What Is a Commentary Essay: Guide for Students

Why can’t an essay be just an essay? Every time you have finally succeeded at writing and think that you’ve got it there is another task at your plate.

You have no idea what to write. However, you already know that you need to research what is a commentary essay in the first place. What type of comments do you put? What do you comment on? Moreover, one of the most important things is how do you make an essay out of comments?

So, in order not to get to lost in the ideas and definitions, this type of essay is mostly a task for the high school student at least or for the college students. The purpose is to demonstrate a formed mindset and general awareness.

The task is designed to demonstrate students’ critical thinking and readiness to be an active participant in the social life and not just the observer. It means that writing a commentary essay is targeted at young people who already have a set of principles and outlook on the world and events that happen on a daily basis.

Commentary Essay Definition to Clarify All Questions

A commentary essay definition can be viewed through the purpose of this writing style. While other writing styles incorporate a dialog, challenge, cause, and consequence, the comment is targeted to reveal the in-depth knowledge of the text.

The writer is supposed to rationalize his/her agreement or disapproval of the information. Critique papers may center around only one content or fill in as a way to look into numerous writings. What is peculiar about this type of essay is that sometimes, the task is about comparing two or more information sources.

Since commentary essays pass on comprehension of foundation material, some examination is required to make papers convincing and lock on a single point. The research from the different angles helps to keep the reader’s attention and make your essay fascinating.

Notwithstanding utilizing general data for writing, students may turn to other sources for acquiring data, for example, the interviews and surveys conducted even by themselves. That is the way a writer is supposed to prompt a student to social interactions.

The definition of a commentary essay means you present the objective facts through these non-conventional techniques to gather enough proof and make an intelligible piece of work with the strong presentation.

How to Do a Commentary Essay Properly

To develop a decent essay, you have to get all the recent information on the subject for the two main reasons.

  • Awareness. To provide your comments on the subject matter, you have to learn more about the information. Learn second opinions and contradictions. Search for scientific journals that mention the issue to give a full review.
  • Objectivity. To rationalize your opinion, you have to learn several views on the subject matter and the consequence that the resolving of the issue might have. Or suggest a possible solution and foresee these consequence. Also, you may comment on what could have been done differently and why.

Information is the key. Just like with any other academic works any source of information has to be a trustworthy one. It’s really great that today even more information is available on the site, including more tips on how to do a commentary essay.


The standard structure of the essay is applicable here as well. Follow the flow:

  1. Introduction. A summary of the issue, supported by the leader opinions from rivaling sides. A hint on what you are going to present in the body of an essay.
  2. Body. Divide the main issue into smaller aspects you would like to provide your comments on. Try to define at least 3 points to the discussion. Provide your comments on each of them and support them with the information you obtained from the prior research.
  3. Conclusion. Present a common ground of your comments, the general idea that ties your comment together.

Some schools give a task to comment on a literary piece of work. Students say that they keep in mind editorial writing when they have to put comments into an essay. Others think of abstract critique.

Additional Tips

This task expects you to evaluate a bit of writing, frequently a novel, poetry, or play. The key piece of a triumphant discourse is a clear and solid thesis. It is actually applied to any writing. If the message is too vague in the introduction, your presentation may also become too watery. Try to make sense out of every smallest piece you put down.

Commenting on literary works changes the extent of your discourse fundamentally. Start with a bulleted or single-passage analysis and make notes of crucial data to incorporate.

It may not seem easy to write a commentary essay when you receive the task for the first time. Students who were able to get in the college have great chances to complete the assignment with a little practice.