• This assignment is intended to be paired with the Casebook assignment.
  • All assignments assume that framing and context will be provided by readings, further documentation, and/or in-class work.  When adapting an assignment for your own use, be sure to provide such framing and context through your own course’s text(s) and in-class work.
  • Outcome tags indicate that an assignment addresses one of our writing program’s seven learning outcomes.  While an assignment may relate to multiple outcomes, it usually focuses on one or two particular outcomes, the others being peripheral or merely implicit.  Carefully evaluate each assignment you choose for the outcome(s) on which it focuses.



Instructor: Chris Carroll

  • First Draft Due: Wednesday 3/25 (Bring three copies to class for peer editing)
  • Second Draft Due: Wednesday 4/1 (Bring three copies to class for peer editing)
  • Final Draft Due: Monday 4/6 (Bring hard copy & e-mail me a copy before class)
  • Individual Presentations: 4/6, 4/8, 4/10

Commentary is a genre of writing that uses analysis and interpretation to find patterns of meaning in events, trends, and ideas. The purpose of commentary is not simply to report on things but to give readers a way to make sense of them.

-The Call to Write p.288


While preferably referencing the work you did in your casebook, you will write a commentary that addresses a topic of interest to you. In doing so, you will have to make an argument about an issue circulating in our culture. For help on planning your commentary, refer to The Call to Write p.308-9.

Your final commentary should be 6-8 pages double spaced and include a works cited page. You should include 3-4 visuals within the text. Your commentary should be modeled after the commentaries you read for your casebook. You will also present your commentary to the class; we will discuss the presentation further in class at a later date.


Your commentary should be written for an audience of fellow students who are familiar with the topic or issue you are investigating. They know the different sides and arguments of the issue. Your aim is to persuade readers of your take on the issue.


You should have at least five sources that cover more than one side of the issue. Please feel free to use the sources you have already researched from the casebook assignment.

Purpose and Goals

  • To synthesize the issues on a particular topic
  • To effectively evaluate and select sources that are appropriate for your project
  • To learn conventional forms of citing and works cited page
  • To become familiar with the genre of commentary
  • To choose and successfully narrow down a research topic
  • To become familiar with the current research on your topic


The Commentary will be 25% of your final course grade. The commentary itself will be worth 20%, while the individual presentation will be 5%.


Feel free to e-mail me  or stop by office hours with any questions. You are also encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Writing Center.

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