Commentary writing

A Commentary is a type of text that often appears in newspapers or magazines. The author refers to a current event Topic or one Message. In the comment he expresses his personal Opinion, from which he wants to convince his readers.

You can also write a comment: You deal with a certain topic critical apart. You give your opinion with factual arguments. This is to convince the reader of your point of view.

Sometimes, a comment is just a short personal remark. For example, when a friend comments on your new T-shirt or writes something on the Internet.

Maybe you are wondering the or the comment should say. It is always said the commentary.

Comment characteristics

A commentary focuses on the personal opinion of the author. There are several Features, by which you can recognize this type of text:

  • eye-catching, catchyheadlineThe commentator wants to arouse the reader’s interest.
  • short sentences: facts are presented in a simplified way.
  • Humor: you can recognize irony and/or sarcasm. You can find an explanation of these terms below this paragraph.
  • emotional languageA comment can be aggressive, cheeky or funny to entertain the reader.
  • GeneralizationThe author pretends to represent the opinion of the majority.

irony : You say that Opposite of what you actually mean.

Sarcasm : You attack your opponent personally and mock his qualities. Sometimes you use irony for this.

A comment always has an open question, that you should answer. For example like this: Should the lessons in the morning only start at 9 o’clock?

How to write a comment? – structure

A comment always has the same StructureIt consists of the following parts Introduction, Main part and Conclusion. Comments often have a provocative, i.e. challenging, character Headline. You provide arguments for your own side, but also take into account the counter-arguments. The name of the commentator – in our case your name – is usually written below the text.

Writing a commentary – preparation

Before you start writing your comment, you should prepare well:

  1. Look at the question and think about what you think about it.
  2. Gather background information to understand your topic accurately. Mostly you get Materials, that you should carefully work through. Mark important parts of the text and take notes.
  3. Decide on the Position, which you want to represent.

tip: Leave three lines blank at the top of the page. There you can later write the Title enter.

Writing a Commentary – Introduction

In the introduction, it is best to start with a sentence that Interest of the reader wakes. Then you formulate the Thesis , so your assertion. You also briefly explain the Facts , to which the comment refers. Your own Opinion you make clear right at the beginning.

Comment Example – Introduction: Every morning, the same dramas take place all over Germany: Teenagers oversleep their alarm clocks, children fall asleep again in the first hour sitting up . This should not be the case: Various studies have now shown that a later start to lessons leads to sufficient sleep and, in turn, to better student performance .

Writing a commentary – main part

In the main part you describe your arguments and refute Counterarguments . They do not have to be in any particular order. You can just arrange them in the way that makes the most sense to you. However, it is important that you link the sections together connect. To do this, you can use linking words and introductory sentences.

Thereby you follow a thread. this means that you should not lose sight of your position and your central idea when writing. Since you are expressing your opinion, you may use evaluative verbs and adjectives, for example improve/good or aggravate/bad, fall back. You can also rhetorical devices to add variety to your text.

You want to learn more about rhetorical devices? Then just watch our video about it!

Writing a Commentary – Conclusion

At the end you summarize your argumentation again briefly . Try to respond to the introduction Reference to round off the text. As a conclusion you can Claims or think about how your topic is reflected in future developed. This is how you inspire your reader to reflection to. Your opinion should be made clear here.

Comment example – conclusion: Experience from other countries and the results of studies show that the traditional start of school at the crack of dawn is no longer appropriate . So it’s about time that politics agrees with the late risers and puts an end to the sleepy first hour . Then, hopefully, chronic lack of sleep and bad grades will be a thing of the past in a couple of years .

When you have finished, you can choose an appropriate Title think about for your comment. It should accurately summarize your thoughts. Your title here could be something like: Sleep longer – get better grades!

Difference to other types of texts

As you may have noticed, there are some similarities between the commentary and other types of text. To help you distinguish between them, we explain the differences here Differences:

  • Also one Discussionconsists of arguments to a question. Your opinion on the topic is only mentioned in the conclusion. Overall, use a more matter-of-fact style and avoid humor and rhetorical devices.
  • A Message states a fact objectively. It does not contain a value judgement, but is only meant to inform.
  • A superordinate form of commentary is Comment. In it, you comment on a topic that concerns you personally, for example in a Letter to the editor.
  • A Glosse comments on current events, but in a very polemical tone of voice. That is, the author personally attacks and mocks the opposing position.
  • One Column appears regularly and is always written by the same author. They do not necessarily refer to current issues.
  • Reviews and Reviews are subtypes of commentary that have a specific theme. You are judging an artistic achievement, for example a play, a film or a book.

Tips and tricks

With these Tips you definitely manage to write a good commentary in German:

  • Be creative: With humor, Irony and linguistic means your text comes alive and evokes emotions in your reader.
  • Convince your reader: make sure that they can follow your argument. Do not use the I-form, however.
  • Quotes: Use quotations when referring to specific passages in the text.
  • Read NewspaperThis way you are informed about current topics. You can also find many examples of how journalists write their commentaries.

To make your commentary particularly appealing, you should know the most important stylistic devices. Have a look at our video!

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