how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

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how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

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


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


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


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.


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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Five Ways to Target Commentary for Essay Writing

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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 different.  There really isn’t a formula for teaching our students how to have unique thoughts.  However, there are definitely strategies we can use with our students to help them practice writing commentary as well as take it to a deeper level.  This is a topic that I have spent quite a bit of time on simply because it is the one skill that my students struggle with the most.  You can find more posts from me on this topic here and here .

Here are FIVE ways to target commentary in essay writing: 

Is it commentary or analysis?  Clarifying Terminology

Well, it’s both!  One of the most basic confusions for our students about commentary is the fact that different teachers call it different things.  For example, I call it commentary while another teacher may call it analysis and still other teachers may refer to it as explanation or elaboration.  One of the first lessons in teaching commentary should be to dispel any confusion over the terminology so that students can all be on “the same page” while working on this writing skill.  In brief, the commentary part of the essay is the part where the writer explains how the evidence proves the thesis.  It is the part of the essay in which the writer comments upon the evidence and points out what the evidence shows.  But we can’t just stop there.  Students need ample practice with this writing skill so that they avoid writing obvious summaries in place of analysis.  But crafting commentary begins with clarifying terminology first and foremost.

Ratiocination or Essay Coding

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This is one of the very first lessons I have my students do with sample essays before they even begin the writing process.  Color-coding, or ratiocination, is the process of highlighting different parts of the essay according to a key.  For example, students might highlight the thesis statement and topic sentences in yellow, the textual evidence in blue, and the commentary in green.  By color coding the essay, they can begin to draw connections throughout the essay.  The thesis and topic sentences are all connected by the same argument, so by highlighting all of these items in the same color, students can visually “see” this connection.  The same goes for highlighting textual evidence. Students can begin to “see” the role that evidence plays in the essay, and they can very quickly determine if there is enough evidence to prove the thesis.  Commentary should be highlighted the most because most of the essay should be commentary/ analysis.  There should be twice as much commentary in an essay as evidence.  If this is not the case, students haven’t taken their commentary to a deep level, and they need to go back and add more commentary where it is needed.  I have created a FREE “Ratiocination Guide” for you to download from the TeachWriting Freebie Library, which is accessible when you subscribe.  This guide will take your students through the color-coding process and help them begin to draw connections to how the different parts of the essay interact with each other.

The “This Shows That” Method

This is also another very basic method for targeting commentary, but it WORKS!  In this method, students begin a sentence after textual evidence with the words, “This shows that…”. Be beginning with these words, students are forced to explain what the quotation shows rather than what it says.  These are two different concepts. 

Example of What the Quote Says

In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the witches begin the play by saying, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.”  The witches in the play say that what is good may actually be bad and what is bad may actually be good.

Example of What the Quote Shows

In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the witches begin the play by saying, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.”  This shows that the witches are able to see into the future and that they are anticipating foul play.  Since they introduce this concept before we meet any other characters, it creates dramatic irony that rouses suspicion of every character.

So, the difference between what the quote says versus what it shows comes down to this:  one is obvious and the other is not;  one is a paraphrase and the other reads “between the lines.”  Now, don’t get me wrong—having students first paraphrase the quotation before analyzing it is an effective stepping stone to analysis.  If students do not understand what the quote actually says, then they won’t be able to analyze it in the context of the thesis argument.  However, the point here is that students cannot stop at the paraphrase level.  They must go beyond this literal level to the abstract level of analysis.

The “LET” Method

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So, how do we get students to go beyond the obvious?  How do we teach them to analyze evidence?  That’s a great question and one of the main reasons why I invented the “LET” Method.  You can find more information about this method as well as an entire commentary bundle by Bespoke ELA by clicking here .  This method stands for “Literary Elements and Techniques.”  Seems pretty basic, right?  It is!  The essence of this method is to have students first identify the literary elements and techniques within a quotation and then explain how those elements or techniques prove the topic sentence and thereby the thesis statement.

To clarify, literary elements are the fundamental elements that are found in every story or piece of literature.  These include:  setting, point of view, style, conflict, character, and plot.  Literary techniques delve more into the element of style with figurative language, and these techniques are not found in every piece of literature.  Techniques include metaphor, simile, irony, personification, diction, allusion, apostrophe, and others.

Here is an example of the “LET Method” in action:

Blended Quotation :  In George Eliot’s Middlemarch, the narrator states, “Her hand and her wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain the more dignity from her plain garments, which by the side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible,— or from one of our elder poets,— in a paragraph of today’s newspaper.” 

Thesis Statement :  George Eliot uses imagery and allusions to show that beauty comes in all forms and is something to be captured through art.

Devices Included in this Quotation :  imagery, allusion, alliteration, analogy

Commentary :  In this instance, the narrator uses imagery to describe the delicate beauty of the female figure.  This beauty is emphasized by several allusions to the “Blessed Virgin,” “Italian painters,” the “Bible,” “our elder poets,” and “today’s newspaper.”  These illusions work to show that her beauty is impressive and something of the sort that would appear in fine publications. 

Using the “LET Method” gives students something concrete to explain about a quotation—as long as they can identify the devices being used.  Thus, it is imperative to spend time identifying devices so that students can begin to pick up on these devices when crafting commentary.

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The Commentary Four-Square

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The commentary four-square is an activity in which students take a piece of paper and divide it into four squares.  The top-left square contains the topic sentence. The top-right square contains the blended quotation.  The bottom squares contain a sentence of commentary each.  You can find more about this concept along with a free download of the template by clicking here .  The idea of having students “map out” a “chunk” of analysis helps them to see each distinct portion as well as how it all fits together.  I like to have students complete these in groups and then have groups share them using the ELMO device.  It can be quite an eye-opening experience for students if you have them all analyze the exact same quotation and topic sentence because it will punctuate the limitless bounds of writing commentary.  Students will be amazed at how much can be said about a single quotation.  They can also record some of these ideas to use in an essay.  The Commentary Four-Square helps students practice the previous methods in a new context.

You might also like:

Teaching Students How to Write Commentary for the Literary Analysis Essay

Commentary for Literary Analysis:  Four Square Strategy for Success

Related Resource

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About the Author

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Meredith is the founder and creator of and Bespoke ELA .  She has taught high school English for 10+ years in Dallas, Chicago, and New York City and holds a M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University.  She has always had a connection to the written word-- through songwriting, screenplay writing, and essay writing-- and she enjoys the process of teaching students how to express their ideas.  An avid tea drinker and anglophile, Meredith enjoys life with her husband, daughter, and sweet pups.

Composition Writing Studio

Argumentative essay/commentary.

From the University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (

The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that s/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

  • Argument Essays: Getting Started
  • Developing Paragraphs
  • Finding Academic Journals
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Research Writing

General Resources:

  • Argument :   UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center's online handout in argument.
  • Types of Argument
  • Writing Arguments: An Overview :  Comprehensive guide from Colorado State University's Writing Studio
  • Sample Argument Essays
  • Prompts for Argument Essays :  301 ideas from the New York Times
  • Argument :  Main page for several argument sources from Oregon State University
  • Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion

Rhetorical Appeals (Logos, Pathos, Ethos)

  • Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos :  Numerous examples of each appeal from YourDictionary
  • The Rhetorical Situation :  Purdue OWL's discussion of Aristotle's three appeals and use of telos and kairos
  • Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Advertising :  YouTube video
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos:   YouTube video

Toulmin Argument

  • Toulmin Method :  An extensive online guide from Colorado State University on using the Toulmin method of argumentation
  • Toulmin Method of Analyzing Arguments :  PowerPoint that defines and offers examples for Toulmin method
  • Definition of the Toulmin Method :  Adaptation of a chapter on Toulmin's approach to argument
  • Toulmin Argument (Aims of Argument) :  YouTube video

Rogerian Argument

  • Rogerian Argument :  Information on definition and format of argument
  • Rogerian Argument Example :  YouTube Video
  • Rogerian Argument :  YouTube Video

Counter Arguments/Perspectives

  • Counter Argument :  Overview provided by Harvard College
  • Writing Counter Argument Paragraphs :  YouTube video
  • Rhetorical Fallacies

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  • Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being

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.

AP ® Lang teachers: looking to help your students improve their rhetorical analysis essays?

Coach Hall Writes

clear, concise rhetorical analysis instruction.

How to Write an Argument Essay

December 8, 2022 by Beth Hall

Honestly, there is so much to remember when figuring out how to write an argument essay.  Between the thesis, evidence, and commentary, there’s a lot to process, but you can do it. Here’s some tips to help!

Tip 1: Include Specific Evidence 

When learning how to write an argument essay for AP® Lang, one of the most crucial aspects involves specific evidence. This may sound obvious, but based on the rubric, specific evidence is an essential component of an argument essay. Before writing, brainstorm the evidence you want to use. Be sure it relates to the prompt and your argument. Then, narrow down your evidence, focusing on examples you can elaborate well. Also, consider examples that you can pair together.

So what exactly is specific evidence for an argument essay. For instance, the American Revolution is very broad, but the Stamp Act of the American Revolution is specific. You want to be as specific as you possibly can. However, you also don’t want to assume that your reader knows about the people or events you’re talking about. So, provide appropriate definitions or context as needed. You can do this by using a non-restrictive clause or a positive phrase. For instance, you could say, The Stamp Act and then define it very briefly. You can then continue with your commentary, 

As you work on understanding evidence, it is helpful to go to the College Board website and read the argument essays from 2018 and 2019. They were re-scored with the six-point rubric, so you can get an idea of what the board wants to see. Specifically, it provides a great distinction between a 2 and 3 in row B. 

For helpful tips about writing an argument essay thesis, check out this blog post.

Tip 2:  play to your strengths .

Every student is at a different place in how ready they are for the AP® Lang Exam. This tip is especially helpful if you are on the border of a 3 out of 6 or a 4 out of 6. 

It is crucial to play to your strengths. For instance, your strengths could be outside knowledge of sports, current events, or music. Instead, your focus could be knowledge of history. If your expertise fits the prompt, try to use evidence from that category. This will help you be more specific and allow your talents and insight to really shine. 

When selecting evidence, remember to focus only on your work and evidence. Do not worry about what other students are writing about. You are not judged based on the quality of other people’s work. It does not matter if you feel your evidence is the same that other test takers will use. Graders evaluate your work individually, so do not worry about anyone else. Just make sure you’re using specific evidence and developing your commentary. 

Tip 3: Choose a Logical Order 

One of the most important argument essay tips involves the order of evidence. This requires two considerations.

First, you want to look at the order of evidence within a paragraph.

Second, you want to look at the order of your paragraphs themselves.

It is often helpful to pair evidence together within a paragraph to create layers. This helps you develop your argument. You do want to consider the order of your evidence. For instance, are you working in chronological order? Reverse chronological order? Are the pairs from the same category, such as current events, or different ones? You want to be sure the order of your evidence makes sense. However, there are also times when students can use just one key example and develop it well within the paragraph. Honestly, this decision is up to you. 

For more information about planning your evidence, check out this blog post.

Tip 4: examine “why”.

The commentary is essential when learning how to write an argument essay for AP® Lang! This is your analysis. In other words, it is the reason why the evidence proves your thesis. It is helpful to ask yourself: “Why is this evidence important or significant?” Do not assume it is obvious! You want to make sure you are clarifying this for your reader.

Additionally, you can elaborate on the lesson or moral and how the evidence supports your point. Truthfully, there are so many ways to examine why. However you elaborate, just ensure you thoroughly analyze each piece of evidence. 

If you are examining “Why” for multiple pieces of evidence, look at your format. You do not want a big chunk of evidence and then a big chunk of commentary. Instead, you want layers. Layers greatly strengthen writing! So, you will add evidence and then include commentary. If you have more evidence, you will then provide it and then add more commentary. 

Tip 5: Consider a Concession/Refutation 

Another way to develop your argument is to consider including a concession and refutation. In other words, include a counterclaim and rebuttal. If you include a counterclaim, you need to make sure to actually refute it. You do not want to contradict yourself. Therefore, it would be best if you only did this when it furthers your argument and fits the prompt. 

If you do include a counterclaim, it can fit in different places within your argument essay. Some like to use it as a third body paragraph while others like to work it into existing body paragraphs. You get to select where it fits best.

For more insight into these helpful tips, check out 5 Tips to Improve Your Argument Essay! This video provides excellent suggestions to help you through the AP® Lang Exam.

Practice is essential when learning how to write an argument essay for AP® Lang. You want to give yourself time to apply these argument essay tips. Doing this will make you feel confident and ready for the exam.

AP® Lang Teachers

Looking to help your students improve their rhetorical analysis essays?

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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 664,779 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

how to add commentary in an argumentative 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

how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

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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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  1. Five Ways to Target Commentary for Essay Writing

    how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

  2. Commentary for Argumentative Essay

    how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

  3. The Argumentative Essay

    how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

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  5. Commentary Essay ⇒ Writing Guide with Analysis Examples

    how to add commentary in an argumentative essay

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    how to add commentary in an argumentative essay


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    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

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    How to write a commentary · Do not summarize the focal article; just give the reference. · Do not include general praise for the focal article.

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