This is probably a good time to talk about the effects of rhyme and rhythm and also to look at diction/language. Tone is very important in this poem and it is worth discussing at this point. Tone is one of the most difficult qualities for students to determine. By now the class should be ready to start writing full commentaries but they will need to have advice on how to approach a completely unknown text. It is easier to start with a fairly short poem; one that is useful to use is Vachel Lindsay’s “The Flower-fed Buffaloes of the Spring”. Although this lesson might appear to be wasting time it is very worthwhile since it increases students’ awareness of language and theme. No one in the class will feel left out as they will all be able to contribute something.

Not only will you have dented a prejudice but you will also have had a very enjoyable lesson, in which every student has participated. The commentary will allow the student to consider and evaluate the style model, the writing process and the effectiveness of the final piece of writing. So you are putting together a board pack that contains lots of financial information. You’ve wrangled the numbers, added in some nice visuals, but now you have been asked to write some ‘commentary’. As a ‘numbers’ person, adding commentary may not be one of your strengths. Not to worry we have put together 5 tips to help your financial commentary really tell a story.

Ready to connect the dots?

Introduce the main themes and structural aspects of the passage. For instance, if you are given a poem with five stanzas, you should try to say something about each stanza. A commentary should relate the passage to the rest of the work (novel, collection of poems, etc.), but remain focused in the main on the details of the passage itself. Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest. In this blog, Francesca, an experienced IB teacher, shows us that full marks in Paper 2 are achievable if we understand the mark criteria. Spelling, punctuation and grammar all equate to an easy 5 marks in a commentary, but do not forget that your register must also be appropriately formal and engaging. Equally, think about how images work together across stanzas when writing on a poem – the poems in Paper 1 are usually chosen because they develop in some way.

Avoid going off into broad comparisons between ideas in both texts, and remember to keep your commentary grounded in the language that is being used, and the relationship that has to the overall meaning of the text. Begin the commentary with some brief context about the passage, what is argumentative writing no more than a few sentences. After that should be your thesis statement, which should be stated in a precise and clear manner. Then outline the three main areas you will be focusing on, indicating the approach you will take, remembering to include precise adjectives.

How to score top marks in your Paper 1 Commentary IB English A Language and Literature

For each of these, you should always make sure to make your point, provide a quotation and then quote introductions give some linguistic analysis. Finally, remember to keep quoting directly from both texts.

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. The passage in front of you is not, therefore, an invitation to write a general essay about the work from which it has been taken. Reflect on the writing process using methods of language analysis. If you are able to swap any two topic sentences, and it makes no difference to your commentary, then you have a list .

The Writer’s Process: How to Write a Reflective Commentary for A Level AQA

When students arrive in class at the beginning of the IB English A1 class they will often say they hate poetry. To counter this prejudice, hand out to every student a copy of a good poetry anthology and ask them to look through how to properly cite a website in an essay it and try to find a poem that they like . They will then have to read the poem to the class and say what they liked about it. They can give any reason except that of length; they cannot say they chose it because it was short.

how to write commentary

Even students who appear to be most suspicious of literature will come up with a poem, and a reaction to it that reveals a perhaps unexpected degree of sensitivity to content and language. After each student has read his or ways to start a quote her poem ask for reactions to the lesson. You can point out that since everyone has found a poem they thought worth sharing with the group, they may find others; so they can never, ever again say that they hate poetry.

What do teachers say about this resource?

You don’t need to agree with every suggestion or comment from your tutor, but you do need to show you’ve thought about your tutor’s feedback. 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. You can use your writing diary to help you write your Reflective Commentaries, but they aren’t the same thing. Summarise your findings, drawing together the different aspects of the text that you have discussed in your commentary.

  1. You should also include references for ideas, and for the objects themselves.
  2. It is a waste of time to simply re-state in words what is in the table since all directors must be able to read and understand financial information.
  3. The acrylic paint was the most effective for creating the Scottish Colourist style, as it has most visual impact and I could create the bold brushstrokes typical of their work.
  4. Please select ‘Open Peer Commentary’ as the manuscript type, even if you’re just submitting a proposal!
  5. By now the class should be ready to start writing full commentaries but they will need to have advice on how to approach a completely unknown text.
  6. Students can do this for homework but it is important to go over the results in class.

Uchhh we have to do practice commentaries in class every Friday. It sucks, especially when we’re given poetry to write about.


Beyond that, Elite IB are happy to offer you flexible and effective tuition to bring your skills in Paper 1 up to a very high level. You should always use the guiding questions that the IB gives as part of the Paper 1 question, but be sure to be more precise than this when you are structuring your essay. It is absolutely fine to use these prompts in your commentary, but always be sure to specify the way in which this feature has been used rather than just a generic reference. Therefore, rephrase it in your introduction by saying, for example, that you will discuss the use of ‘sardonic tone’. Focus on the points of similarity in these themes within each paragraph, and then move on to discussing the differences. You should avoid writing a commentary that deals entirely with one passage and then another since the IB is looking for a coherent structure that can synthesise both passages into a single effective commentary. Your conclusion, much like your introduction, should not be very long.

Ask about the choice of background music or images and you will be surprised at how aware they are of the techniques employed. A good poetry anthology is an essential tool for teaching students how to write an effective commentary. I am studying photography how long is the average college essay and part of the work involves writing critiques of other people’s work. The guidelines set out above are relevant to any critique, whatever the subject matter. The workshop helped me have a better understanding of reflective commentaries.

LGBT+ History Month

Browse criticism collated into topic areassuch as health, feminism, literary movements, censorship, folklore and many more. Alternatively, choose which part to search by clicking on the What’s Insidelink on the toolbar.

how to write commentary

Your commentary should be presented within a single file, along with images of your exhibition objects. You should also include references for ideas, and for the objects themselves. Make sure that your TOK teacher has given you access to all the documents and online material that support the exhibition. These include the TOK Subject Guide – where you’ll find the IA prompts, and the exhibition rubric – and the exemplar TOK exhibitions (found in ‘MyIB’, which is accessible to teachers). The way I timed it was to spend the first 20 minutes reading, annotating and writing a plan, then the rest of the two hours writing the commentary , I found any longer would be too long.

Original writing

In preparation for the writing, students will study a range of style models before selecting and analysing one style model in detail. Students will select their own style model in consultation with their supervising teacher. Students will then use this research to inform their own piece of original writing. Use the links below to take you to the core and optional themes.

Hand out a poem or a prose extract to everyone in the class. The poem should be read at least twice before doing anything else. It is best to read it aloud for the sound effects but, of course, in exams that is not possible. For homework ask students to paraphrase a brief poem by a poet like Keats or Shelley and comment on the differences between the original and the paraphrase. There is no need to use precise literary-critical terms in framing these questions. 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.

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