1. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Reflective and Critical Commentary

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Honeybun, Dec 21, 2009.

    Hi guys

    I was wondering on how one can go about writing a critical commentary on his/her work, be it a short story, film script...etc. Are we free in presenting it the way we prefer? (especially if advice from the tutor is quite vague on how to do it) in terms of either in an essay form or simply writing brief notes on our methodology and source materials that we've used during the writing process.

    I'm supposed to be writing one soon and thought I'd get some more info from you guys before I get started.

    Any suggestions, experience, opinion would be great.

    Honeybun :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    To start with, what is the audience and purpose of the commentary?
     
  3. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Well, it's basically a commentary on my script that I had written on the course. The audience is my tutor?? and it's for assesment purposes...
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Anything written for assessment should be written in essay form, not in brief notes or bullet points or anything like that.
     
  5. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Commentary for your own work, right? And for a script....

    Critical commentaries of your own work usually cover these sort of things:

    How your script came together (where did your ideas come from; how did you get them down (what technique helped you) how did you bring those ideas together, did you make any drastic changes (one set to another, sex of one character to another, time) etc)
    What parts of the course readings/frameworks influenced your work
    Were there any parts of the course work that seemed to hinder what you were doing (why was that)
    What limitations did script writing have and how did you overcome them.
    Reference and quote the course work that influenced your work.
    Are you happy with your work in that genre, do you think it would be better written in something else (fiction etc)

    The style of a critical commentary to your work is slightly different to an essay, but only slightly. It's more relaxed (but you do still have quote and reference properly).

    The switch really used to play with my head. I'd been writing formal essays for many years, then it came to critical commentary on my own fiction work and scripts and the change had me checking and re-checking with a 'You sure you can do that?' grumble on my part to my tutor. I think he got tired of smacking me round the earhole in the end.

    If it helps I can pass you one of mine via pm. It would have to be a fiction critical commentary, though, as a script graded one wouldn't be very fair. But at least you could have a look at style and format on graded fictional commentary.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you should be asking your tutor how s/he wants it done, not us...
     
  7. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    I think she's tried, maia. Besides, schools and collages have broken up over here (uk), so it may be she can't ask her tutor, and if it's due in after Christmas she may be pressed for time to find a format. :)
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Be that as it may, there isn't anything we can advise if the tutor hasn't. My question about the audience and the purpose was meant to focus the commentary of the stated objectives. If she is expected to evaluate the effectiveness of each passage, then the commentary should focus on that. If it is meant to discuss what each passage is intended to portray or accomplish, then tat should be the focus.

    Tutoring is largely a one-on-one process, so it should be possible for Honeybun to get a clarification, if needed.
     
  9. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Thank you guys for your comments. Sound of Silence thanks for the details, they were really comforting :-D It is quite odd not to get the answers you require from your tutor, and most of my colleagues (as well as I have) have been disappointed in not getting a clear idea on how to do it.

    I posted the topic here only to get additional info on how one could approach it ... not asking for anyone to write it for me :D
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ask the tutor to demonstrate clarity of writing in the posting of the assignment. :)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the point cog and i are making is that no one but your tutor can possibly know how s/he wants you to do this, so asking us is an exercise in futility...

    and you're supposed to have a one-on-one relationship with a tutor, so there should be some way you can ask for further instructions, right?...

    next time, don't accept a too vague answer and press for more details from the get-go...
     
  12. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Because writing a reflective commentary is more personally based than any other genre of writing, advice on how to structure them always is vague from the tutor, hon. What she advises for one student would have no basis with another. It's reflective commentary on your own writing, it reflects the personal changes that you make or those that you throw out. A teacher could sit down with you and say 'reflective commentary, right...You tell me you made this change, that change, and the reason is because of what...?' -- But that's the whole basis behind a reflective commentary: the tutor needs to see that you can express all of that on paper without her because that's what she's grading you on: your ability to make sense of and see change without her prompting. Information on how to do that becomes vague because she's limited to the advice she can give out.

    Take a traditional objective assay. The writer is advised to remove as much authorial presence as possible: no first person reference (I, you etc as in, I investigated...))) no strong modals (Will, shall etc) no stance adverbials (obvioulsy, absolutely, thankfully), they all tell you something about what the author is thinking, which, in an objective essay, will get you marks deducted. You open with macro-theme, move into micro and structure it so that it all nicely ties in.

    Because it's more personally based and it's showing the choices the author makes (you), those rules above are more relaxed in a reflective/critical commentary. You can get personal with the writing because it' does what it sez on the tin: its 'reflective' in nature, you can write: 'Chapter four, Halliday's transitive analysis of material verbs and its adaptaion into fictional narrative, had a major bearing on how I chose to portray character through plot. I...' etc

    It's good to see that you did the next best thing and ask people on a site that promotes help with your writing needs, though, hon. Don't ever shy away from asking those questions. :)
     
  13. redashton
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    redashton New Member

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    Just a quick question. Does that mean that I can use first person reference when I'm writing a reflective critical commentary?
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    meaning what?... an example would help...
     
  15. redashton
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    redashton New Member

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    Sound mentioned that one could use first person reference when writing an RCC. Does mean I can use 'I , my' more frequently throughout the essay as opposed to using 'this author' or 'this essay'.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i should think whether you can or not depends more on what the person who assigned the essay wants you to do...
     

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