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How to Write a Commentary Essay

How to Write a Commentary Essay

Commentary essay

If you are eager to delve into the intricacies of composing a commentary essay, your journey begins here. In this enlightening article, we will guide you through the entire process, furnishing you with commentary essay examples, charting essential tactics, and presenting imaginative concepts for your commentary essay subjects. By the conclusion of this guide, you will possess the resources and expertise to fashion a commentary essay that leaves a lasting impression.

Understanding the Commentary Essay

A commentary essay paper is a form of academic writing where you provide a critical analysis of a specific text or medium, such as a book, article, movie, or artwork. Unlike a traditional literary analysis, which focuses solely on the text itself, a commentary essay allows you to incorporate your perspective and opinions.

The primary purpose of a commentary essay paper is to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the subject matter. You should aim to engage with the material on a profound level, exploring its themes, structure, and the author’s intentions. Additionally, commentary essays often require you to evaluate and discuss the significance of the text in a broader context.

How to Craft a Commentary Essay

A commentary essay can either be a long essay like a 3000-word essay or it can also be a short essay. Here we will walk you through the essential steps that will guide you on how to write a compelling commentary essay.

  1. Select an intriguing topic.

Choose a text or media source that truly captivates your interest or one assigned by your instructor. Your passion for the subject will not only make the writing process more enjoyable but also infuse your analysis with enthusiasm.

  1. Delve into careful reading and analysis.

Before you set pen to paper, immerse yourself in a thorough examination of your chosen text or medium. Take meticulous notes on key themes, characters, plot twists, and noteworthy literary or cinematic techniques. Mark passages or scenes that will feature prominently in your essay.

  1. Forge a potent thesis statement.

Your thesis statement should encapsulate the primary argument or point of your commentary essay. It must be clear, concise, and open to debate. Consider what message you wish to convey about the text or media and the profound insights you intend to offer your readers.

  1. Structurally organize your thoughts.

Create an essay outline. Determine the framework you’ll employ, whether it is an introduction, body paragraphs, or a conclusion. Each body paragraph should hone in on a specific facet of the text or media and lend support to your thesis statement.

  1. Transcribe your insights.

Now, it is time to translate your reflections into prose. Begin with a captivating introduction that sets the stage for the text or media and introduces your thesis statement. In your body paragraphs, dissect and interpret the material, employing evidence and examples to bolster your arguments. Be sure to interweave your commentary.

  1. Refine and polish

Once your initial draft is complete, dedicate time to the crucial task of editing and revising your essay. Scrutinize for clarity, coherence, grammar, and punctuation errors. Ensure a seamless logical flow for your arguments, and articulate your commentary with finesse.

  1. Finalize your masterpiece.

In this final phase, address any necessary revisions and give your essay a final proofread. Verify that your essay adheres to the formatting and citation style stipulated by your instructor or institution.

Using the above steps you will be able to compose a good essay.

Commentary Essay Outline

Creating a clear and well-structured outline is crucial when writing a commentary essay. It helps you organize your thoughts and arguments, ensuring that your essay flows logically and coherently. Here is a suggested outline for a commentary essay:

a) Introduction

  1. Hook: Start with an engaging sentence or question to capture the reader’s attention.
  2. Context: Provide background information about the text or media you are commenting on, including the title, author, publication date, and any relevant context.
  3. Thesis Statement: Present your main argument or the point you intend to make in your commentary essay. Make it clear, specific, and debatable.

b) Summary

  1. Summarize the text or media: Provide a concise summary of the material you are analyzing. Highlight the main plot points, key characters, and essential themes. Keep this section brief, as the focus of your essay should be on analysis and commentary.

c) Analysis

i) Body Paragraph 1 (Theme/Aspect 1):

  1. Topic Sentence: Introduce the first theme or aspect you will discuss.
  2. Explanation: Explain the theme or aspect in detail, providing context and examples from the text or media.
  3. Commentary: Offer your interpretation and analysis. Discuss why this theme or aspect is significant and how it contributes to the overall meaning of the text.

ii) Body Paragraph 2 (Theme/Aspect 2):

  1. Follow the same structure as in the first body paragraph, but focus on a different theme or aspect.

iii) Body Paragraph 3 (Theme/Aspect 3):

  1. If needed, continue with additional body paragraphs to address more themes or aspects.

d) Personal Commentary

i) Body Paragraph(s):

  1. Express your perspective and opinions about the text or media. How did it affect you personally? What emotions did it evoke, and why?
  2. Share your insights, reactions, and any connections you made to your own experiences or the broader world.

e) Evaluation and Significance

  1. Analyze the overall significance of the text or media in a broader context. Consider its relevance to society, culture, or literature.
  2. Discuss the author’s intentions and whether they were achieved.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the text or media in conveying its message or theme.

f) Conclusion

  1. Summarize your main arguments and key points.
  2. Reiterate the significance of the text or media in the context of your thesis statement.
  3. End with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action (if applicable) to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

g) References or works cited (if required)

  • List all the sources you used for your commentary essay in the appropriate citation style (e.g., MLA, APA, and Chicago).

Commentary Essay Ideas

Choosing the right topic for your commentary essay is essential for a successful and engaging piece of writing. Here are some commentary essay topic ideas across various fields:

  1. Analyze the theme of social justice in George Orwell’s “1984” and its relevance to contemporary society.
  2. Explore the character development of Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bront’s novel “Jane Eyre.”
  3. Discuss the symbolism of the green light in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”
  4. Investigate the use of magical realism in Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
  5. Examine the role of gender and power dynamics in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
  6. Analyze the use of color symbolism in a particular film (e.g., “The Wizard of Oz” or “Schindler’s List”).
  7. Discuss the portrayal of mental illness in movies like “A Beautiful Mind” or “Black Swan.”
  8. Explore the cultural impact of a classic film, such as “Star Wars” or “Casablanca.”
  9. Analyze the influence of social media on modern relationships, as depicted in films like “The Social Network” or “Her.”
  10. Examine the representation of race and identity in contemporary television series, such as “Black Mirror” or “The Crown.”
  11. Critique a contemporary art exhibition or artwork and discuss its societal significance.
  12. Analyze the impact of a specific music album on a particular genre or cultural movement.
  13. Discuss the role of food and cuisine in shaping cultural identity and heritage.
  14. Examine the evolution of fashion trends and their influence on society and self-expression.

Commentary Essay Examples

To illustrate the concepts we have discussed so far, let us take a look at a few commentary essay examples:

  1. Title: The Influence of Technology on Modern Education

In today’s rapidly evolving world, technology has become an integral part of education. From online learning platforms to interactive classroom tools, the way we learn has been transformed. In this commentary essay, we will explore the positive and negative impacts of technology on modern education, shedding light on its role in shaping the future of learning.

  1. Title: Analyzing the Symbolism in George Orwell’s “1984”

George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” is a treasure trove of symbolism. In this commentary essay, we will delve into the intricate symbols woven throughout the novel, such as Big Brother, the Thought Police, and Newspeak. By dissecting these symbols, we gain a deeper understanding of the novel’s underlying themes and warnings about totalitarianism.

To Conclude

In conclusion, mastering the art of crafting a commentary essay is within your reach, thanks to the comprehensive guide and resources we have provided here at By following the steps outlined, you can embark on a journey to create insightful and engaging commentary essays that not only analyze texts or media but also incorporate your perspective and opinions. Whether you are exploring themes in classic literature, dissecting symbolism in a novel, or examining societal issues through the lens of contemporary media, our guide equips you with the tools and knowledge needed to excel in commentary essay writing. If you need assistance with your commentary essay, we provide professional coursework writing services.

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