Writing a commentary in german – structure, outline& tips

Writing a commentary in german - structure, outline& tips

The commentary is in essence a form of personal expression of an author, who through the commentary his personal opinion and evaluation can. Commentary is clearly an expression of opinion and thus stands in contrast to other types of text such as news, interviews or reports. These are always written in a neutral and factual style and are non-judgmental.
A commentary thus represents a Addition to an existing article dar. The author of the commentary enriches the article with background information, possible interpretations or the elaboration of contradictions and expresses his personal opinion on the basis of these explanations.

Special form of the commentary: The editorial

The editorial is, so to speak, the lead story of a newspaper. It is usually written by the editor-in-chief and reflects the political and social stance of a newspaper in parts. In most cases, such a commentary is written on current political or social events, but it can also refer to other topics such as sports or economics.

Writing a commentary: Instructions and structure

In contrast to many other forms of text, a commentary does not have to, not follow a specific structure and can basically refer to any report. The author of a commentary is not restricted in his or her writing style. However, commentary can be roughly divided into three categories.

Argumentation commentary

According to the name, the main focus of an argumentation commentary is on arguments. In this case, the author summarizes various arguments, highlights them and finally writes a conclusion based on his personal opinion.

Either-or commentary

The either/or commentary also weighs up arguments for and against the topic being discussed. However, the style of this commentary is more akin to a discussion, and the conclusion is sometimes ambiguous. The author either expresses a clear point of view and includes it in his conclusion, he concludes by deciding on a compromise, or he evades expressing an opinion and does not take a clear position on the issue.

Straightforward comment

The third main form of commentary is strikingly different from the other two. In the straightforward commentary, the author begins directly to express his opinion and does without a cumbersome weighing of arguments. The language used in this form of commentary is usually simple and understandable, so that the position of the author quickly becomes clear to the reader.

Writing a commentary may seem easy, but there is a lot of work behind it. Instead of just writing quickly and simply, what is needed here is a well-founded and extensive preparatory work.

Part of this preparatory work consists of extensive study of the topic to be covered. Background must be researched, arguments found and internalized, and public opinions considered. Furthermore, the author must be aware that his commentary is an argumentative commentary certain scope has. Published comments are often opinionated and can strongly influence readers.

In addition, it is the author’s duty to consider whether he can include his own opinion in the commentary in the form that he wants to. Because especially with regard to ethical questions and topics, the author of a comment is literally on thin ice.

The structure of the comment

As mentioned above, the commentary cannot be generalized. Therefore, here is only one possible and generally valid outline of the commentary.

A commentary begins with an introduction that should inform the reader about the facts of the case and already contains a transition to the following argumentation. This argumentation follows an arbitrary pattern of argumentation, but remains coherent in itself. Finally, there is the conclusion with the author’s personal statement. The conclusion must be comprehensible and understandable, so it is important to include tendencies towards the conclusion already in the argumentation section.

Depending on the author’s intentions for his commentary, it may differ from one rhetorical device operate. Irony, hyperbole or superlatives, rhetorical questions and metaphors are often used for this purpose. The author of the commentary should be quite articulate for the use of rhetorical devices, in order to be able to follow the Effect of his chosen words to be conscious.

If you want to publish a commentary, you should consider already at the beginning how sharply and clearly you want to represent your own opinion in the process. Opinions are quickly seen as polemical, racist or otherwise negatively tainted. The author must therefore be aware that his name stands for the commentary he publishes and must therefore always carefully consider.

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