Writing a good reflective commentary
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A writing diary will help you to be more conscious of your learning process and more aware of the different skills you’re developing. If you add to your diary regularly, it will form a record of your writing journey. All authors interested in writing a commentary must first submit a short proposal (2-4 sentences) via the ScholarOne, uploaded as a Word file in accordance with the manuscript submission requirements. Authors of selected proposals will then have 2-3 weeks to submit their final manuscript, also uploaded as a Word file in accordance with the manuscript submission requirements.

  1. Like your notebooks, your writing diary is for you alone and you can keep it in whatever format you prefer.
  2. For prose passages it is important for students to look at structure, diction, syntax, dialogue and tone.
  3. You can share your thoughts if they are related to what made the writing/video/photograph/etc.
  4. Students can do this for homework but it is important to go over the results in class.
  5. The style model I used does rely very heavily on humour but the use of humour within it has quite a big impact.
  6. The conclusion does not need to be long, but rather just a quick statement summarizing everything covered in previous paragraphs.

It is easier when they have two pieces on the same topic that they can compare so that one can bounce off the other. A poem about old age which celebrates the spirit of the old man such as R. S. Thomas’s quote introduction sentence starters “Lore” can be compared with a passage written by a social worker giving advice on how to take care of the elderly. Any student can recognize the differences in tone, language and message.

OCA Degree Show Showcase 21

Your chosen writer/text/movement must be contemporary, which the OCA defines, the purposes of the CRC, as being published after 1950. However, if you have a strong case for choosing an earlier author or work, discuss this with your tutor. You may be permitted to focus on this earlier topic with your tutor’s agreement. (Ensure you check with your tutor before writing your CRC though!). Think about what you’ve learnt from your reading in terms of craft – this is much more impressive than just saying you were inspired to write about the same subject.

In contrast, Timar’s efforts at action – his distribution of cigarettes to the Africans – is much more haphazard. Whilst Adèle is surreptitious, disappearing and appearing abruptly, Timar draws attention to himself, and the ‘calme […] absolu’ of the market is replaced with verbs of noise and movement as the African women scrabble for cigarettes around him. A commentary is an analysis of the given passage, its function and its characteristics. It should examine the key themes and stylistic devices of the passage, showing how the language works to convey its content. Discusses the use of a wiki as an aid or hinderance in the drafting process when writing fiction, and as a tool for reflecting back on that process. Considers the testimony of several writers on the act of writing and the paradoxical relationship between remembering and forgetting.


Within my piece I tried to use humour such as “winds which could give even a chicken the power to fly”. I did this to try and create a more light hearted how do you introduce a quote tone which would be more informal and easier for an audience to follow. The style model used humour within an anecdote, “‘Don’t look to your left.

  1. Use line numbers in your commentary, rather than wasting time by quoting at length.
  2. Reading lots will ensure you don’t come too much under the sway of one writer’s voice.
  3. Stefanie Brinkmann is Research Fellow at the “Bibliotheca Arabica Project” at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig.
  4. Similarly, don’t say you changed something just because your tutor told you to – only change it if you think it’s the right change to make, and say why you think so.

You could also provide insight into what made the author write it, if applicable. If you watched a video, for example, explain why you think certain things happened during it. Your explanation does not have to be related directly back to the event itself; instead, your commentary essay should explain how a creator or actor’s past experiences influenced the work. They should compare them and try to decide which list explains the text more accurately or effectively. After about 15 minutes ask one member of each group of 4 to report back to the class on their findings. The value of this exercise is that students arrive at an understanding of the poem and how it works without the teacher’s having to say anything.

Commentary writing with Patrick Uden

Speaking of death also allows the author to flow right on to the next topic of how “Death is everywhere https://moutashomecare.com/how-to-write-a-controlling-idea-essay/ is Varanasi”. The first novels that are read in class should be used for practice in prose commentary.

Trained in Arabic, Persian, and Roman Studies, she had acting professorships at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, and was member and principal investigator of a number of manuscript projects. She has published in the fields of manuscript studies, especially on hadith manuscripts, writing a commentary material culture in hadith, and classical Arabic poetry. Overall I believe that my piece was effective in using a variety of techniques however I think that these techniques were used in a way which could be improved when compared to my style model as I believe this let my piece down.


Writing the reflective commentaries is an important part of the creative writing degree and the RCs serve several purposes. They are useful for tutors as they help us to understand students’ aims in a particular piece of writing. My critical commentary examines the intersection of trauma theory and Kristeva’s theory of abjection.

commentary writing

At the end, if the teacher feels that important points have been omitted, then he or she can question and elucidate further. The 1,2,4 method is one of the most useful ways for students to learn how to approach unknown texts. It provides lots of exposure to the text without the teacher’s having to lead discussions. The groups can report their findings back to the class and then they might discuss what audience they think given advertisements are aimed at, and how persuasive they might be. Ask how many of them agree that they are influenced by advertisements. For homework, students can be asked to find an advertisement for themselves and write down what they think about its aims, its intended audience, and its language.

The Open University

The Final RC is longer and in it you should consider what you’ve learnt from the unit as whole, as well as referring to particular assignments. You will now be close to preparing your work for assessment, so you should discuss your redrafting process https://a150.ru/2023/02/06/how-long-is-a-short-essay-in-words-writing/ – what you’ve changed and why – and also demonstrate your engagement with your tutor’s feedback. These are just a few of the techniques you could discuss – there may be others that are more relevant to your particular piece of creative work.

Make a list, mind map or some other kind of representation of all the things you’d like your commentary to include about your chosen writer/work/movement. Look back at my blog on ‘How to Write a Good Reflective Commentary’ for a suggested list of potential writing techniques. Don’t choose a huge topic – you have a limited word count so can’t analyse all of Stephen King’s novels, or all the poems by Kathleen Jamie. Choose one or two novels, or one or two collections – at most. Don’t leave choosing your writer/book/literary movement for your CRC to last the minute.

How To Write A Commentary Essay

However, don’t be too colloquial and chatty either – your tone needs to be moderate and considered. Instead, say you thought it wasn’t successful as a technique and explain why. Use of stanzas, use of punctuation, imagery, word choice, tone, structure, point of view, use of sound (e.g. rhyme, or assonance, alliteration), rhythm. Focus on the creative work you’ve just submitted to your tutor. Summarise the story, poem, script etc. – your tutor has just read it.. Like your notebooks, your writing diary is for you alone and you can keep it in whatever format you prefer.

  1. When they have finished, ask them to explain the effects of the …
  2. The Final RC is longer and in it you should consider what you’ve learnt from the unit as whole, as well as referring to particular assignments.
  3. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission.
  4. There is more forethought and organization given to what is being said but attention signals are asked for and given; one expects at least a nod or the occasional “yes” as a response.
  5. In my own writing I used a large amount of proper nouns such as “The Blackpool Tower to Stargate”.
  6. Patrick also lectures to professionals and students on commentary writing, interviewing technique, programme structure and documentary directing for television.

At the end of your essay, create a reference page where you list all of your sources and give credit to them by citing/quoting specific passages so they can be easily identified. Do focus on a few techniques used in the work (you can’t cover everything), so choose a few that are particularly pertinent and explore why they work. However, if you have a particular idea that differs in some way from the guidelines below, don’t discount it. Discuss your thoughts with your tutor and they may give you the go-ahead. The workshop helped me have a better understanding of reflective commentaries.

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Some students do not realize the differences between formal and informal language but explaining “key” to them can help them understand the importance of writing in the correct way. Advertisements are all around us in our daily lives, and we are continually exposed to the persuasive language of the copywriter. Because of this, most students can analyse the techniques that advertisers use to persuade people to buy their products .

It is worth putting together half a dozen of these comparisons. Students can short essay length do this for homework but it is important to go over the results in class.

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