A Quick Guide on Writing a Commentary

Most students have to write a commentary at some point. Teachers, amateur critics, and editors also should know how to analyze someone else’s work and they also need to convey their thoughts in a professional way. The success of your commentary depends on the way you review the original work and provide feedback, as well as on your strong opinion. No matter what kind of a commentary you’re working on, strong writing and clear objectives will certainly help you. Learn to write an outstanding commentary with Writers House.

A Literary Commentary

  1. First, you should define your thesis. Many high school and college courses require students to write a literary commentary. When working on such papers, you should evaluate a literary piece, such as a poem, novel, or play. To create a successful commentary, you should come up with a strong and clear thesis statement. It must reflect your opinion and be supported by evidence.
  2. Once you’ve figured out what is your position and defined your thesis statement, write an outline. The type of your outline to a large extent depends on the length of your commentary. For example, if you need a one-paragraph commentary or bulleted commentary, you can just jot down the key information. For longer types of commentary, create a structured outline.
  3. You should also introduce your topic. Focus on the most important points in the introduction. You may also want to provide the context and then present your thesis. After this, you can briefly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the literary piece, as well as its themes. Wrap up with an explanation of the importance of the topic.
  4. Support your thesis with specific examples. State your theme or issue, explain where your readers can find it in the work, and explain how it influences the work. Illustrate the theme with a specific example, such as details about a certain character.
  5. When you support your claims with examples, you move from less to more specific. However, you should also connect examples back to the general theme. This way, your readers will understand what a particular example means in the context of the main topic. Don’t forget to use transitions, such as “similarly,” “therefore,” “conversely,” etc.
  6. Write a good conclusion, connecting different sections of your commentary together. Summarize your argument and explain why you think that the given literary piece is important. You may also compare it to another similar work. However, don’t provide any new information in the conclusion.
  7. Cite your sources according to the given requirements. If you include quotes from other sources, make sure to cite them properly so that you can avoid plagiarism issues. You should also list your sources in a “Works Cited” section.

A Data Commentary

  1. Read your guidelines and make sure that you understand them clearly. Pay your attention to the word count and format. A data commentary has a lot in common with other types of commentaries because it requires you to provide analysis. The main difference is that, in this case, you need to analyze a set of data. Usually, a data commentary is part of a report, it’s called “Results of Discussion.” However, such commentary may also be a stand-alone paper.
  2. Summarize the results of the study and briefly explain its importance. You should both summarize and analyze the data. For instance, you should explain numbers so that your readers can better understand the results.
  3. Highlight key points. When writing a data commentary, you may want to illustrate the data using graphs, tables, or charts. You can also analyze and comment on those visuals, as well.
  4. Write a conclusion and make sure to not only repeat what you’ve already said. You should also provide a broader perspective, reminding your readers about the importance of the results. You may also suggest necessary actions or directions for future research.
  5. Keep in mind that you should not only include facts and visuals but also provide sources where you’ve got this information. Make sure to clarify the required citation format and create a particular section dedicated to resources, at the end of your data commentary. Provide references for all of your quotes.

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