How to Write a Commentary Essay?

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Posted on:
February 23, 2024
Updated on:
February 28, 2024
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What is a commentary essay

Commentary essays are exciting and can be used in many real-life situations. Unfortunately, schools sometimes don’t teach this important type of writing. That means students might not know how to write one. But we want to help! We’ll begin by explaining what commentary in an essay is. Then, we’ll provide you with guidelines, tips and commentary essay examples to help you write a great literary commentary.

What is a commentary essay?

Wondering what does commentary mean in an essay? Here is the commentary essay definition:

A commentary essay is where you share your thoughts, analysis, or reaction about a specific part of an essay or story. People often use it in newspapers or magazines to do a thorough analysis and describe a particular text.

When you write commentary, you’re telling your reader how the details connect to the main idea. Commentary doesn’t have facts; it helps explain why the details matter for the topic. Additionally, writing a commentary essay is not hard. Just stick to the structure, and you’ll master this kind of academic writing.

Now you have a clear understanding of what is commentary in an essay. Let’s move to its purpose. 

What is the purpose of commentary in an essay?

In an essay, commentary is like adding extra details and thoughts to explain and analyze the main points. It’s not just about repeating information; it’s about digging deeper to understand the meaning behind what’s being said.

Here’s why commentary is important:

Understanding Meaning: Commentary helps the writer explain why certain facts, evidence, or quotes are important. It helps the reader see the context and the deeper meaning behind the information.

Thinking Critically: It’s not just about saying what happened; it’s about thinking hard about the evidence given. Commentary involves looking at how different things connect and explaining how they help us understand the topic better.

Personal Touch: Writers use commentary to share their own thoughts, opinions, or insights on the topic. This adds a personal touch and makes the essay more interesting.

Connecting Ideas: Commentary links the supporting details back to the main point or argument of the essay. It shows why the evidence matters and how it supports the overall message.

Clear Explanation: Sometimes, things can get a bit complicated. Commentary steps in to clear up any confusion and explain tricky ideas in a way that everyone can understand.

Keeping Interest: Well-written commentary keeps the reader interested by offering interesting thoughts, asking questions, or showing different points of view. It gets the reader involved and thinking.

Smooth Transitions: Commentary acts like a bridge between different parts of the essay. It helps move from one idea to the next smoothly, guiding the reader through the logical flow of the argument.

Commentary Essay Outline

To make your writing easier, try creating an outline for your essay. Just jot down the introduction and body paragraphs. You can’t finalize the conclusion until you’ve written the first two parts.


  • Start by talking about the topic and giving some background. 
  • Then, briefly mention the points you’ll talk about in the main part. 
  • Finally, share a clear thesis statement that tells the main idea of your commentary.

Example: Your teacher assigned you a topic ‘The impact of social media on mental health’

Now you’re wondering how you can start writing a commentary essay? Firstly, you should give some background information about the topic.

Background information: With a growing number of social media sites, worries about how they affect mental health have grown.

Main Points: We will discuss potential negative outcomes such as self-esteem, relationships, and anxiety/depression.

Thesis statement: Social media has transformed communication, but overuse can harm mental health. Some studies have indicated that too much time on social media can lower self-esteem, ruin relationships, and increase stress and sadness.

Body Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should talk about one thing connected to your main idea. 
  • Use analysis, evidence, and examples to explain your points. 
  • Begin with the most important point, then go down the list. 
  • If there are counterarguments, address them in the last paragraphs.

For example

Bad self-image: People who use social media a lot see photos and postings that make others look ideal. This can make them feel useless. Seeing all those flawless photographs may make someone feel bad about themselves.

Hurting relationships: Some people spend too much time online instead of socializing. This can make actual interactions and connections difficult. If someone is always on their phone during dinner, others may feel neglected and unimportant.

Stress and sadness increase: Overusing social media can also increase anxiety and depression. Someone may feel like they’re missing out on enjoyment by seeing positive posts. Others can feel hurt when someone says harsh things online.


In the end, summarize the most important points from your commentary and show their significance. You can do this by repeating the main idea or by clearly stating how your insights help us understand the topic better.


In short, while social media can be fun and useful, it’s important to not overuse it. Too much time on these platforms can lower self-esteem, ruin relationships, and raise stress and sorrow. Our mental health depends on finding a balance and using social media wisely.

How to write a good commentary essay?

Do you know how to start a commentary essay? To make a great commentary essay, make sure you have these three important things:

Thinking and Writing

  • Think about and write down your thoughts on a topic.
  • Use critical thinking to analyze and reflect on it.

Easy-to-Follow Structure

  • Organize your essay like a story: beginning, middle, and end.
  • Start by introducing your topic, then discuss it, and finish by summarizing your main points.

Main Idea

  • Figure out the main point you want to make in your essay.
  • This main idea, called a thesis statement, helps guide your reader through your writing.

If you want your writing to be great, add examples to prove your main point. Use quotes from books or other sources to show your ideas are based on real facts, not just guesses. It’s crucial to mention where you got your information in a commentary essay, and you’ll likely use a common citation style like APA.

How to add commentary in an essay?

Wondering how to make good commentary in an essay? Incorporating commentary into your essay should feel like chatting with a friend about a book or movie. Choose a detail from a book you’ve read, share your thoughts authentically, and support your ideas with context analysis and direct quotes – it’s crucial for this type of essay commentary.

What does commentary mean in a paragraph?

In each paragraph of your commentary essay, talk about different parts of your chosen topic. Start with a sentence that tells what the paragraph is about. It’s perfecty fine to begin with a quote or describe something specific, like the author’s writing style or the setting of a story. Keep adding paragraphs, each one building on your opinion to support the main idea. Begin with the paragraph that has the most important evidence and move towards the less important ones.

How to select the best commentary essay topics?

Picking the best topic for your commentary essay is like choosing the most interesting thing to talk about. First, it’s super important to pick something you really like. If you’re excited about the topic, your essay will be more interesting to read.

How to select the best commentary essay topics

How to select the best commentary essay topics

Audience consideration

Think about what’s important right now and what your readers care about. Go for topics that matter and catch people’s interest. It’s also smart to know who you’re talking to – what they worry about, what they like – when you’re picking your topic.

For example: If your classmates are interested in environmental sustainability, studying how plastic waste affects marine life may be interesting.


Make your essay special by coming up with a new way to look at things. Being original, like having a fresh perspective or a unique angle on a common topic, makes your essay stand out. And don’t forget to focus on one specific thing instead of trying to cover too much. It helps you dig deep and really understand what you’re writing about.

For example: To show originality, examine how social media influencers impact consumer behavior, rather than focusing on the overall impact of technology on society. This new perspective makes your writing more interesting and different from other talks.

Controversy or debate

If your topic can start a debate or get people talking, that’s a plus! Controversial topics or ones that make people see things differently are more likely to grab attention. Talking about what’s happening right now adds an extra punch to your essay, making it more powerful.

For example: Choose a topic like Gun control regulations to engage in a dispute. It is a topic that generates controversy or conflicting opinions. By exploring this sensitive issue, you can engage readers and encourage them to explore different viewpoints, enriching the debate.

Research opportunities 

Practical stuff is important too. Make sure your topic lets you find lots of information to back up what you’re saying. And try looking at your topic from different angles, considering all sides of the story.

For example: Choose a topic with ample research prospects, such as the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies in lowering stress and anxiety. With many scientific studies and case reports, you can thoroughly research and present evidence-based insights in your essay.

Clarity of purpose 

Know why you’re writing your essay – are you trying to inform, persuade, or analyze something? Pick a topic that matches your goal. And if your topic is something you love and is important, it will show in your writing.

For example: Choose a topic that fits your essay’s purpose—knowledge, persuasion, or analysis. If you want to promote animal rights, a topic like factory farming ethics lets you communicate clearly.


Brainstorming, or jotting down lots of ideas, is a great way to find the perfect topic. Check if your ideas match your interests, are important, and can be analyzed deeply. Also, read some sample essays to get inspired and see what works.

For example: When brainstorming for my commentary essay, I made a list of potential topics related to technology’s influence on education. I checked if these ideas matched my interests, were relevant, and had enough depth for analysis. To gain inspiration and insight, I also read several sample essays on technology and education to understand different perspectives and effective writing strategies.


Getting feedback from friends or teachers can help too. They might have cool suggestions or see things you didn’t notice. And it’s okay to change your topic if you find something more interesting as you do your research.

For Example: You’re writing a commentary essay on social media’s influence on mental health, specifically focusing on cyberbullying. You share your topic with friends and teachers. They suggest considering parental involvement and school policies. You decide to adjust your focus based on their feedback for a more comprehensive essay.

10 Best Commentary Essay Topics 

When choosing a topic for your commentary essay, you have a lot of options. The key is to pick something that genuinely interests you and that you know a lot about. Here are some commentary essay examples topic:

  1. How Protagonists are Portrayed in Modern Movies.
  2. Changes in Friendship in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”
  3. How Immigration Policies and Cultural Diversity Affect Your Country.
  4. Effects of Social Isolation on Youth, Physically and Mentally.
  5. The Use of Sarcasm in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”
  6. How Political Satire Affects People’s Voting Choices.
  7. The Role of Irony in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
  8. Talking about Privacy Ethics in the Digital Age
  9. How Social Relationships are Shown in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
  10. The Impact of Video Games on Teenagers’ Thinking Skills.

Do’s and Don’ts in Commentary Essay

Always refer to this checklist when writing a commentary. These will help you write a great commentary. This checklist covers commentary essay dos, don’ts, and suggestions. 


Follow these simple rules when writing a commentary in a essay:

  • Stick to talking about the content; don’t express personal likes or dislikes.
  • Always mention where you got your information.
  • Use a title that summarizes your work, including keywords from your thesis and the original piece.
  • Share all the details about the original content, like the author and when it was published.
  • Double-check your work for grammar and structure mistakes.


Keep it simple when writing a commentary in essay:

  • Don’t summarize everything because it will give no value to the reader. Just mention the main points briefly.
  • Only include citations that support your ideas, and avoid unnecessary ones.
  • Avoid making big, general statements.
  • Never copy directly from sources to prevent plagiarism.


Commentary essay vs analytical essay

A commentary essay and an analytical essay share similarities but also have distinct characteristics:

Characteristic Commentary Essay Analytical Essay
Focus on Personal Perspective Emphasizes the writer’s personal opinions, insights, and reflections. Allows subjective engagement with the topic. Maintains a more objective and impartial tone. Focuses on providing a thorough examination of the subject.
Interpretation and Reflection Primary goal is to interpret and reflect on the significance of facts, evidence, or quotes. Delves into the deeper meaning. Emphasis on a comprehensive analysis of the topic, exploring relationships between different elements.
Subjectivity Embraces subjectivity, allowing the writer to bring unique perspective and experiences into the analysis. Generally minimizes personal opinions and emotions, aiming for a more balanced and objective evaluation.
Engagement and Connection Seeks to engage the reader by posing questions, presenting alternative viewpoints, and fostering active participation. Focuses on presenting evidence-based arguments, relying on factual information and logical reasoning.

Tips on writing a commentary essay

Here are simple steps to make your commentary outstanding:

Tips on writing a commentary essay

Tips on writing a commentary essay

  • Identify the main issue.
  • Think about the theme and who you’re talking to.
  • Decide how to organize your essay and its style.
  • Plan how to share your information clearly.
  • Be clear about your language and writing style.
  • Choose artistic tools to enhance your writing.
  • Decide what to include and what to skip.
  • Transform your essay into a well-spoken speech.
  • Seek feedback from others.
  • Proofread and edit your final draft.

If you still have questions, let the experts handle it. We’re ready to write your commentary essay anytime! Our student-friendly prices and customer-focused service ensure peace of mind. Order from one of the best essay writing services today!


If you ever struggle with writing a commentary sentence in an essay or need help with any part of your schoolwork, you might wonder, ‘Can someone do my assignment for me?’ The answer is yes! You can get professional help to make sure your assignments, including commentary essays, are well done and express your thoughts effectively. You can also buy essays online. 

Services that offer help with assignments can connect you with experienced writers who know how to create interesting commentary essays. Whether you need help picking the right topic, improving your writing style, or making sure you cite your sources correctly, professionals can assist you.



Picture of Lara Ramos
Lara Ramos
I'm Lara Ramos, a seasoned Blog Author. I've found immense joy in guiding students through the complexities of their thesis and dissertations.

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