Instructions for commentaries
Commentaries should be at least two pages long (1000 words) and written according to APA citation guidelines. If you have not learned about these guidelines, try to name all authors and works that you are citing or referring to at the end of your text and also let the reader know which papers/books and which pages you are citing. In terms of style, use a font size of 12 pt. and a maximum of 1.5 line spacing. No cover page is necessary. Your name and matriculation number as well as the date of the corresponding lecture should be visible in the header. Do not use more than 3 paragraphs per page.
The first part of the commentary should contain a summary of what you consider to be the most important aspects and arguments of the text. You are not expected to summarize the original text as a whole. Select those arguments, observations and passages you find most interesting and/or debatable. No evaluation or criticism should be expressed at this point. Try to be as true and fair to the original text as possible.
The second part of the commentary should represent a statement that includes your own analysis, your associations and ideas as well as an evaluation or critique of what you read. You can focus on what you regard as particularly important and or/problematic, or elaborate on how the arguments that are presented could be applied to other areas. Contradictions, limitations and/or gaps in the argumentation should be pointed out as well as what you found most inspiring or remarkable. If possible, draw connections to other authors or texts that you have read or learned about.
The general purpose of the commentary is to elaborate on your understanding of the text, but also how one could think further. In regards to the second part of the commentary, statements such as “I see it differently” or “I do not agree” do not constitute sufficient arguments. Try to elaborate as precisely as possible why you disagree with a particular position. Statements such as “this approach cannot explain the entirety of our experience” or “this perspective must be complemented by other approaches” are too global and unspecific. Try to make it as clear as possible why think that certain arguments appear problematic from your perspective and which other approaches would be a better fit from your perspective.
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