking to make their mark on a piece of literature, so use it wisely and always strive for excellence! With this knowledge, we can now move on to exploring how to write a conclusion with commentary – do’s and don’ts included!

Writing A Conclusion With Commentary: Do’s And Don’ts

Now that you know the transition words and phrases for commentary, it’s time to learn how to write a conclusion with commentary. It can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

One of the most important things to remember is not to rely too heavily on your homework. Spending too much time memorizing facts and figures won’t help you in the long run when it comes to showcasing your opinion. Therefore, try to focus on critical thinking skills instead of wasting time studying for hours on end.

While two sentences are usually enough for a conclusion, make sure that each one packs a punch and is full of insight and analysis. Hone your skills by getting feedback from others so you can refine your writing and develop a style that resonates with any reader.

This can help ensure that your concluding remarks leave an impactful impression on those who read them.

Overall, effective commentary is essential for producing a successful essay.

Writing commentary allows you to demonstrate your understanding and personal thoughts on the topic and can really amplify your argument.

By incorporating examples, quotations, and other evidence into your commentary, you are able to bring life to your writing in a manner that will make it stand out from the crowd.

As an age-old proverb says, “A picture paints a thousand words”; similarly, strong commentary paints an even grander picture of your argument.

With these tips in mind, I look forward to seeing you all write some truly standout essays!

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What Is a Commentary in an Essay | Writing Guide & Examples

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  • Icon Calendar 15 May 2024

When people need to express their thoughts or ideas about something, they need guidelines on how to write a commentary essay. This article begins by defining what is a commentary essay, its meaning, and outlining its basic structure. Some insights students can learn are that introductions should have hooks, background information, and thesis statements. Body paragraphs of a commentary essay should have topic sentences; evidence, mainly quotes; comments after the evidence; and transitions. The conclusion part should restate the thesis and summarize the main ideas. This guideline also gives a sample outline template, possible topics, and a practical example of a commentary essay. Lastly, the article teaches students 10 dos and 10 don’ts and 20 tips for writing a high-standard commentary essay.

How to Write an Outstanding Commentary Essay & Examples

Reading is an academic exercise that develops a person’s mental faculties of intellect, memory, reason, intuition, perception, and imagination. These faculties develop when people utilize what they have acquired through reading to write different types of essays , including reports and research papers. Therefore, reading and writing are related because they both induce intellectual development. This guideline on how to write a commentary in an essay teaches students and anyone passionate about writing how to create a good argumentative position that meets the quality standards for intellectual discourse and publication. The guideline also offers vital insights, including the definition of what is a commentary essay, its basic essay structure, different types, possible essay topics, 10 dos and 10 don’ts, and 20 tips for producing a high-standard essay. Therefore, reading this guideline is beneficial to students and others who may, from time to time, write a commentary in an essay to communicate ideas to specific audiences.

What Is a Commentary in an Essay | Writing Guide & Examples

Definition of What Is a Commentary in an Essay and Its Meaning

From a definition, a commentary is a descriptive account of an event, an expression of opinions about a political, economic, social, or cultural issue, or elucidating a point or topic of public interest. From this perspective, a commentary essay is a document that students write to express opinions about an issue or topic through a descriptive expression and explanation of ideas. In this respect, a commentary essay differs from other types of papers, including an argumentative essay, a personal narrative, a cause and effect essay, compare and contrast essay, or a problem and solution essay, as well as a report and a research paper, because it means expressing the writer’s perspective concerning an issue or topic. Commentaries are products of a critical analysis of societal problems across political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions. When writing a commentary essay, students should analyze and interpret the source under discussion, such as a text, film, article, video, advertisement, event, object, subject, book, poem, speech, presentation, literary work, novel, sculpture, or image, among others, using a basic sandwich rule: giving a commentary after each quote or citation.

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Basic Structure of a Commentary Essay

Like other texts, a commentary paper has a basic essay structure that dictates how writers should organize their content. This structure has three components: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction is where writers introduce their assigned topics using a hook, context, and an argumentative thesis statement. Although this type of commentary essay is not an argumentative essay, an argumentative thesis indicates the writer’s perspective on the issue, which can be contentious in the eyes of readers. The body of a commentary essay is where authors construct a defense of their perspective through body paragraphs; each body paragraph should have a topic sentence that establishes a claim; supporting evidence, like quotes, data, or examples; a commentary that analyzes and explains information cited in an essay; and a concluding sentence with a transition to create a logical connection to the next paragraph. In turn, the conclusion restates the thesis and makes a final remark.

5 Main Types of Commentary

Because a commentary in an essay expresses the writer’s perspective about an issue, idea, or topic, it is evident in the body section of a commentary essay, where people describe their perspectives every time they provide evidence. In this respect, there are different types of commentary. The first one is an opinion essay where writers analyze evidence, such as a quote, text, or image, and state their stands with their critics. The second type of a commentary essay is an interpretation, where authors explain a complex concept to enhance the reader’s understanding. The third type is character or subject’s feelings, where students depict the emotional state of the person they have described in a commentary sentence. The fourth type of commentary essay is a personal reaction, where people communicate their stances on an issue, while the fifth type is an evaluation, where writers evaluate a section and gives a critical judgment.

Alternative Commentary Types and Examples

Besides the types of commentary above, students may write alternative commentary types when their essay is part of a bigger writing project, such as a systematic exposition of an idea, theme, or topic. Students must know the unique features of each type, including when to use it, what to focus on, and how to organize a commentary essay’s content.

1️⃣ Close, Direct Analysis of Passages

An example of an alternative commentary is a close, direct analysis of robust passages from the source, such as an article, film, poem, literary work, book, or novel. In this respect, they are standard in bigger writing projects, like expositions or being part of a critic’s work. Students adopt this type of commentary when they have to read a passage in a text or pick a speech in a movie and write a film analysis essay that expresses the writer’s perspective on the central issues, ideas, or concepts. The following example of a commentary essay demonstrates a close, direct examination of the first stanza of the poem “Night Wind” by Christopher Dewdney:

Tonight the wind blows through

all the worlds I have known and

through all the lives I have led.

The wind blows in the trees,

deeper into each.

The wind blows forever,

strains like something

endlessly departing.

Restless, impatient,

it races without burden.

Example of a Commentary on Celebration of Nature in the First Stanza of Christopher Dewdney’s Poem “Night Wind”

Christopher Dewdney’s 1984 poem “Night Wind” celebrates nature by depicting the night wind as a permanent, free expression of nature. The poet describes the wind on a particular night in the first stanza. By using a first-person perspective in the first three lines, Dewdney depicts himself as an observer. This writing style expresses a personal dialogue in which the poet directly relates his senses, experiences, and impressions. Dewdney opens the poem with the words: “Tonight the wind blows through / all the worlds I have known and / through all the lives I have led.” In this passage, the author expresses to the reader how the unity of the wind in whatever time or place leaves a lasting impression on him. Ideally, he views the wind as an omnipresent force but also regards it as very transient and fleeting. The words “endlessly departing” indicate to the reader the sense that the wind encompasses the entire continuum of the poet’s existence. Nonetheless, it is always in a rush to be at another location. The reader gets the impression that wind is a celebration of nature when Dewdney mentions its interactions with nature: “The wind blows in the trees, deeper into each.” This statement induces an imagination of trees fighting against a pervasive wind. The poet ends the stanza by personifying the wind, and he assigns it human qualities of restlessness, impatience, and playfulness. In this respect, the first stanza uses the wind as a reason to celebrate nature.

2️⃣ Commentary Annotations

Annotations are another type of alternative commentary where writers use a short claim on a source, like a text, film, or image. This kind of commentary essay also looks like an annotated bibliography. Typically, writers adopt annotations when they need to explain complex words, phrases, or concepts to readers; give a historical or cultural context of the topic; support or challenge the author’s arguments in an essay; expose literary devices, like contrast, irony, or sarcasm, or rhetorical devices, like ethos, pathos, and logos; provide a personal interpretation of the text under analysis. Therefore, annotations aim to enhance the reader’s understanding of a short passage from a source. Below are three examples of annotations of complex content in writing a commentary essay for Christopher Dewdney’s Poem “Night Wind.”

3 Examples of a Commentary With Annotations

➖ “The night wind is an empire / in exodus, a deliverance / beside the dark shape of trees.”

This statement is in lines 13-15 of Dewdney’s poem, where the poet alludes to a biblical concept, exodus, to express the wind’s freedom. By stating that the wind is “… in exodus, a deliverance…,” Dewdney makes the reader compare the wind to the incident in the book of Exodus in the Bible where Moses leads the children of Israel, God’s chosen people, to Canaan, the promised land, after freeing a life of bondage in Egypt. In this respect, lines 13-15 confirm that the wind is free and expresses nature’s freedom.

➖ “The wind takes / me in its giddy rush and / gathers me into a storm of longing, / rising on wings of darkness.”

In this statement in lines 18-21, the phrase “wings of darkness” emphasizes the wind’s freedom and mystery. The poet contextualizes the wind as an unpredictable force that can take a person anywhere .

➖ “Along oceans and rivers, / the gale’s mysterious, unspoken imperative / is a joyous delirium with / nothing at its end.”

This passage in lines 36-39 expresses Dewdney’s excitement in not knowing where the wind may take him. It suggests that it does not matter where the wind takes him because he is truly free. In essence, the statement makes the reader imagine the wind as a mystery because it can take one anywhere, emphasizing the theme of freedom.

3️⃣ Data Commentary

Data commentary is another type of alternative essay commentary where writers summarize a study by analyzing critical information that helps readers have a sneak peek of the project. The features students should incorporate in a commentary essay include visual illustrations, like charts, diagrams, graphs, and tables, to capture statistical data, allowing readers to compare them easily. In this respect, data commentary reflects the results section of a research paper because that is where scholars use visual illustrations to report statistical data. Another feature is a conclusion summarizing a commentary essay by reiterating the key points and expressing the writer’s final remark, meaning the main perspective on the topic. Lastly, people must provide a reference page listing credible sources they consulted to write data commentaries, such as reports and research articles. Below is an example of data commentary.

Example of Data Commentary

what's commentary in an essay

Table 3 shows respondents’ responses to statements about the barriers to exercise prescription for people with mental illness. Those who agreed that patients’ mental health denies them the opportunity to exercise was 58%, while those who agreed that obtaining an injury during exercise is a concern was 45%. There was an overwhelming response by 87% of the respondents who agreed that exercise is beneficial and were interested in prescribing it for patients with mental health problems. However, only 13% agreed that prescribing exercise falls outside their job description. Nonetheless, 16% stated that they did not know how to prescribe exercise for the population. Overall, 71% approved that exercise professionals are best suited to prescribe exercise for people in the population.

Possible Uses of Block Quotations for Writing a Good Commentary Essay

When writing a commentary essay, students can use block quotations to organize comments. However, this feature is suitable mainly for extensive passages. In a simple definition, a block quote is a text that captures direct quotations longer than 40 words, which the writer offsets from the main text and does not include quotation marks. The text appears on a new line with a 0.5 inches indentation or five to seven spaces. Using single space for a block quote is standard, even in an essay requiring double spacing. Hence, students must know how to format block quotes in APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian referencing styles when writing a commentary essay.

📕 APA Format

There are two ways in which students can write block quotes in the APA style when organizing their commentary essays.

I. The first block captures the author’s name before the quote:

In their tabulation of results, Vancampfort et al. (2019) showed:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (p. 2178).

“[Your comments on a block quote starts here]”

II. Alternatively, a block quote can have the author’s surname at the end:

According to the findings:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (Vancampfort et al., 2019, p. 2178).

📕 MLA Format

Similarly, the MLA style has two ways of formatting a block quote when organizing commentary essays.

I. Having the surname of the author preceding a block quote in an essay:

The results by Vancampfort et al. indicate:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (2178).

II. Having the author’s surname at the end of the quote:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (Vancampfort et al. 2178).

📕 Harvard Format

The Harvard style also has two ways of formatting a block quote when organizing commentary essays.

I. Indicating the author’s surname before a block quote in an essay:

In their findings, Vancampfort et al. (2019) established that:

II. Citing the author’s surname at the end of a block quote:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (Vancampfort et al. 2019, p. 2178).

📕 Chicago/Turabian Format

The Chicago/Turabian style also has two ways of formatting a block quote when organizing commentary essays.

I. Mentioning the author’s surname before a block quote in an essay:

According to Vancampfort et al.:

Almost 75% of the respondents indicated that they would “definitely” attend further training for exercise prescriptions for people with mental illness, in particular, related to how to assess patients and how to motivate them towards an active lifestyle. More than seventy percent of the participants also reported that exercise to people with mental illness is actually best delivered by an exercise professional, although only one respondent referred patients to such an exercise professional (this passage must be formatted as a footnote). 1

II. Showing the author’s surname in a footnote:

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Key Features of Formatting Block Quotes When Writing a Commentary Essay

Looking at the examples of writing a commentary in an essay above, there are some similarities and differences in formatting block quotes. APA and Harvard are similar because they show the research article’s publication year and the page number of the information the writer cites in their commentary essay. The main difference is the arrangement of these details, including the place of putting comas. On the other hand, the MLA and Chicago/Turabian styles are similar in that they do not show the research article’s publication year. The main difference is that the Chicago/Turabian style uses footnotes to show the author(s) and all the bibliography details at the commentary essay’s end. The MLA style shows only the author’s surname and the page number in the text. In turn, people begin writing their commentaries in the following line after a block quote as a standard paragraph in all the formats.

Easy Sample Topics for Writing a Great Commentary Essay

Students should choose easy essay topics when writing a commentary essay to avoid complicating their tasks. Ideally, a specific topic should indicate a particular source document one is commenting on, such as a text, film, or image. The standard practice is that instructors define essay topics or commemorative speech topics students should write about. However, people can choose other themes they are comfortable with if such instructions do not exist for writing a commentary essay. The best approach to choosing an easy topic is to engage with course content and read widely to generate and incubate ideas. When the time for writing a commentary essay comes, one finds it easy to construct arguments fitting the task. The following are possible commentary essay topics because they suggest analyzing and examining a source from the writer’s perspective.

  • In Memory of Amelia Earhart: Sky’s Fearless Lady
  • The Central Themes in Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • “The Great Gatsby” Through Contemporary Lens
  • The Rhetorical Stance in Jessica Grose’s “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier”
  • The Message in Robert Frost’s Poem “The Road Not Taken”
  • Maya Angelou’s Magic in “And Still I Rise”
  • Demystifying Mental Disorders Through the Film “Black Swan (2010)”
  • The Essence of Margaret Atwood’s “Negotiating With the Dead: A Writer on Writing”

Sample Outline Template for Writing a Commentary Essay

  • Title of a commentary essay must be precise to an assigned topic.
  • Title must be short, clear, and easily understandable.
  • Title must be interesting, catchy, and with relevant keywords.

I. Introduction Section of a Commentary Essay

  • Essay introduction must have a hook that interests readers enough to grab their attention and stirs a curiosity to continue reading.
  • Introduction must refer to a specific source (text, film, or image) and its author(s).
  • Introduction must summarize an assigned source that includes the main characters (if any), themes, or concepts.
  • Introduction must have a clear thesis statement that states the writer’s claim.

II. Body Section of a Commentary Essay

Body paragraphs (at least three):

  • Each body paragraph of a commentary essay must have a topic sentence that emphasizes a single idea central to the main claim in the thesis statement that the writer will defend in the paragraph.
  • Each body paragraph must include evidence from a source under analysis, such as a quote, indicating the character responsible and the context.
  • Each body paragraph must give a commentary about the evidence through relevant analysis, linking the information to the idea at the beginning of the paragraph and the claim in the thesis.
  • Each body paragraph must end with a closing statement and a bridge sentence to facilitate a logical flow to the next paragraph or section.

III. Conclusion Section of a Commentary Essay

Sum up a commentary essay by:

  • Restating the thesis.
  • Emphasizing the main ideas of a commentary essay.
  • Giving a final remark that confirms the importance of the essay topic.

Example of a Commentary Essay

Commentary Essay’s Title: The Rhetorical Stance in Jessica Grose’s “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier”

I. Example of an Introduction of a Commentary Essay

A woman never rests, not with society constantly demanding her value at every turn. This idea is the message in Jessica Grose’s famous article, “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier.” The author argues that cleaning remains a feature of women’s value in society, despite men’s growing involvement in childcare and cooking. The article also opens with personal accounts and convincing facts, suggesting its credibility as a source of information about the dynamics confronting American women. In her article, Grose communicates her message effectively by adopting a rhetorical stance characterized by emotional appeals.

II. Example of Body Paragraphs of a Commentary Essay

A. commentary on the main idea of the article.

Grose opens the article with a personal story of her and her husband cleaning their house after Hurricane Sandy forced them indoors. She uses the uneven distribution of the cleaning task in her marriage to point out the larger feminist issue of who between a husband and wife should do the job. The article gives three reasons why men shy away from the cleaning task, including the fact that it is women who receive praise for a clean house, the media focuses on men’s growing involvement in childcare and cooking, and it is not fun. According to Grose, even distribution of the cleaning task can happen by creating a task chart that shows who does what on the basis of skill and ability and adopting cleaning gadgets to make cleaning more fun.

Throughout the article, Grose uses sources to appeal to the readers’ ethos and build her argument. Some of the sources she uses to achieve these goals include a study by sociologists Judith Treas and Tsui-o Tai and an article by Matthew Krehbiel, North America Fabric Care Brand Manager for P&G. Citing these sources helps the author to build her credibility in the eyes of readers.

Regarding appeals to logos, Grose mentions statistics and interesting facts that help to enhance the logical progression of ideas central to her argument. To emphasize the uneven distribution of the cleaning task, she says, “My husband and I both work…I do the dishes nine times out of ten, and he barely knows how the washer and dryer work.” Such facts confirm and support the idea that women do more household chores than men. She also cites statistics, showing “55 percent of mothers working full-time in America do some housework daily compared to 18 percent of fathers.” In this respect, the article is factual about the uneven distribution of household chores that disadvantages women. As a result, the personal details and statistics from credible sources help Grose to impress upon the reader how society uses the domestic environment to subjugate women.

The article appeals to the readers’ pathos in the beginning and middle sections, where Grose uses emotionally-charged words and phrases to induce the audience’s sympathy. For example, Grose laments that, while she “was eight months pregnant,” her husband experienced the complexity of fighting “a massively pregnant person.” These words evoke an image in the readers’ mind that portrays women as vulnerable in the domestic space because of natural factors, like high emotions and pregnancy. Indeed, readers may feel sympathetic to Grose and the women who generally live in this social context. Moreover, using words and phrases, like ‘argued,’ ‘sucks,’ ‘be shunned,’ ‘be judged,’ and ‘headachey,’ evokes readers’ negative feelings about cleaning. As such, they are more drawn to sympathize with men and view men as selfish.

III. Example of a Conclusion of a Commentary Essay

Grose takes a rhetorical stand throughout the article to persuade her audience of the unfair distribution of cleaning labor in the domestic space. By referencing credible sources, citing statistics and interesting facts, and portraying women as adversely disadvantaged, Grose effectively appeals to the readers’ ethos, logos, and pathos. This rhetorical stand is critical in communicating how society remains unfair to women in the domestic space despite men’s growing involvement in some household chores like childcare and cooking.

4 Easy Steps for Writing a Commentary Essay

Writing a commentary essay is a technical process that requires students to grasp essential details. For example, these details reflect 4 writing steps: preparation, stage setup, writing a first draft, and wrap-up. Typically, each step’s details of writing a commentary essay reflect the wisdom writers should exhibit when creating any scholarly text.

Step 1: Preparation

Preparation is the first step of writing a commentary essay. As the name suggests, it is when writers take time to create a favorable environment to write their papers. The first task is identifying a single source, where students should select good sources they can analyze easily, including poems, novels, or films. The second task is to create a topic, where students must write short topics that communicate a precise message of a commentary essay.

Step 2: Stage Setup

Setting the stage is the second step of writing a commentary essay. The first task is to read, watch, or examine an assigned source to identify key themes and ideas. The second activity is to research reliable sources that help to generate ideas that align with these themes and concepts. The next task is to create a clear essay outline emphasizing the introduction, body, and conclusion with all the essential details.

Step 3: Writing a First Draft of a Commentary Essay

Writing a first draft is the third step in creating a commentary essay, and the focus is generating a paper that can be used for further editing and improvement. As such, students should organize their ideas into text, emphasizing the claim in the thesis statement, ideas in the topic sentences, evidence (quotes), and transitions in the body paragraphs. Students should also ensure the conclusion restates the thesis, summarizes the main ideas of a commentary essay, and gives a final remark about their commentaries, focusing on an assigned source and topic.

Step 4: Wrap-Up

The wrap-up is the last step in writing a commentary essay. The main focus is transforming a first draft into a final text by eliminating all mistakes and flaws. Typically, students should revise all sections that do not make sense to a central claim or those that affect the paper’s logical progression. They should also edit a commentary essay by adding or deleting words and phrases and eliminating grammatical mistakes, missing punctuation, formatting errors, and incorrect citations.

20 Tips for Writing a Commentary Essay

Looking at the information in the preceding sections, writing a great commentary essay is a complex task that requires students to demonstrate knowledge of what it takes to create a quality paper. Some of the tips for writing a commentary essay include identifying a single source, which can be a text, film, or image; noting the source’s basic information, like the author, title, and publication date; identifying the central themes in the source; writing an introduction that emphasizes the source’s basic information; creating a thesis that communicates a claim about the source; adopting the unique structure as above; beginning paragraphs with a topic sentence; incorporating quotes from the source into body paragraphs; commenting on the quotes and their significance; and concluding a commentary essay with a summary that makes a final remark about a single source and topic.

10 things to do when writing a commentary essay include:

  • identifying a source for writing a commentary essay;
  • reading, watching, or analyzing an assigned source carefully and closely;
  • outlining critical details, like themes, ideas, and literary devices;
  • writing an introduction with a hook and an argumentative thesis statement;
  • providing body paragraphs with topic sentences, concluding sentences, quotes, commentary, and transitions;
  • maintaining a formal tone in a commentary essay;
  • using the applicable format (APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago/Turabian) correctly;
  • presenting an introduction that summarizes a commentary essay;
  • avoiding grammatical mistakes;
  • proofreading a final version of a commentary essay.

10 things not to do include:

  • failing to document the source’s essential details, like the author’s name and surname;
  • concentrating on the introduction more than the body;
  • not incorporating quotes in body paragraphs;
  • focusing on too many ideas in a commentary essay;
  • not defending the claim in the thesis;
  • ignoring a unique outline of a commentary essay;
  • writing with too many grammatical mistakes;
  • using different formatting styles (APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian);
  • not implementing transitions in body paragraphs;
  • creating a commentary essay without a logical flow of ideas and thoughts.

Summing Up on How to Write a Perfect Commentary Essay

  • Choose a single source that is simple to analyze.
  • Create a clear thesis that emphasizes the focus of a commentary essay, such as a claim.
  • Identify passages or themes in an assigned source that help to build an argumentative claim.
  • Use an introduction paragraph for its purpose: to introduce a specific topic. As such, it should be short and precise.
  • Use a body section for its purpose: to analyze a particular source and defend a central claim comprehensively. Therefore, it should be long and have quotes as evidence.
  • Use a conclusion part to summarize a commentary essay, and it should be concise. More importantly, it should leave readers with a lasting impression of a defined source and topic.

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How to Write a Commentary

Last Updated: May 19, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Richard Perkins . Richard Perkins is a Writing Coach, Academic English Coordinator, and the Founder of PLC Learning Center. With over 24 years of education experience, he gives teachers tools to teach writing to students and works with elementary to university level students to become proficient, confident writers. Richard is a fellow at the National Writing Project. As a teacher leader and consultant at California State University Long Beach's Global Education Project, Mr. Perkins creates and presents teacher workshops that integrate the U.N.'s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the K-12 curriculum. He holds a BA in Communications and TV from The University of Southern California and an MEd from California State University Dominguez Hills. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 678,505 times.

At some point in your life, you'll probably have to write a commentary. Whether you're a teacher, editor, student, or amateur critic, knowing how to constructively analyze someone's work is a useful skill. There isn't a magical formula for writing a commentary. The commentary you write depends upon what you're reviewing, why you're giving feedback, and what you think about the work. No matter what you’re working on, having a clear goal and strong writing will help make your commentary successful.

Writing a Literary Commentary

Step 1 Define your thesis.

  • Your thesis is your argument or your point of view. This is where you take a stance, and spend the rest of the essay supporting your thesis.
  • Maybe you are writing a commentary on Great Expectations . Your thesis could be, “Not only is Dickens’ tale engaging, it is also an insightful commentary on the differences between social classes in industrial Britain.”

Richard Perkins

  • You might write at the top of your outline, “Important Themes in Great Expectations”. You could then make bullet points such as “Setting”, “Ambition”, “Class”, etc.

Step 3 Introduce your topic.

  • You might start by saying, “ Great Expectations is full of imagery that makes the reader feel as if they are in 19th century England with Pip. Dickens’ novel about class, ambition, and love sheds important light on the social divides of the time.”
  • You could then list the themes that you will discuss in the body of your commentary.

Step 4 Use specific examples to support your thesis.

  • An excellent specific example to illustrate this theme is pointing out that the character remains in her wedding dress, despite being jilted decades before.

Step 5 Connect your examples back to the theme.

  • You might write something like, “Miss Havisham is an example of the theme that love can sometimes go terribly wrong. This is also an important theme when examining the relationship between Pip and Estella.”
  • Make sure to use smooth transitions. When you move to a new example, use a good transition word or phrase. Some examples are “similarly”, “conversely”, and “again”.

Step 6 Write a strong conclusion.

  • In your commentary on Great Expectations , you would want to make sure that you emphasize your summary again: this is a good example of class divisions and how ambition is not always the best quality.
  • You might also choose to compare it to another book from the same period to illustrate why the work by Dickens is significant. However, you generally shouldn’t introduce new information in your conclusion.

Creating Data Commentary

Step 1 Understand the guidelines.

  • You might also be asked by your boss or teacher to write a data commentary. Make sure to ask about their expectations, such as length.

Step 2 Present your summary.

  • For example, if the research is about the graduation rate in the Chicago Public Schools, you need to explain the numbers and illustrate why the results are important.

Step 3 Emphasize key points.

  • You might say something like, “As shown in Figure 1.2, the costs of healthcare have risen at a steady rate since 2000.”

Step 4 Provide a conclusion.

  • As in the rest of your data commentary, your conclusion should refer to specific pieces of data.

Step 5 Include your resources.

  • You should include a specific section for resources at the end of your data commentary.
  • Any time you cite numbers or a quote, make sure to provide a reference.

Commentary Outlines

what's commentary in an essay

Expert Q&A

Richard Perkins

  • If you are writing a commentary for a class, make sure to carefully follow the instructions. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure to carefully edit and polish your writing. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

what's commentary in an essay

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  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
  • ↑ Richard Perkins. Writing Coach & Academic English Coordinator. Expert Interview. 1 September 2021.
  • ↑ http://www.udc.edu/docs/asc/Outline_Structure_for_Literary_Analysis_Essay_HATMAT.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.germanna.edu/wp-content/uploads/tutoring/handouts/Literary-Analysis.pdf
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/writing-data-commentary/
  • ↑ https://ebooks.hslu.ch/academicwriting/chapter/4-5-results/
  • ↑ https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/intranet/undergraduate/skills/commesswriting/commentarywriting/
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789530/

About This Article

Richard Perkins

To write a commentary, write about your observations and analysis of the text you read. You should craft a clear and specific thesis statement about the novel, poem, or play you are evaluating. Your thesis statement should explain your stance or argument about the text. Use this thesis statement to build a brief outline of your commentary and then choose specific details from the text to support your argument. Then, add an introduction to give your reader some context for the themes you will discuss. For tips from our Education reviewer on how to write a data commentary, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Commentary Essay Example, Writing Guide, and Tips

what's commentary in an essay

Introduction

Welcome to The Knowledge Nest, your go-to resource for all things related to commentary essay writing. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of crafting an impactful commentary essay, providing useful examples and valuable tips to help you enhance your writing skills.

What is a Commentary Essay?

A commentary essay is a type of academic writing that aims to analyze and provide an in-depth interpretation of a particular text or topic. It offers a critical examination and evaluation of the subject matter, exploring various perspectives and providing evidence-based arguments to support the author's viewpoint.

Why Write a Commentary Essay?

Writing a commentary essay allows you to develop critical thinking skills, enhance your analytical abilities, and strengthen your written communication. It provides a platform to express your ideas and opinions, engage with different viewpoints, and present a well-rounded analysis of the chosen subject matter.

Key Components of a Commentary Essay

1. Introduction: Begin your essay with a captivating introduction that presents the topic and provides context for the reader.

2. Thesis Statement: Craft a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument or perspective.

3. Body Paragraphs: Develop your analysis in well-structured body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific point or theme. Use relevant evidence, examples, and expert opinions to support your claims.

4. Counterarguments: Address potential counterarguments or alternative viewpoints and offer thoughtful rebuttals to strengthen your position.

5. Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your essay and reiterate your thesis statement, leaving the reader with a lasting impression.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Commentary Essay

Step 1: choose a relevant topic.

Select a topic that aligns with your interests and falls within the scope of your assignment or academic requirements. Consider the relevance and significance of the subject matter to engage your readers.

Step 2: Conduct Extensive Research

Gather information from credible sources such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and scholarly articles. Engage with different perspectives and take diligent notes to support your analysis.

Step 3: Outline Your Essay

Create a clear and well-structured outline that outlines the main points, arguments, and supporting evidence you will present in your essay. A well-organized outline ensures a cohesive and logical flow of ideas.

Step 4: Craft an Engaging Introduction

In your introduction, provide a brief overview of the topic and its significance. Hook the reader's attention with an intriguing opening sentence or a thought-provoking question.

Step 5: Develop Your Arguments in the Body Paragraphs

Divide your essay into distinct body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific point or theme. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that establishes the main idea, and support it with relevant evidence, examples, and analysis.

Step 6: Address Counterarguments

Acknowledge alternative viewpoints and counterarguments to demonstrate your awareness of different perspectives. Articulate thoughtful rebuttals that strengthen your arguments and distinguish your viewpoint.

Step 7: Conclude with Impact

In your conclusion, summarize the main points of your essay and restate your thesis statement. Leave the reader with a compelling closing thought or call-to-action that invites further reflection or discussion on the topic.

Commentary Essay Example

To provide you with a better understanding, let's consider an example of a commentary essay on the topic of climate change:

Introduction:

Climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing global issues of our time. This commentary essay aims to analyze the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to address this environmental crisis.

Body Paragraph 1: The Causes of Climate Change

The first body paragraph delves into the primary causes of climate change, such as greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and industrialization. It explores how human activities have contributed to the accelerated pace of global warming.

Body Paragraph 2: The Impacts of Climate Change

In the second body paragraph, we examine the far-reaching impacts of climate change on ecosystems, weather patterns, and human livelihoods. We explore the devastating consequences of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the loss of biodiversity.

Body Paragraph 3: Potential Solutions to Climate Change

The third body paragraph focuses on potential solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It explores renewable energy sources, sustainable agricultural practices, and international collaboration as key strategies to combat this global crisis.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the commentary essay emphasizes the urgent need for collective action to address climate change. By understanding its causes, impacts, and potential solutions, we can work towards a sustainable future for generations to come.

Writing a commentary essay enables you to dive deep into a specific topic, critically analyze it, and articulate your thoughts effectively. By following our comprehensive guide and utilizing the provided tips, you will be well-equipped to create impactful commentary essays and improve your writing skills.

Enhance Your Writing Skills with The Knowledge Nest

At The Knowledge Nest, we are committed to providing valuable resources and expert guidance to help you excel in your academic and professional pursuits. Explore our wide range of articles, guides, and examples to enhance your writing skills and expand your knowledge across various disciplines.

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Writing a literary commentary: guidelines, what is a commentary.

  • First and foremost, a literary commentary is NOT an essay. The passage in front of you is not, therefore, an invitation to write a general essay about the work from which it has been taken.
  • A commentary is an analysis of the given passage, its function and its characteristics. It should examine the key themes and stylistic devices of the passage, showing how the language works to convey (or at times undermine) its content.
  • A commentary should relate the passage to the rest of the work (novel, collection of poems, etc.), but remain focused in the main on the details of the passage itself.
  • Make sure that your commentary covers the whole passage. For instance, if you are given a poem with five stanzas, you should try to say something about each stanza.
  • Use line numbers (in both poetry and prose) in your commentary, rather than wasting time by quoting at length.
  • When you do quote, make sure that your comments don't simply repeat what the quotation already says: 'In the line "Il pleut dehors", the poet tells us that it is raining outside ...'
  • Avoid verbosity or inaccurate terminology. Clarity and precision are top priorities, and polysyllabic words do not improve a commentary.
  • Don't use words like 'effective', 'atmospheric', or 'beautiful' unless you are also explaining what the effect, atmosphere or beauty of the passage are, and how they are achieved. 

How should I write my commentary?

There are no fixed rules for writing a commentary, but a general structure will be suggested. You should always PLAN your commentary before you start writing it, following these guidelines where appropriate.

1 Introduction

  • Put the passage into context , and summarise its arguments briefly (in a few sentences): do not spend too much time discussing matters outside of the passage.
  • You should assume that your reader has read the work from which the passage has been taken.
  • You may want to point out the passage's most important thematic and structural aspects in your introduction.
  • Introduce the main themes and structural aspects of the passage.
  • What kind of passage is it (description/dialogue/free indirect speech), and what is its function (in the rest of the work)?
  • What is its overall structure (repetitious/circuIar/leitmotifs/develops to a climax)?
  • What is the narrative point of view (first-person/third-person/omniscient or not)?
  • What are the register (high/low) and tone (comic/surreal) of the passage?

3 Detailed Analysis

This is the most substantial part of the commentary. It should not be simple description or paraphrase, but an analysis of how the language of the passage functions. The following are aspects of the text that you should look for:

  • Sentence structure
  • Tense usage
  • Word order (balance or lack thereof, harmony, repetition, parallels)
  • Figurative language (imagery, metaphors, similes, symbolism, allegory, personification, myth, antithesis, irony, paradox)
  • Characterisation (or lack thereof)
  • Narrative technique/point of view (first/third person, limited point of view, stream of consciousness)
  • Punctuation
  • Alliteration, assonance, rhyme (poetry and prose)

Remember that no text is likely to have instances of all of these elements, and that it is best to concentrate on those that are most relevant to the passage in question. Also, you should avoid simply commenting on the appearance of a particular technique: make sure you say why this is worth noticing. Ideally, your comments should cohere to explain how the various linguistic devices combine to produce the overall effect intended by the author.

4 Conclusion

  • Summarise your findings, drawing together the different aspects of the text that you have discussed in your commentary.
  • Assess briefly the achievements and significance of the passage, both in itself and in relation to the work from which it is taken.

  Some useful aids to commentary-writing  

  • Nurse, P. (ed.), The Art of Criticism: Essays in French Literary Analysis (Edinburgh, 1969) (sample commentaries of French literary texts)  
  • Biard, J. D., Lexique pour I 'explication de texte (Exeter, 1980)  
  • Benac, H., Vocabulaire de la dissertation (Paris, 1949)

  (Binac and Biard provide lists of technical terms used in close analysis of a literary text in French, and give explanations and examples of usage)  

pep

Find what you need to study

5.1 Developing commentary throughout paragraphs

2 min read • january 29, 2023

Hayley Potter

Hayley Potter

What is commentary?

Commentary is your own interpretation of a passage. What ideas does this passage put in your mind? What does it remind you of? What did you find interesting? This is all commentary .

Commentary proves how the evidence in your essay proves your amazing thesis . Evidence is super duper important, but what is critical to your RA essay is commentary . Without commentary your essay lacks personality and lacks your line of reasoning (check out guide 5.0). Evidence answers the what? And commentary answers the how and why. All critical to your RA essay. 

Commentary depends on the rhetorical situation . The rhetorical situation : the writer or speaker , the audience, the context, the exigence (unit 4), the purpose , and the argument . You need the rhetorical situation because this is what your commentary is on. 

Awesome RA verbs for your essay:

Awesome commentary words: 

Commentary is best when you know the right questions to ask. This is where those amazing analyzing skills come out to play. Use them well and be a detective to figure out what the questions are. This will help you create commentary about the rhetoric you are analyzing.

Some Commentary Starters!

Author The author reveals/shows/presents/emphasizes/suggests... The author wants the reader to understand...

Character/Conflict The character makes this decision/says this quote because... At this point in the story, the character is realizing... When the character makes this choice we see that... In making this choice the story changes in this way...

The point of this conversation is... This passage/quote is effective beause This event in the novel shows/proves/explains… Because of this… This quote/passage adds to the reader’s appreciation of the story/poem because...

Analysis This reveals... This shows... This demonstrates...

Key Terms to Review ( 8 )

Rhetorical Situation

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How to Write Commentary Essay – What is a Commentary in Essay Writing

how to write commentary essay

how to write commentary essay

Ever find yourself grappling with thoughts that beg to be shared? Commentary essays, ever elusive yet magnetic, unlock the gateway to expression. Have you ever yearned to dissect an idea—dissect it with surgical precision?

In this narrative landscape, I guide you through the intricate threads of commentary—essays that serve as vessels for personal reflection and analysis.

With a mere glance, we will define the essence, unearth the profound purposes, and unveil the diverse forms of commentary essays.

what's commentary in an essay

Join me in cracking the art of commentary, where every word is a stroke of thoughtful reflection.

How to Choose a Topic for a Commentary Essay

Choosing a captivating topic for a commentary essay is akin to selecting the perfect melody. It begins with identifying engaging themes that resonate personally.

What ignites curiosity or sparks passion?

Delving into personal interests ensures a genuine connection, fostering authenticity in your commentary. However, it’s not a solo journey; research plays a crucial role.

Explore and narrow down ideas through in-depth investigations, seeking intersections between personal resonance and broader relevance.

The sweet spot lies where passion aligns with significance. This intricate dance between personal connection and broader appeal ensures a topic that not only captivates but also invites readers into the discourse.

How to Write a Commentary Essay

1. choose a good topic.

choosing a topic

Selecting a captivating topic is the inaugural dance in the journey of crafting a commentary essay. The process of cherry-picking the right subject is akin to a curator choosing artwork for an exhibition.

In this journey, I explore my interests and passions, seeking resonance between the chosen theme and my personal experiences.

The topic becomes a canvas, inviting me to weave my narrative, thoughts, and insights into a tapestry of reflection.

It is not just about selecting a subject; it’s about finding a companion for a meaningful conversation.

Thus, the journey of a commentary essay begins with the profound act of choosing a topic that whispers to my curiosity and beckons exploration.

2. Conduct Thorough Research

My compass always directs me to reliable sources , be they scholarly articles, books, or credible websites.

Navigating through diverse perspectives, I become an explorer of ideas, understanding the nuances that shape the discourse.

Armed with a discerning eye, I gather a treasure trove of information, taking meticulous notes like a cartographer mapping uncharted territories.

This research journey is not just about accumulating data; it’s a quest for understanding, a preparatory expedition before I embark on crafting my commentary essay with depth and insight.

3. Craft a Compelling Introduction

I opt for the dramatic flair of anecdotes or stories, inviting readers into the narrative fold.

Within this theatrical framework, I introduce the chosen topic, carefully crafting the context in which it thrives.

As the spotlight intensifies, I unveil the essay’s purpose, signaling the thematic overture that will unfold.

Also, this introduction, akin to an opening act, aims to engage and captivate, preparing the audience for the insightful commentary that awaits in the ensuing scenes of my written performance.

4. Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

In a commentary essay, the thesis statement serves as the conductor, directing the harmonious interplay of ideas.

defining thesis statement

I compose a thesis that resonates with clarity, enunciating my argument or perspective with precision.

Each note within this statement focuses sharply on the specific points I intend to unfold, creating a nuanced melody of discussion.

I embrace controversy, infusing my thesis with a thought-provoking essence akin to a musical chord that resonates in the minds of my readers.

Generally, this orchestrated thesis becomes the guiding refrain, leading the essay forward with an assured and melodic cadence.

5. Create a Well-Structured Body Paragraphs

Within the tapestry of my commentary essay, I weave a structured narrative through well-crafted body paragraphs.

Each paragraph is a carefully orchestrated movement, organized with a logical flow that allows ideas to crescendo seamlessly.

Transitions act as musical notes, creating a harmonious journey between paragraphs. Evidence, like a powerful chord, resounds through relevant quotes and data.

My commentary interprets this evidence, breathing life into the composition. Every paragraph is a masterful stroke, connecting back to the thesis statement with the finesse of a skilled composer, ensuring the entire essay resonates with coherence and depth.

6. Write a Compelling Conclusion

In my commentary essay, the conclusion emerges as a resonant crescendo, summarizing the keynotes that echo through the preceding movements.

I deftly restate the thesis in varied tones, allowing its essence to linger in the minds of my readers.

With a final chord, I provide closure, leaving a lasting impact akin to the lingering resonance of a powerful musical finale.

Finally, this conclusion isn’t merely an end.  It is a grand finale that ensures the composition of my commentary essay echoes in the minds of those who have been part of this literary performance.

7. Refine and polish your Commentary Essay

proofreading an essay

In the refining process, I revise and proofread my commentary essay, polishing each sentence to a gleaming sheen.

Seeking constructive feedback becomes my compass, guiding me through the intricate labyrinth of improvements.

With a discerning eye, I ensure clarity, coherence, and consistency throughout the essay.

Tips when Writing a Good Commentary Essay

Mastering the art of analysis.

When crafting a compelling commentary essay, mastering the art of analysis becomes my guiding light.

I cultivate critical thinking skills by delving into the intricate layers of interpretation. Rather than merely summarizing, I pivot towards emphasizing analysis, probing the profound “why” behind each elucidation.

I use this approach to transform my commentary essay into a thought-provoking exploration, inviting readers to journey beyond the surface.

After infusing depth and nuance into my analysis, I not only unravel the intricacies of the subject matter but also beckon readers into the realm of contemplation.

Effective Use of Evidence and Examples

The crux of crafting a compelling commentary essay lies in the effective use of evidence and examples.

I navigate the selection of appropriate evidence, ensuring its relevance and resonance with my thesis.

Distinguishing between various types of evidence, I strategically deploy statistics, anecdotes, or expert opinions to fortify my arguments.

Crucially, each piece of evidence serves as a beacon, guiding readers back to the luminous core of my thesis.

Such orchestration not only bolsters the credibility of my discourse but also weaves a seamless tapestry of persuasion, compelling readers to traverse the intellectual terrain I’ve artfully laid out.

Polishing Your Writing Style

With a discerning eye, I wield clear and concise language, ensuring each word contributes meaningfully to the narrative.

I harmonize sentence structures and lengths, orchestrating a symphony of eloquence. My pen becomes a precision tool, excising redundancy and wordiness, leaving a distilled essence that resonates with clarity.

Also, this stylistic finesse not only heightens the essay’s readability but also casts a spell, captivating readers through the sheer artistry of expression.

It is in these subtle nuances that the true mastery of a commentary essay emerges.

How to Structure a Commentary Essay

Structuring a commentary essay is an art that begins with a captivating opening, ensuring a clear and concise thesis statement. The body paragraphs organize ideas, employing topic sentences as guides and incorporating diverse evidence. Let me expound on this.

1. Introduction

the introduction

I begin a commentary essay with an artful introduction. I invite readers into a captivating opening, setting the stage for a thoughtful exploration. This entry point beckons them to delve into the discourse, establishing the groundwork for an engaging and insightful journey.

2. Thesis Statement

Crafting a commentary essay hinges on a thesis statement that stands as a beacon of clarity and conciseness.

It is a pivotal sentence that outlines the primary argument, acting as the compass guiding readers through the intricate landscape of the discussion.

Its clarity serves as a roadmap, ensuring that the ensuing exploration remains focused and purposeful.

3. Body Paragraphs

Within the body paragraphs, my essay has a masterpiece of ideas, each movement meticulously crafted to contribute to the overall harmony.

Each paragraph opens with a topic sentence, a conductor setting the tone and direction for the ensuing discussion.

Supporting evidence, ranging from concrete facts to illustrative examples and authoritative quotes, fortifies these ideas.

The real magic, however, lies in the nuanced analysis and interpretation, where I dissect the significance, explaining the relevance of each piece in the grand tapestry of my commentary.

Mostly, this meticulous organization ensures a compelling and cohesive narrative.

4. Conclusion

As I draw the curtain on my commentary essay, I emphasize the significance of the main points. The journey through this analysis has illuminated diverse perspectives, making it evident that my thesis holds weight.

The interplay of evidence and interpretation underscores the relevance of the discussed topic.

In weaving together the fabric of my argument, I’ve reinforced the core ideas, leaving an indelible impression on the reader.

Generally, this process of exploration and articulation has not only broadened my understanding but also imparted a sense of conviction in the efficacy of my perspective.

As I bid farewell to this discourse, I carry forward the intellectual growth fostered by the analytical journey undertaken.

Josh Jasen working

Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Full How-to Guide for an Exceptional Commentary Essay

what's commentary in an essay

If you’ve arrived on this page, you probably have a commentary essay due. It can seem like a daunting task, but fear not, as it’s not as complicated as it might seem. We’re used to providing commentary in our day-to-day life, be it about a piece of news or gossip you’ve just heard, a sports event, or even an update from a family member, so your task is only to take that habit and put it into a more formal form of commentary in writing. So, whether you are struggling to pick the right topic or just need some tips on how to go about developing your writing skills, our informative guide will help you with any and all of the points!

What is a Commentary in Writing: Unlocking the Mystery

Let’s get the most important definition out of the way, that is what does commentary mean in writing.

It’s a genre of writing that analyzes and interprets ideas, trends, and events to find different meanings and patterns in them. When writing commentary, you shouldn’t simply do a general overview, but find a way for your reader to make sense of the topic you are covering. You should also try to find a unique viewpoint on things, so your reader can discover the causes and consequences of a specific issue you are covering and in turn make their own judgments about them.

What is a Commentary Essay in a Nutshell

A simple commentary essay definition is that it’s a paper where you provide your opinion on a specific subject. It can be done as a response to another piece of writing like a book, article, or blog post, or you can choose an issue you want to cover and do a commentary essay about it. It goes without saying that you will need to do your research, no matter the topic of your paper, and provide your own take on the situation, using solid evidence and example to support your point. That is exactly why professors love to assign this task to their students, as commentary writing is a great way to show your critical thinking skills, as well as your ability to analyze a subject and provide a unique take on it.

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Commentary Essay Format: Covering the Basics

The commentary essay structure follows the standard formula of the introduction that includes your thesis statement, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. Depending on your word count, you might have more than one body paragraph, plus you’ll need to decide how big they are and how deep you can delve into the subject. Another pretty standard rule is that you need to have at least one respectable source for each page of your commentary essay. With the basics out of the way, here are some tips to get you started on your commentary in an essay writing:

  • Dedicate some time to come up with your thesis statement, so it’s catchy and clear at the same time, while also covering all of the arguments you’ll be making in the main body paragraphs.
  • Delve deep into your subject and offer your reader some food for thought, so that after reading your paper they still want to think about your points and maybe even act on some of them.
  • Try to engage your reader in a conversation and demonstrate your point of view in a way that they can be open to it, even if their opinion on the subject differs from yours.
  • Don’t be shy and state your opinion clearly without trying to be too neutral or objective about the subject.

Commentary Essay Outline and How to Fill it Out

Now that you have a general idea of what your commentary essay should be about and look like, let’s delve into more specific steps of filling out your commentary paper outline:

  • Title.  It should be as short as possible, catchy, and relevant to your topic.
  • Introduction .
  • Hook sentence. Make sure to grab your reader’s attention right away.
  • Author, title, main characters, summary. That’s in case you are doing a commentary essay based on a text. If you are covering an issue, a brief summary of its history and significant points should be there as well.
  • Thesis statement. Help your reader to understand the direction of your essay.
  • Main body paragraph(s).
  • Topic sentence. It should illustrate how you are going to support your thesis.
  • A quote. Depending on the material you are covering it should be from the text you are covering or a reliable source related to the topic you will be discussing.
  • Analysis from the quote. Show how it supports your thesis.
  • Closing sentence. It should wrap up the paragraph nicely, and for the first and second body paragraphs, provide a transition to the next one.
  • Concluding paragraph.  Here you should summarize your main paragraphs, tie that to your thesis statement, possibly extend your argument and reiterate why the topic of your essay is important.

How to Write a Commentary Essay: Tips for Perfection

We’ve covered what a standard commentary essay should look like, but what about how to write a good commentary? Well, we’ve got your back even there!

There is one piece of advice that merits be mentioned outside of the list below. It’s that the driving point of the commentary essay is your unique take on the text or the issue you are covering. Your ideas make the backbone of your paper, so take extra care to formulate them clearly. When conveying your ideas, concentrate on the main thing you want to get across to your reader. Don’t expect them to understand your take from hints, be clear and concise in what you want to say. Now let’s check those steps you’ll need to take for a perfect commentary essay!

  • Make sure that you understand the prompt.  You have to thoroughly get the question or topic of your essay. If you are not sure what’s being asked of you, ask your professor.
  • Do some brainstorming.  Try to come up with different topics for your essay and different angles you can explore in the main body paragraphs. Make sure to jot down any idea you have, no matter how small or fragmented it is. When you’ve picked the main topic or angle, start fleshing it out with examples.
  • Come up with a thesis statement.  It will guide your essay from the introduction to the conclusion, so make sure it’s solid. A clear and specific thesis statement is especially important in a commentary essay, as it will tell your reader what kind of take to expect from your paper.
  • Get to the research.  Even if you are familiar with your subject, you still need reliable sources to help you support the points you’ll argue in your essay. Plus, it’s always better to delve into the subject even deeper to better understand it, so you can produce a coherent and well-informed paper.
  • Flesh out your outline.  Once you have a good idea of the direction you want your essay to go in, start adding to the outline template mentioned above.
  • Edit, proofread, and ask for feedback.  When you finish your final draft, let it sit for a day, if possible, and then reread it to eliminate any mistakes you might have made. Alternatively, ask your friends to read the essay for you and give you feedback on it.

40 Engaging Commentary Topics to Choose From

Choosing the right topic is detrimental to the quality of your commentary essay. Not only it will influence how productive your research and writing process will be, but it will also provide a level of engagement your professor will definitely pick up on when reading your paper. Look through the list of commentary paper topics our writers have put together and see if you find the one you’ve been looking for!

  • Accuracy of understanding other people’s feelings.
  • Novel approaches to public administration in developing countries.
  • The role a leader exerts on a crowd.
  • Factors that contribute to interpersonal attraction.
  • The role of image in compensating for possible physical unattractiveness.
  • Factors that influence successful socialization.
  • Social stereotypes based on ethnicity or age.
  • The role of the modern family as an institution.
  • The concept of personal influence and its significance.
  • The main sources of social conflict in modern society.
  • The role of socialization in different genders.
  • The main factors of social inequality today.
  • The effectiveness of social conflict management and resolution.
  • How to organize social processes for optimal outcomes.
  • The role of moral and ethical standards in modern public office.
  • Sociology of modern youth.
  • The social role of college students in modern society.
  • Understanding suicide as a form of deviant behavior.
  • Subcultures as a means of interpersonal and intercultural communication.
  • The relationship and impact of TV in modern society.
  • The position of the US in the global community.
  • Major areas of innovation in real estate management and development.
  • Unemployment: causes, forms, and regulation methods.
  • Government role in supporting innovation.
  • Innovative governance: objectives, functions, and principles.
  • Perception of significance when selecting people who matter.
  • Competitiveness as a measure of business performance.
  • Classifying cryptocurrency enterprises in modern times.
  • Novel organizational models for innovative enterprises.
  • Methods for generating new business ideas.
  • Process of developing an effective business plan.
  • Methods for evaluating the efficiency of innovations.
  • Discounting as a method of evaluating business efficiency.
  • Financial support for cryptocurrency projects.
  • Creating an effective business plan structure.
  • The intellectual property market and its operation.
  • Comparing venture business in the USA and EU.
  • Innovation marketing: key considerations.
  • The significance of the intellectual property in modern entrepreneurship.
  • Managing the creation and utilization of new cryptocurrency.

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The Role of Commentary in Rhetorical Analysis

Call it what you will—analysis, evaluation, commentary—this piece of rhetorical analysis is OPINION. Evidence is FACT, and commentary is OPINION. (When I’m training students to recognize the difference between the two, we use color coding. You can read more about how I do that here. )

Where students get tripped up is in misunderstanding the actual role of commentary; perhaps they see it as filler or some kind of semi-important text that is loosely associated with nearby evidence. If the latter is the case, they’re in the ballpark, so let’s get those writers into an actual seat. For the purpose of this post, we’ll talk specifically about rhetorical analysis since so many teachers begin with that skill set.

what's commentary in an essay

Commentary’s Jobs in Rhetorical Analysis

Job #1: make connections.

I made this super short video to explain visually what you’ll read below.

WHAT IS COMMENTARY? VIDEO (TWO MINUTES)

Analysis—what we’re calling commentary—is the student’s opinion about the way evidence proves the truth of a topic sentence, which defends the truth of the controlling thesis statement. Here’s how the connecting works. A rhetorical analysis essay has a thesis, which is a controlling idea. All ideas within the essay defend this one. If an idea does not defend this one, it has to go. I call that trimming the fat.

On the front lines of the defense of that thesis are the topic sentences. For a timed essay, we’re probably looking at two or three of those. Each of those topic sentences is a debatable idea that must also be defended. What defends each topic sentence is evidence, factual information taken from the text. Evidence defends the topic sentence, which defends the thesis. Here we go: The job of commentary is to tie the evidence to the topic sentence. This is where the student offers OPINION about how the factual evidence illustrates the truth of the topic sentence.

By connecting the evidence to the topic sentence and the topic sentence to the thesis, the commentary defends the thesis. This chain of defense is the way I wrap my mind around line of reasoning.

Done well, it’s beautiful. Done poorly, it looks like A LOT what we see in student essays.

J ob #2: Illustrate Critical Thinking

Commentary separates the men from boys, the wheat from the chaff, the analogies from the metaphors. Every writing rubric I’ve ever seen rewards it heavily.

On the AP Language Question 2 rubric, take a look at this wording for the column that awards all four points for evidence and commentary:

EVIDENCE: Provides specific evidence to support all claims in a line of reasoning. AND COMMENTARY: Consistently explains how the evidence supports a line of reasoning.  AND Explains how multiple rhetorical choices in the passage contribute to the writer’s argument, purpose, or message.

That’s THIS illustration! There are only four points to be had on this rubric, and FOUR of them are awarded to the process I described in that short little video above.

what's commentary in an essay

A student who creates that defense chain consistently with depth could even earn the sophistication point. That’s five out of six. Without a defensible thesis, that student could never have earned the four points for evidence and commentary because there was nothing to defend. That’s six out of six.

Translation: A student who understands the defense chain of a topic sentence being defended by topic sentences that are supported by evidence with connecting commentary is in the five-six range because that student’s maturity of thought is on full display to a reader.

What Commentary’s Role is NOT

Commentary’s job is not to provide proof from the text, either through direct quotations, paraphrasing, summarizing, or repetition of the actual evidence. When training students to write strong commentary, I suggest that we put off sentence combining; have students differentiate evidence from commentary through color coding so that both you and they can see that each piece of evidence has a tendon, a connector that ties the evidence to the topic sentence.

Once kids know what commentary is and isn’t–and all their English teachers communicate so they’re all using the same terminology–they can produce insightful, connected analysis.

Be on the lookout for more rhetorical analysis tips in your inbox. not on my email list you can join here, and i’ll send you a commentary anchor chart..

what's commentary in an essay

I’m a recovering high school English teacher and curriculum specialist with a passion for helping teachers leave school at school. I create engaging, rigorous curriculum resources for secondary ELA professionals, and I facilitate workshops to help those teachers implement the materials effectively.

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How To Write A Commentary Essay

  • Essay Writing FAQ

what's commentary in an essay

A commentary essay is a type of essay that provides an analysis or interpretation of a text. Commentary essays are typically longer than regular essays, and they provide in-depth analysis of the text.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a commentary essay. First, be sure to read the text carefully and make sure that you understand it. Next, identify the main points of the text and develop a thesis statement that reflects your interpretation of the text. Then, support your thesis with evidence from the text. Be sure to use clear and concise language, and avoid making any assumptions about the text.

Finally, be sure to revise your essay thoroughly. Check for grammar mistakes, ensure that your argument is clear and concise, and make sure that your evidence supports your thesis.

What are the five parts of a commentary?

When it comes to commenting on a text, there are five main areas that you need to focus on:

1. The Introduction

This is where you introduce the text and give a brief overview of what it is about. You should also state your thesis – or the main point you are trying to make about the text.

2. The Main Body

This is where you expand on your thesis, providing evidence and examples to support your argument.

3. The Conclusion

This is where you summarize your main points and draw conclusions from them.

4. The Literature Review

This is a section where you discuss the work of other scholars who have written about the text you are commenting on.

5. The Bibliography

This is a section where you list all of the sources you have consulted in writing your commentary.

How do you start off a commentary?

When starting a commentary, it is important to introduce who you are and what your qualifications are. This will help to establish your credibility as an expert on the topic at hand. You should also provide a brief overview of the issue or event that you will be commenting on. This will help your readers to understand the context of your remarks.

It is also important to be clear and concise in your remarks. Avoid making any unsupported statements, and back up your arguments with evidence. Be sure to stay on topic, and avoid digressing into unrelated topics.

Finally, always be respectful in your comments, and avoid attacking or insulting others. Remember that a commentary is a forum for thoughtful discussion, not a venue for personal attacks.

What is an example of a commentary?

A commentary is a type of essay that provides an analysis and interpretation of a text. It typically includes an explanation of the author’s purpose in writing the text, as well as an examination of the text’s structure and rhetorical devices. A commentary may also include an evaluation of the text’s strengths and weaknesses.

How do you write a commentary for an essay?

Commentaries are written to explain and analyze a text. They can be written for essays, papers, or other writing assignments. The purpose of a commentary is to help the reader understand the text by providing information about the author, the context, and the meaning of the text.

When writing a commentary, it is important to first read and understand the text. After reading the text, you should outline the main points and ideas that you want to discuss. Next, you should write a paragraph explaining each point. Be sure to provide evidence from the text to support your analysis. Finally, you should conclude your commentary by discussing the implications of the text and what you think the author was trying to say.

Where is commentary in an essay?

Commentary is an important part of an essay, but it can be difficult to know where to put it. Here are a few tips on where to put commentary in an essay.

The best place for commentary is after the main points of your essay. This is where you can expand on your points and give your readers more information. You can also use commentary to explain why you think the points you made are important.

You can also use commentary to introduce your arguments. This is a good way to introduce your readers to your point of view and to explain why you think your argument is important.

Finally, you can use commentary to wrap up your essay. This is a good place to restate your main points and to give your readers a summary of your argument.

What is a commentary statement?

A commentary statement is a type of financial statement that is used to provide additional information about the financial condition of a company. This statement is typically used to explain the results of the company’s operations, to give insights into the company’s financial position, and to provide explanations of significant changes in the company’s financial position.

What are the types of commentary?

There are many different types of commentary. Some of the most common types are:

1. Literary commentary 2. Film commentary 3. Art commentary 4. Music commentary 5. Theatre commentary

Each type of commentary has its own unique set of rules and guidelines. Literary commentary, for example, typically focuses on the meaning and interpretation of a text, while music commentary often focuses on the structure and composition of a piece.

It is important to be aware of the different types of commentary when writing or reviewing any form of art. Understanding the purpose and function of commentary can help you to better appreciate and understand the work being discussed.

What are the three types of commentary?

There are three types of commentary:

1. Explanatory: This type of commentary seeks to explain the text or passage in question. It may provide background information, discuss the author’s intent, or offer other insights into the work.

2. Critical: This type of commentary evaluates the text or passage, often offering a literary or historical analysis. It may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work, its themes and motifs, and other elements.

3. interpretive: This type of commentary provides an interpretation of the text or passage. It may offer a personal response to the work, explore its symbolism or meaning, or discuss its impact on culture or society.

What is the commentary is main point?

The commentary is the main point of a text. It is the part of the text that provides analysis and interpretation of the text. The commentary is often used to provide information about the author’s thoughts and feelings about the text. It can also provide information about the historical or cultural context of the text.

How do you start a commentary?

Commentary is a form of writing that provides analysis and interpretation of a text. It can be used to discuss a work of fiction, a piece of nonfiction, a poem, or a song. In order to write a commentary, you first need to read the text closely and make sure you understand it fully. Then, you can begin to formulate your thoughts and ideas about the text.

Some people find it helpful to outline their commentary before they write it. Others prefer to just start writing and let the thoughts flow. It’s important to be clear and concise when writing a commentary, and to avoid simply summarizing the text. Instead, offer your own insights and analysis.

Make sure to support your points with evidence from the text, and be sure to cite any sources you might use. A well-written commentary can provide a deeper understanding of a text and help readers to appreciate it more fully.

What is an example for commentary?

Commentary is a type of writing that is used to provide analysis and interpretation of a text. It can be used to provide additional information about the text, or to offer a different perspective on the text. Commentary can be helpful for readers who want to gain a deeper understanding of a text, or who want to see how different people interpret a text.

One of the best ways to understand commentary is to look at some examples. Here is an example of commentary from a book review:

“The author’s use of language is beautiful and fluid, and her story is one that will stay with you long after you finish the book.”

This is a comment about the author’s use of language and the impact the book had on the reader. It is not a direct quote from the book, but it offers insight into the author’s writing style and the themes of the book.

Here is another example of commentary, this time from a movie review:

“The acting is terrific, and the story is suspenseful and thrilling.”

This is a comment about the acting and the story of the movie. It is not a direct quote from the movie, but it offers insight into the quality of the acting and the plot of the movie.

As you can see, commentary can be a great way to provide additional information or interpretation about a text. It can help readers to gain a deeper understanding of the text, and it can also be a fun way to discuss different aspects of a text.

How do you start a commentary after a quote?

When you are writing a commentary after a quote, you want to make sure that you introduce the quote properly and that you provide some context for it. You also want to make sure that your commentary is clear and concise.

To introduce a quote, you should provide the name of the person who said it and the date.

You should also provide a brief summary of the quote. After you introduce the quote, you should provide your commentary.

In your commentary, you should provide your analysis of the quote and you should provide your opinion on it. You should also provide some background information on the quote and on the person who said it. You should also provide a discussion of the implications of the quote.

When you are writing a commentary after a quote, it is important to be clear and concise. You should make sure that your commentary is easy to follow. You should also make sure that your commentary is interesting and engaging.

What are the basic information of a commentary?

Commentaries are a type of literary work that provide interpretation and analysis of a text. They can be used to provide additional information about the text, to offer a different perspective on the text, or to help the reader understand the text better.

There are a few basic pieces of information that all commentaries should include. This information includes the title of the work being commented on, the name of the author of the commentary, the date of the commentary, and the place of publication. Additionally, most commentaries include a table of contents, a preface or introduction, and a conclusion.

The title of the work being commented on is the first piece of information that is included. This is followed by the name of the author of the commentary. The date of the commentary is next, followed by the place of publication.

Most commentaries also include a table of contents. This table of contents should list the headings and subheadings that are included in the commentary, as well as the page numbers on which they can be found.

The preface or introduction is generally a short section that introduces the reader to the work being commented on. It may include information about the author of the work, the date of the work, and the place of publication. It may also include a brief summary of the work.

The conclusion is the final section of the commentary. It generally wraps up the commentary by summarizing the main points that were made. It may also include a discussion of the implications of the commentary.

How do you write a commentary example?

When it comes to writing a commentary, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First, a commentary is a type of essay that provides your thoughts and analysis on a text. It is not a summary of the text. Second, a good commentary will be well-organized and well-written. Lastly, a good commentary should be clear and concise.

To write a good commentary, you need to first read and understand the text that you are commenting on. Next, you need to outline your thoughts and organize them in a logical manner. Once you have outlined your thoughts, you can then begin writing your commentary. be sure to proofread your work before submitting it.

What should I write in commentary?

When it comes to writing commentary, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, your commentary should be concise and to the point. You don’t want to overload your readers with too much information, so make sure to focus on the most important points.

In addition, you should always be clear and concise when explaining your analysis. Avoid using complex language or jargon that your readers may not be familiar with.

Finally, make sure to back up your points with concrete evidence. This will help to strengthen your argument and make your commentary more persuasive.

How do you start a commentary sentence?

A commentary sentence is a sentence that provides additional information or commentary on a preceding sentence or statement. Commentary sentences are often used to clarify or explain a point, and can be used to introduce new information, provide a contrast, or offer a different perspective.

When starting a commentary sentence, it is important to ensure that it is logically connected to the sentence or statement that it is commenting on. In order to do this, it is often helpful to use a signal phrase to introduce the commentary sentence. Some common signal phrases include “commenting on,” “speaking to,” “in response to,” and “related to.”

It is also important to ensure that the commentary sentence is properly constructed, and that all of the information it contains is relevant to the point that is being made. In order to avoid rambling or going off on a tangent, it is often helpful to focus the commentary sentence on a specific point or idea.

Finally, it is important to make sure that the commentary sentence is clearly written and easy to understand. In order to ensure this, it is often helpful to use clear and concise language, and to avoid using complex or technical terms.

coracarver11

Cora Carver is an educational blogger and mother of two. She has a passion for helping others learn and grow, and she uses her blog to share her knowledge and experiences with others.

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coracarver11

Cora Carver is an educational blogger and mother of two. She has a passion for helping others learn and grow, and she uses her blog to share her knowledge and experiences with others. View all posts by coracarver11

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Elements of an Essay: Writing Commentary

For several weeks now, we have been identifying the essential elements of essays and learning how to incorporate these effectively and successfully. We have discussed that the thesis statement is the glue that holds the entire paper together, the body paragraphs are the meat where the majority of your argument will be found, and last week we looked at how the details are the key to unlocking your argument .  Today we are going to take a look at the other extremely important factor in writing a well-thought out essay.  It is needed for every single detail that you write.  It is the commentary.

Commentary Definition

When you write commentary, you are explaining to your reader how the details relate to the thesis statement. Commentary does not contain facts.  Instead, they help explain why the details are relevant to the topic.

Writing Commentary

writing

You are going to need at least two sentences of commentary for every detail sentence.  A good rule of thumb is that your commentary should be twice as long as your details.  Otherwise, your paper is just full of facts.  We want to know how YOU think these facts prove your point and what YOU think they mean.

Here are a few different methods for writing commentary:

1) Opinion: this is where you write your belief, subjective judgment or way of thinking about a detail .

2) Interpretation: your explanation of something that is not clear.

3) Character and Subject’s Feelings: when you describe what the character or subject of the detail is feeling (ideal for literary analysis papers)

4) Personal Reaction: your personal emotions about the detail.

5) Evaluations: your objective judgment of a detail.

Commentary is the Treasure

Your commentary is the treasure that makes your paper shine.  It should always strengthen and extend the details. This is your chance to show us what you’ve got.  It is where you can impress us with your analysis and interpretation skills.

“What and Why” Method

You may be thinking, “Analysis and interpretation skills?  What if I don’t possess those skills?”  Well breathe easy, because interpretation is really just a fancy word for “what,” while analysis simply means “why”.

So if you are struggling to write your commentary try using the “what and why” method.  First, tell the reader WHAT your detail is talking about by defining or explaining.  Next, let your reader know WHY this detail is relevant to your thesis statement.

Starting Commentary Sentences

If you are struggling to start your commentary, consider beginning your commentary in one of the following ways:

“This shows that…”

 “This is important because…”

Obviously, you cannot start every sentence you write like that since this would be redundant.  However, even if you do not write these phrases at the beginning of all of your sentences, it is helpful even just to think these phrases in order to guide your commentary in the right direction.

Applying Commentary Techniques

Now that we have discussed the different options for writing commentary, and the method for doing  so, let’s put them together and see what is looks like.

Commentary Type: Opinion using the “what and why” method

opinion.png

Topic: education

Detail: According to the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress Reading test, 80% of students score below grade level in reading.

Commentary: Your commentary for this detail will answer the following questions: (1) “WHAT is my opinion?” and (2) “WHY is my opinion relevant to my thesis statement?”

(1)  A statistic like this shows the poor state of the education.  (2) If we are to help students become successful adults, we need to change the way we are educating our children.

Commentary Type: Interpretation using the “what and why” method

Topic: benefits of college

Detail: First of all, of 2,350,000 college students enrolling per year, only 1,750,000 will graduate.

Commentary: Your commentary for this detail will answer the following questions: (1) “WHAT is my interpretation?” and (2) “WHY is my interpretation relevant to my thesis statement?”

(1) This shows that the high demand placed on students during their college years is too much stress for many.  (2) However rigorous it may be though, the pressure and expectations are reflective of a future career and help prepare young adults for these challenges.

Commentary Type: Character or Subject Feelings using the “what and why” method

feelings.jpg

Topic: cost of higher education

Detail:  For example, Benjamin Davis, a recent college graduate with a degree in Business, struggled for many years to find a job because of the recent unemployment struggles in America

Commentary: Your commentary for this detail will answer the following questions: (1) “WHAT is the subject’s feelings?” and (2) “WHY is subjects feelings relevant to my thesis statement?”

(1) He, like most, experiences extreme frustration at spending a great deal of time and money obtaining his degree, but feeling like he has very little advantage over others without a degree when finding a job. (2) As a result, many who find themselves in a similar situation are left wondering if higher education is worth the high cost.

Commentary Type: Personal Reaction using the “what and why” method

Topic: bullying

Detail: Also,  a bully might speak cruelly in order to intimidate, steal a student’s belongings, or intentionally exclude one from a group .

Commentary: Your commentary for this detail will answer the following questions: (1) “WHAT is my personal reaction?” and (2) “WHY is my personal reaction relevant to my thesis statement?”

(1) It is extremely upsetting to know that most children undergo this type of treatment at school. (2) It is hurtful, isolating, and can have long-lasting psychological damage on those students who experience bullying often.

Commentary Type: Evaluation using the “what and why” method

Topic: bears

Detail: Naturally, a bear, when threatened, will rise up from the ground, growl loudly, and begin charging at a speed of up to 35 mph.

Commentary: Your commentary for this detail will answer the following questions: (1) “WHAT is my evaluation?” and (2) “WHY is my evaluation relevant to my thesis statement?”

(1) Although this is a frightening experience, it is not entirely the bear’s fault. (2) In fact, most of the time when a bear attacks a person, it is the result of a person not understanding that when going out into the woods, he or she is entering a bear’s environment; forgetting to be respectful and cautious can cause the bear to react thusly.

When To Use Commentary Types

Depending on your assignment, choose the types of commentary that best fits your argument.  Use of a variety of different types of commentary to write a well-argued paper.

workshop

Go back and look at step two of writing details from last week’s blog.  Look at the commentary you wrote and update it to fit into the “what and why” method using some of the above types of commentary.  If you did not do that step last week, go ahead and use the worksheet found here.

We hope this helped you when writing commentary.  If you still need help, call Oxford Tutoring for support or to schedule a writing tutoring session.

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How to Write a Commentary Essay (With Examples)

Apr 29, 2024 | 0 comments

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Apr 29, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

 Commentary essays are a common assignment in higher education, requiring students to express their opinions and back them up with evidence. This type of essay writing allows for deeper topic analysis, providing valuable insights and potentially sparking important discussions. However, many students struggle with the structure and format of these essays. Fear not, as this article will provide a step-by-step guide on How to Write a Commentary Essay, complete with examples to help you understand the process better. Whether you’re analyzing a piece of literature, a current event, or a social issue, mastering the art of commentary writing is essential for any student looking to excel in their academic endeavors. Following the writing tips, guidelines for writing a commentary essay and examples provided in this article, you can craft a well-structured and persuasive commentary essay that will impress your professors and classmates. So, let’s dive in and learn how to write a commentary essay like a pro. 

What is a Commentary Essay?

A commentary essay is a written piece that provides an opinion on a particular subject. It is usually written in response to another work, such as a blog post, article, or book passage. In a commentary essay, the writer will offer their take on the subject, using evidence and examples to support their claims.

Commentary essays are commonly assigned in academic institutions to help students develop their critical thinking skills and provide an individual perspective on a subject. They are particularly useful for helping readers understand a topic in more depth and can be used to evaluate various concepts and analyze a subject in a broader scope.

Commentary essays are distinct from other types of essays in that they allow the use of the first-person pronoun “I” to present the writer’s point of view. They also do not require a general topic discussion or a thesis statement. Instead, the focus is on providing a detailed analysis and description of a specific text, such as a newly published article or story.

What is a literary commentary?

A literary commentary is a detailed analysis of a text, such as a poem or novel, that focuses on specific aspects of the work. The commentary often includes an examination of the author’s use of literary devices, themes, and figurative language. It can also delve into the historical or cultural context of the text. A stanza by stanza analysis is a common part of the commentary, where the reader breaks down the poem into smaller sections to examine the meaning of each. The author may provide their opinion on the work, but a literary commentary should also demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the text being analyzed.

While some literary commentaries can be formulaic in their approach, a truly insightful commentary will broaden the reader’s understanding of the text and its applicability to the world around us. By delving into the intricacies of a work and exploring its themes and symbols, a commentary can offer new perspectives and interpretations that enrich the reader’s experience of the text. It is a way to engage with literature on a deeper level and appreciate the artistry behind the words.

How to Write a Commentary Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we understand what a commentary essay is let’s go through the steps to writing a literary commentary:

Step 1: Choose a Topic and Gather Information

Before writing your commentary essay, you must choose a topic and gather relevant information. This could be a newly published article or text you want to analyze and provide your perspective. Ensure you understand the text by reading it multiple times and noting any important keywords or ideas.

Step 2: Create a Commentary Essay Outline

Once you have gathered your information, it’s time to create a commentary essay outline for your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ideas and ensure your essay’s structure is clear. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should provide basic information about the text, such as the title, author, publication date, and genre. You should also include a hook to grab the reader’s attention and a thesis statement that states your essay’s main claim.

Step 3: Write the Introduction

In the introduction, you should be able to provide context for your analyzing text and state your thesis or main argument. You can also list the themes that you will discuss in the body of your essay. Remember to keep the introduction brief and assume that your reader has already read the text.

Step 4: Write the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you will support your thesis with specific examples and evidence. Each body paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that states what the paragraph will discuss and how it supports your thesis. Include relevant quotes or examples from the text and explain how they connect to your thesis. Make sure to use smooth transitions between examples to help your reader follow your argument.

Step 5: Write the Conclusion

In the conclusion, you will tie together the main points of your essay and emphasize the importance of the text you are analyzing. Summarize your argument and extend it by comparing it to other works or discussing its broader implications. However, avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.

Step 6: Revise and Edit

Once you have completed your first draft, it’s time to revise and edit your essay. Read it over multiple times to identify any areas that need improvement and make sure it follows your outline. You can also ask for feedback from friends or classmates to get a fresh perspective on your essay. Finally, proofread your essay for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

Tips for Writing a Strong Commentary Essay

Here are some additional tips to help you write a perfect commentary essay:

  • Create a strong and clear thesis statement that outlines the main points of your essay.
  • Engage your readers by giving them food for thought and urging them to think about the topic.
  • Treat your readers as co-thinkers and respect their intelligence, even if your perspectives differ.
  • Don’t be too neutral or objective; be sure to present your own viewpoint clearly.
  • Use the “This Shows That” Method to help you analyze and interpret the evidence effectively.
  • Use color-coding or ratiocination to visualize the connections between different parts of your essay.
  • Use the LET method (Literary Elements and Techniques) to identify literary techniques and devices used in the text and explain how they support your argument.
  • Use the concept of four cells to analyze each piece of text and combine your comments into a cohesive whole.

What is LET method and how it can be used in a commentary essay?

The LET method is a useful tool for analyzing literary texts and can be applied when writing a commentary essay. It stands for Literary Elements and Techniques and involves identifying and examining the various literary devices and techniques used by the author. Here’s a more detailed explanation of each component:

  • Literary Elements: These are the fundamental concepts and components of a literary work, such as plot, character, setting, theme, point of view, diction, syntax, and imagery. When using the LET method, you would identify and analyze the specific literary elements that the author has used and how they contribute to the overall meaning and effect of the text.
  • Elements and Techniques: This involves looking at how the literary elements are employed and the techniques the author uses to craft the work. For example, you might consider the author’s word choice (diction) and sentence structure (syntax) to understand their impact on the tone and style of the text. You would also analyze the literary techniques, such as metaphors, similes, symbolism, and motifs, and how they enhance the themes and ideas presented.

By using the LET method in your commentary essay, you can demonstrate your understanding of the text’s construction and the author’s craft. It allows you to dig deeper into the text and uncover the symbolism and underlying messages that the author has woven into the work. This method helps you support your arguments and interpretations with specific references to the text, making your commentary essay more persuasive and insightful.

Here’s an example to illustrate how the LET method can be applied:

Let’s say you’re writing a commentary essay on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Using the LET method, you might focus on the symbol of the green light and its repetition throughout the novel.

Literary Elements: The green light is a symbol that represents Gatsby’s longing for Daisy, who is always out of his reach. It is a recurring motif that appears in key moments of the novel.

Elements and Techniques: Fitzgerald uses the symbolism of the green light to explore themes of desire, social class, and the American Dream. The repetition of the symbol emphasizes the persistent nature of Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy and the elusive nature of his dream. The description of the light as “always distant, always glowing” reflects the unattainable nature of Gatsby’s desires.

Good Commentary Essay Examples

The Importance of Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace

The Value of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Addressing Complex Global Challenges

Get Help With Your Commentary Essay Paper

We are the best in the industry. Place your order today by clicking the ORDER NOW button above to get our expert writing help. When it comes to writing services for academic writing, including commentary essay writing, our team of professionals is able to write with precision and expertise. A commentary essay requires a general structure that is focused on a complete analysis of a particular topic. With a mixture of reflection, interpretation of the subject, and in-depth analysis, our writers can provide a detailed description from different perspectives. They are skilled at incorporating quotations, counterarguments, emotional responses, and key points into the essay to give a well-rounded and constructive view.

In Conclusion

Writing a commentary essay can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and practice, it can become easier. Remember to choose a topic that interests you and gather relevant information to support your analysis. Create a clear outline to structure your essay, and always revise and edit your work for clarity and coherence. By following these steps and tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a strong and effective commentary essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a commentary in an essay.

To start a commentary in an essay, you should begin with an introduction that provides context for the content you’ll be analyzing. Your introduction should include a brief summary of the text or topic you are commenting on, along with your thesis statement that outlines your main argument.

What is an example of a commentary?

An example of a commentary could be a piece of social commentary found in news and magazine publications. This type of commentary often offers a critical analysis of the given subject matter, providing insights and personal opinions on social issues or current events.

What is the format of writing commentary?

The format of writing a commentary typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, present the focal article or main idea and provide some background information. Body paragraphs should contain your analysis and interpretation, supported with citations and references. Finally, the conclusion should summarize your main points and reinforce your personal opinion on the topic.

What is the structure of a commentary?

The structure of a commentary essay typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs that analyze and interpret the text, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of the text and provide evidence to support your analysis.

How to write a commentary essay step-by-step?

To write a commentary essay, follow these steps:

  • Create an outline: Organize your thoughts and arguments before you start writing.
  • Complete analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the text or topic you are commenting on.
  • Writing process: Start with a strong introduction, develop your arguments in the body paragraphs, and conclude with a summary.
  • Support your points: Support your analysis with evidence, examples, and quotes.

Isabella Robertson

I am dedicated to creating engaging blog posts that provide valuable insights and advice to help students excel in their studies. From study tips to time management strategies, my goal is to empower students to reach their full potential.

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Guidelines for writing a commentary

A commentary is a comment on a newly published article. A commentary may be invited by the chief editor or spontaneously submitted. Commentaries in International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being are peer reviewed. We now welcome commentaries!

What is a commentary?

The goal of publishing commentaries is to advance the research field by providing a forum for varying perspectives on a certain topic under consideration in the journal. The author of a commentary probably has in-depth knowledge of the topic and is eager to present a new and/or unique viewpoint on existing problems, fundamental concepts, or prevalent notions, or wants to discuss the implications of a newly implemented innovation. A commentary may also draw attention to current advances and speculate on future directions of a certain topic, and may include original data as well as state a personal opinion. While a commentary may be critical of an article published in the journal, it is important to maintain a respectful tone that is critical of ideas or conclusions but not of authors.

In summary, a commentary may be:

  • A critical challenge to one or more aspects of the focal article, arguing for a position other than that taken in the focal article.
  • An elaboration or extension of the position taken in the focal article, basically sympathetic to the position taken in the focal article but pushing the argument further.
  • An application of a theoretical or methodological perspective that sheds light on the issues addressed in the focal article.
  • A reflection on the writer's experiences in applying the issues addressed in the focal article, in particular health and well-being settings.
  • A comment on the applicability of the issues raised in the focal article to other settings, or to other cultures.

How to write a commentary

Commentaries in International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being should not exceed 10 manuscript pages. A tightly argued four- to six-page commentary is likely to be better received than a meandering 10-page ditto. Use these simple guidelines:

  • Do not summarize the focal article; just give the reference. Assume the reader has just read it. Move directly to identifying the key issues you want to raise.
  • Do not include general praise for the focal article.
  • Use only essential citations. For commentary purposes, cite only works absolutely essential to support your point.
  • Use a short title that emphasizes your key message. (It should be clear in context that all commentaries are a reaction to a particular paper).
  • Do not include an abstract.
  • Make clear your take-home message.
  • Make sure there is full author information (name, affiliation, address, phone, email) for all authors. Authors must be individuals.

Review process

Commentaries will be peer reviewed and most likely accepted if they are in line with the definitions and guidelines outlined. A small set of reviewers will read and evaluate all commentaries as they need to compare commentaries for issues of redundancy and to make evaluations of relative merit.

Queries for the editor

Authors should feel free to correspond with the chief editor prior to submitting a commentary if there are questions about any aspect of the evaluation and publication process. Authors may prepare a brief outline of the key points they desire to present in the commentary and send it to the chief editor.

Does it cost anything to submit a commentary?

Spontaneously submitted commentaries incur a cost of €65 per typeset page. The author will be invoiced once the commentary has been accepted for publication.

We hope you will send us a commentary whenever you think there is a need to broaden the perspectives on health and well-being presented in our journal.

What is ChatGPT? Here's everything you need to know about ChatGPT, the chatbot everyone's still talking about

  • ChatGPT is getting a futuristic human update. 
  • ChatGPT has drawn users at a feverish pace and spurred Big Tech to release other AI chatbots.
  • Here's how ChatGPT works — and what's coming next.

Insider Today

OpenAI's blockbuster chatbot ChatGPT is getting a new update. 

On Monday, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o for ChatGPT, a new version of the bot that can hold conversations with users in a very human tone. The new version of the chatbot will also have vision abilities.

The futuristic reveal quickly prompted jokes about parallels to the movie "Her," with some calling the chatbot's new voice " cringe ."

The move is a big step for the future of AI-powered virtual assistants, which tech companies have been racing to develop.

Since its release in 2022, hundreds of millions of people have experimented with the tool, which is already changing how the internet looks and feels to users.

Users have flocked to ChatGPT to improve their personal lives and boost productivity . Some workers have used the AI chatbot to develop code , write real estate listings , and create lesson plans, while others have made teaching the best ways to use ChatGPT a career all to itself.

ChatGPT offers dozens of plug-ins to those who subscribe to ChatGPT Plus subscription. An Expedia one can help you book a trip, while an OpenTable one will get nab you a dinner reservation. And last month, OpenAI launched Code Interpreter, a version of ChatGPT that can code and analyze data .

While the personal tone of conversations with an AI bot like ChatGPT can evoke the experience of chatting with a human, the technology, which runs on " large language model tools, " doesn't speak with sentience and doesn't "think" the way people do. 

That means that even though ChatGPT can explain quantum physics or write a poem on command, a full AI takeover isn't exactly imminent , according to experts.

"There's a saying that an infinite number of monkeys will eventually give you Shakespeare," said Matthew Sag, a law professor at Emory University who studies copyright implications for training and using large language models like ChatGPT.

"There's a large number of monkeys here, giving you things that are impressive — but there is intrinsically a difference between the way that humans produce language, and the way that large language models do it," he said. 

Chatbots like ChatGPT are powered by large amounts of data and computing techniques to make predictions to string words together in a meaningful way. They not only tap into a vast amount of vocabulary and information, but also understand words in context. This helps them mimic speech patterns while dispatching an encyclopedic knowledge. 

Other tech companies like Google and Meta have developed their own large language model tools, which use programs that take in human prompts and devise sophisticated responses.

Despite the AI's impressive capabilities, some have called out OpenAI's chatbot for spewing misinformation , stealing personal data for training purposes , and even encouraging students to cheat and plagiarize on their assignments. 

Some recent efforts to use chatbots for real-world services have proved troubling. In 2023, the mental health company Koko came under fire after its founder wrote about how the company used GPT-3 in an experiment to reply to users. 

Koko cofounder Rob Morris hastened to clarify on Twitter that users weren't speaking directly to a chatbot, but that AI was used to "help craft" responses. 

Read Insider's coverage on ChatGPT and some of the strange new ways that both people and companies are using chat bots: 

The tech world's reception to ChatGPT:

Microsoft is chill with employees using ChatGPT — just don't share 'sensitive data' with it.

Microsoft's investment into ChatGPT's creator may be the smartest $1 billion ever spent

ChatGPT and generative AI look like tech's next boom. They could be the next bubble.

The ChatGPT and generative-AI 'gold rush' has founders flocking to San Francisco's 'Cerebral Valley'

Insider's experiments: 

I asked ChatGPT to do my work and write an Insider article for me. It quickly generated an alarmingly convincing article filled with misinformation.

I asked ChatGPT and a human matchmaker to redo my Hinge and Bumble profiles. They helped show me what works.

I asked ChatGPT to reply to my Hinge matches. No one responded.

I used ChatGPT to write a resignation letter. A lawyer said it made one crucial error that could have invalidated the whole thing .

Read ChatGPT's 'insulting' and 'garbage' 'Succession' finale script

An Iowa school district asked ChatGPT if a list of books contains sex scenes, and banned them if it said yes. We put the system to the test and found a bunch of problems.

Developments in detecting ChatGPT: 

Teachers rejoice! ChatGPT creators have released a tool to help detect AI-generated writing

A Princeton student built an app which can detect if ChatGPT wrote an essay to combat AI-based plagiarism

Professors want to 'ChatGPT-proof' assignments, and are returning to paper exams and requesting editing history to curb AI cheating

ChatGPT in society: 

BuzzFeed writers react with a mix of disappointment and excitement at news that AI-generated content is coming to the website

ChatGPT is testing a paid version — here's what that means for free users

A top UK private school is changing its approach to homework amid the rise of ChatGPT, as educators around the world adapt to AI

Princeton computer science professor says don't panic over 'bullshit generator' ChatGPT

DoNotPay's CEO says threat of 'jail for 6 months' means plan to debut AI 'robot lawyer' in courtroom is on ice

It might be possible to fight a traffic ticket with an AI 'robot lawyer' secretly feeding you lines to your AirPods, but it could go off the rails

Online mental health company uses ChatGPT to help respond to users in experiment — raising ethical concerns around healthcare and AI technology

What public figures think about ChatGPT and other AI tools:

What Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and 12 other business leaders think about AI tools like ChatGPT

Elon Musk was reportedly 'furious' at ChatGPT's popularity after he left the company behind it, OpenAI, years ago

CEO of ChatGPT maker responds to schools' plagiarism concerns: 'We adapted to calculators and changed what we tested in math class'

A theoretical physicist says AI is just a 'glorified tape recorder' and people's fears about it are overblown

'The most stunning demo I've ever seen in my life': ChatGPT impressed Bill Gates

Ashton Kutcher says your company will probably be 'out of business' if you're 'sleeping' on AI

ChatGPT's impact on jobs: 

AI systems like ChatGPT could impact 300 million full-time jobs worldwide, with administrative and legal roles some of the most at risk, Goldman Sachs report says

Jobs are now requiring experience with ChatGPT — and they'll pay as much as $800,000 a year for the skill

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Reese Witherspoon is standing in front of a lamp-lit bookshelf wearing a gray blouse and a dark pencil skirt. Her right hand rests on the shelf behind her.

Inside Reese Witherspoon’s Literary Empire

When her career hit a wall, the Oscar-winning actor built a ladder made of books — for herself, and for others.

“Reading is the antidote to hate and xenophobia,” Reese Witherspoon said. “It increases our empathy and understanding of the world.” Credit... Jingyu Lin for The New York Times

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Elisabeth Egan

By Elisabeth Egan

Reporting from Nashville

  • May 18, 2024

“You’d be shocked by how many books have women chained in basements,” Reese Witherspoon said. “I know it happens in the world. I don’t want to read a book about it.”

Nor does she want to read an academic treatise, or a 700-page novel about a tree.

Listen to this article with reporter commentary

Sitting in her office in Nashville, occasionally dipping into a box of takeout nachos, Witherspoon talked about what she does like to read — and what she looks for in a selection for Reese’s Book Club, which she referred to in a crisp third person.

“It needs to be optimistic,” Witherspoon said. “It needs to be shareable. Do you close this book and say, ‘I know exactly who I want to give it to?’”

But, first and foremost, she wants books by women, with women at the center of the action who save themselves. “Because that’s what women do,” she said. “No one’s coming to save us.”

Witherspoon, 48, has now been a presence in the book world for a decade. Her productions of novels like “ Big Little Lies ,” “ Little Fires Everywhere ” and “ The Last Thing He Told Me ” are foundations of the binge-watching canon. Her book club picks reliably land on the best-seller list for weeks, months or, in the case of “ Where the Crawdads Sing ,” years. In 2023, print sales for the club’s selections outpaced those of Oprah’s Book Club and Read With Jenna , according to Circana Bookscan, adding up to 2.3 million copies sold.

So how did an actor who dropped out of college (fine, Stanford) become one of the most influential people in an industry known for being intractable and slightly tweedy?

It started with Witherspoon’s frustration over the film industry’s skimpy representation of women onscreen — especially seasoned, strong, smart, brave, mysterious, complicated and, yes, dangerous women.

“When I was about 34, I stopped reading interesting scripts,” she said.

Witherspoon had already made a name for herself with “ Election ,” “ Legally Blonde ” and “ Walk the Line .” But, by 2010, Hollywood was in flux: Streaming services were gaining traction. DVDs were following VHS tapes to the land of forgotten technology.

“When there’s a big economic shift in the media business, it’s not the superhero movies or independent films we lose out on,” Witherspoon said. “It’s the middle, which is usually where women live. The family drama. The romantic comedy. So I decided to fund a company to make those kinds of movies.”

In 2012, she started the production company Pacific Standard with Bruna Papandrea. Its first projects were film adaptations of books: “ Gone Girl ” and “ Wild ,” which both opened in theaters in 2014.

Growing up in Nashville, Witherspoon knew the value of a library card. She caught the bug early, she said, from her grandmother, Dorothea Draper Witherspoon, who taught first grade and devoured Danielle Steel novels in a “big cozy lounger” while sipping iced tea from a glass “with a little paper towel wrapped around it.”

This attention to detail is a smoke signal of sorts: Witherspoon is a person of words.

When she was in high school, Witherspoon stayed after class to badger her English teacher — Margaret Renkl , now a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times — about books that weren’t part of the curriculum. When Witherspoon first moved to Los Angeles, books helped prepare her for the “chaos” of filmmaking; “ The Making of the African Queen ” by Katharine Hepburn was a particular favorite.

So it made sense that, as soon as Witherspoon joined Instagram, she started sharing book recommendations. Authors were tickled and readers shopped accordingly. In 2017, Witherspoon made it official: Reese’s Book Club became a part of her new company, Hello Sunshine.

The timing was fortuitous, according to Pamela Dorman, senior vice president and publisher of Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, who edited the club’s inaugural pick, “ Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine .” “The book world needed something to help boost sales in a new way,” she said.

Reese’s Book Club was that something: “Eleanor Oliphant” spent 85 weeks on the paperback best-seller list. The club’s second pick, “The Alice Network,” spent nearly four months on the weekly best-seller lists and two months on the audio list. Its third, “ The Lying Game ,” spent 18 weeks on the weekly lists.

“There’s nothing better than getting that phone call,” added Dorman, who has now edited two more Reese’s Book Club selections.

Kiley Reid’s debut novel, “ Such a Fun Age ,” got the nod in January 2020. She said, “When I was on book tour, a lot of women would tell me, ‘I haven’t read a book in four years, but I trust Reese.’” Four years later, on tour for her second novel, “ Come and Get It ,” Reid met women who were reading 100 books a year.

Witherspoon tapped into a sweet spot between literary and commercial fiction, with a few essay collections and memoirs sprinkled in. She turned out to be the literary equivalent of a fit model — a reliable bellwether for readers in search of intelligent, discussion-worthy fare, hold the Proust. She wanted to help narrow down the choices for busy readers, she said, “to bring the book club out of your grandma’s living room and online.”

She added: “The unexpected piece of it all was the economic impact on these authors’ lives.”

One writer became the first person in her family to own a home. “She texted me a picture of the key,” Witherspoon said. “I burst into tears.”

This is a picture of Reese Witherspoon in profile, lit from above. She's wearing gold hoop earrings, a gray blouse and a serene expression.

Witherspoon considers a handful of books each month. Submissions from publishers are culled by a small group that includes Sarah Harden, chief executive of Hello Sunshine; Gretchen Schreiber, manager of books (her original title was “bookworm”); and Jon Baker, whose team at Baker Literary Scouting scours the market for promising manuscripts.

Not only is Witherspoon focused on stories by women — “the Bechdel test writ large,” Baker said — but also, “Nothing makes her happier than getting something out in the world that you might not see otherwise.”

When transgender rights were in the headlines in 2018, the club chose “ This Is How It Always Is ,” Laurie Frankel’s novel about a family grappling with related issues in the petri dish of their own home. “We track the long tail of our book club picks and this one, without fail, continues to sell,” Baker said.

Witherspoon’s early readers look for a balance of voices, backgrounds and experiences. They also pay attention to the calendar. “Everyone knows December and May are the busiest months for women,” Harden said, referring to the mad rush of the holidays and the end of the school year. “You don’t want to read a literary doorstop then. What do you want to read on summer break? What do you want to read in January?”

Occasionally the group chooses a book that isn’t brand-new, as with the club’s April pick, “ The Most Fun We Ever Had ,” from 2019. When Claire Lombardo learned that her almost-five-year-old novel had been anointed, she thought there had been a mistake; after all, her new book, “Same As it Ever Was,” is coming out next month. “It’s wild,” Lombardo said. “It’s not something that I was expecting.”

Sales of “The Most Fun We Ever Had” increased by 10,000 percent after the announcement, according to Doubleday. Within the first two weeks, 27,000 copies were sold. The book has been optioned by Hello Sunshine.

Witherspoon preferred not to elaborate on a few subjects: competition with other top-shelf book clubs (“We try not to pick the same books”); the lone author who declined to be part of hers (“I have a lot of respect for her clarity”); and the 2025 book she’s already called dibs on (“You can’t imagine that Edith Wharton or Graham Greene didn’t write it”).

But she was eager to set the record straight on two fronts. Her team doesn’t get the rights to every book — “It’s just how the cookie crumbles,” she said — and, Reese’s Book Club doesn’t make money off sales of its picks. Earnings come from brand collaborations and affiliate revenue.

This is true of all celebrity book clubs. An endorsement from one of them is a free shot of publicity, but one might argue that Reese’s Book Club does a bit more for its books and authors than most. Not only does it promote each book from hardcover to paperback, it supports authors in subsequent phases of their careers.

Take Reid, for instance. More than three years after Reese’s Book Club picked her first novel, it hosted a cover reveal for “Come and Get It,” which came out in January. This isn’t the same as a yellow seal on the cover, but it’s still a spotlight with the potential to be seen by the club’s 2.9 million Instagram followers.

“I definitely felt like I was joining a very large community,” Reid said.

“Alum” writers tend to stay connected with one another via social media, swapping woot woots and advice. They’re also invited to participate in Hello Sunshine events and Lit Up, a mentorship program for underrepresented writers. Participants get editing and coaching from Reese’s Book Club authors, plus a marketing commitment from the club when their manuscripts are submitted to agents and editors.

“I describe publishing and where we sit in terms of being on a river,” Schreiber said. “We’re downstream; we’re looking at what they’re picking. Lit Up gave us the ability to look upstream and say, ‘We’d like to make a change here.’”

The first Lit Up-incubated novel, “Time and Time Again” by Chatham Greenfield, is coming out from Bloomsbury YA in July. Five more fellows have announced the sales of their books.

As Reese’s Book Club approaches a milestone — the 100th pick, to be announced in September — it continues to adapt to changes in the market. Print sales for club selections peaked at five million in 2020, and they’ve softened since then, according to Circana Bookscan. In 2021, Candle Media, a Blackstone-backed media company, bought Hello Sunshine for $900 million. Witherspoon is a member of Candle Media’s board. She is currently co-producing a “Legally Blonde” prequel series for Amazon Prime Video.

This month, Reese’s Book Club will unveil an exclusive audio partnership with Apple, allowing readers to find all the picks in one place on the Apple Books app. “I want people to stop saying, ‘I didn’t really read it, I just listened,’” Witherspoon said. “Stop that. If you listened, you read it. There’s no right way to absorb a book.”

She feels that Hollywood has changed over the years: “Consumers are more discerning about wanting to hear stories that are generated by a woman.”

Even as she’s looking forward, Witherspoon remembers her grandmother, the one who set her on this path.

“Somebody came up to me at the gym the other day and he said” — here she put on a gentle Southern drawl — “‘I’m going to tell you something I bet you didn’t hear today.’ And he goes, ‘Your grandma taught me how to read.’”

Another smoke signal, and a reminder of what lives on.

Elisabeth Egan is a writer and editor at the Times Book Review. She has worked in the world of publishing for 30 years. More about Elisabeth Egan

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What would Lisa Simpson do? NYU student protesters asked to ponder ethical issues

FILE - New York University students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally outside the NYU Stern School of Business building, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. Some NYU students facing discipline for their actions during this spring's pro-Palestinian protests have been assigned a 49-page workbook that includes a "Simpsons"-based module on ethical decision making. Some have been asked to write an apologetic "reflection paper" and submit it "in 12-point Times New Roman or similar font."(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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Would Lisa Simpson set up a tent at New York University to protest the war in Gaza? How would Principal Skinner respond if she did?

Hard to say, but some NYU students facing discipline for their actions during this spring’s pro-Palestinian protests have been assigned a 49-page workbook that includes a “Simpsons”-based module on ethical decision-making. Some have been asked to write an apologetic “reflection paper” and submit it “in 12-point Times New Roman or similar font.”

Like colleges across the U.S., NYU was the scene of protests over Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack during the last weeks of the spring semester.

More than 100 NYU students were arrested when police cleared an encampment at the university’s Manhattan campus on April 22, and about a dozen more were arrested at a smaller encampment on May 3.

NYU’s school year has ended, but the university is requiring some student protesters to go through a disciplinary process that includes answering questions like “What are your values? Did the decision you made align with your personal values?” in a double-spaced reflection paper.

Others must complete a 49-page “Ethos Integrity Series” that asks students to rank their values from 1 to 42 and complete assignments like “write about how your values affect your daily life and the decisions you make.”

One section is based on an episode of “The Simpsons” in which Lisa uncharacteristically cheats on a test and is wracked by guilt. Principal Skinner, meanwhile, wants to keep the cheating under wraps so the school can get a grant. Questions in the ethics workbook include “What, if anything, could Lisa have done or thought about to make better decisions?” and “What are the potential and actual consequences of Principal Skinner’s decisions?”

An NYU group called Faculty & Staff for Justice in Palestine criticized the assignments in a news release.

Sara Pursley, an associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, noted that students completing the reflection paper are told they must not try to justify their actions or “challenge a conduct regulation.”

“Since they can’t write anything justifying their action, students seem to be banned from writing about personal values that might be relevant here, such as a belief in freedom of expression, the responsibility to oppose genocide, or the duty of nonviolent civil disobedience under certain circumstances,” Pursley said. “This seems rather ironic in an essay on integrity.”

NYU spokesperson John Beckman said the disciplinary process is meant to be educational.

“The point of these essays is to reflect upon how a student’s way of expressing their values might be having an impact on other members of the NYU community,” Beckman said. “We think that’s a worthwhile goal.”

He added, “Which is not to say that the specific assignments couldn’t be improved.”

Faculty members and staff from NYU’s Office of Student Conduct will meet in the fall, Beckman said, to consider “what might be done to improve the quality of the prompts for the reflection papers as well as the other educational assignments.”

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  1. From Summary to Insight: A Guide to Writing Commentary Essays with Depth

    As a student writing a commentary essay, it is important to understand the differences between analyzing, summarizing, and evaluating. To help comprehend these contrasts, let's take a look at four main points: 1. Analyzing - Looking closely at something and breaking it down into smaller parts to better understand it.

  2. Commentary Essay ⇒ Writing Guide with Analysis Examples

    A commentary essay is a written piece that provides an opinion on a particular subject. This type of essay is usually written in response to another piece, such as a blog post, article, or book passage. In a commentary essay, the writer will typically offer their own take on the situation, using evidence and examples to support their claims.

  3. What Is a Commentary in an Essay

    1️⃣ Close, Direct Analysis of Passages. An example of an alternative commentary is a close, direct analysis of robust passages from the source, such as an article, film, poem, literary work, book, or novel. In this respect, they are standard in bigger writing projects, like expositions or being part of a critic's work.

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    Make sure to use smooth transitions. When you move to a new example, use a good transition word or phrase. Some examples are "similarly", "conversely", and "again". 6. Write a strong conclusion. Your conclusion is the piece that will tie the rest of your commentary together. Make sure to include a summary of your argument.

  5. Commentary Essay Example, Writing Guide, and Tips

    A commentary essay is a type of academic writing that aims to analyze and provide an in-depth interpretation of a particular text or topic. It offers a critical examination and evaluation of the subject matter, exploring various perspectives and providing evidence-based arguments to support the author's viewpoint.

  6. Writing a Literary Commentary: Guidelines

    First and foremost, a literary commentary is NOT an essay. The passage in front of you is not, therefore, an invitation to write a general essay about the work from which it has been taken. A commentary is an analysis of the given passage, its function and its characteristics. It should examine the key themes and stylistic devices of the ...

  7. How to Write a Good Essay: Stop Summarizing, Start Commentating

    How to Write a Good Essay Part 1: Learn the Difference between Commentary and Summary. You need to understand the difference between commentary and summary. While both writing styles can be used to discuss another piece of work (like a play, book, movie, or poem), this is about the sum total of their similarities.

  8. Five Ways to Target Commentary for Essay Writing

    The commentary part of any essay is always the most difficult. It is the part of the essay in which the writer analyzes evidence, and this analysis speaks to the writer's own unique voice. While we have standard, formulaic ways to teach other parts of the essay such as thesis statements, blending quotes, topics sentences, etc., commentary is ...

  9. Developing Commentary

    Commentary. : Commentary refers to a written or spoken explanation or interpretation of an event, situation, or piece of work. It provides analysis and insight to help the audience understand the subject matter better. Evidence. : Evidence refers to the information or data that supports a claim or argument.

  10. What is a Commentary in Essay Writing

    Crafting a commentary essay hinges on a thesis statement that stands as a beacon of clarity and conciseness. It is a pivotal sentence that outlines the primary argument, acting as the compass guiding readers through the intricate landscape of the discussion.

  11. Complete Guideline

    Structure for Commentary in an Essay. Like most academic papers, a commentary essay must have an introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. There's no standard word count, but most assignments are six pages long, Times New Roman font, double spacing. The scholarly sources and title page should be in APA style.

  12. Commentary Essay Example, Writing Guide, and Tips

    It should be noted that there are two types of commentary essays: literary and data. Literary commentary is an in-depth analysis of a passage of a literary work or text. Whereas data commentary is a piece of writing that comments on a visual display. Its main purpose is the interpretation of a research paper. Commentary Essay Writing Algorithm ...

  13. Commenting Efficiently

    Commenting Efficiently. Skim through the pile to discern the range of responses to an assignment. Read each essay through quickly, before making any marks, to identify major strengths and weaknesses. Think about strengths and weaknesses in terms of clear assessment criteria—thesis, structure, analysis, and so on.

  14. Tips, Tricks, and Step-by-Step Guide for Commentary Essay

    What is a Commentary Essay in a Nutshell. A simple commentary essay definition is that it's a paper where you provide your opinion on a specific subject. It can be done as a response to another piece of writing like a book, article, or blog post, or you can choose an issue you want to cover and do a commentary essay about it.

  15. The Role of Commentary in Rhetorical Analysis

    Analysis—what we're calling commentary—is the student's opinion about the way evidence proves the truth of a topic sentence, which defends the truth of the controlling thesis statement. Here's how the connecting works. A rhetorical analysis essay has a thesis, which is a controlling idea. All ideas within the essay defend this one.

  16. How to write a commentary essay

    A commentary essay is a type of essay that provides an analysis or interpretation of a text. Commentary essays are typically longer than regular essays, and they provide in-depth analysis of the text. There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a commentary essay. First, be sure to read the text carefully and make sure that you ...

  17. Elements of an Essay: Writing Commentary

    2) Interpretation: your explanation of something that is not clear. 3) Character and Subject's Feelings: when you describe what the character or subject of the detail is feeling (ideal for literary analysis papers) 4) Personal Reaction: your personal emotions about the detail. 5) Evaluations: your objective judgment of a detail.

  18. Teaching Students How to Write Commentary for the Literary Analysis Essay

    Writing commentary is undoubtedly the most difficult part of writing any essay. All other parts of the essay are more formulaic in nature. There are standard rules for how to write a thesis statement, a topic sentence, a blended quotation, etc. But when it comes to commenting on evidence, there isn't one set way to do it.

  19. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a source or collection of sources, you will have the chance to wrestle with some of the

  20. Learn How To Write A Commentary Essay

    Step 2: Create a Commentary Essay Outline. Once you have gathered your information, it's time to create a commentary essay outline for your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ideas and ensure your essay's structure is clear. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  21. Guidelines for writing a commentary

    A commentary may also draw attention to current advances and speculate on future directions of a certain topic, and may include original data as well as state a personal opinion. While a commentary may be critical of an article published in the journal, it is important to maintain a respectful tone that is critical of ideas or conclusions but ...

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    commentary is not an essay on a text as a whole: it is a focussed account of the operation of a specific extract. 5. It is not necessary to write out quotations from the passage. Passages for commentary in examinations always have the lines numbered and it is easier and more economical to refer to extracts by citing these. 3. Suggested resources

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