I know you’re supposed to be writing an essay right now, so don’t procrastinate by watching this awesome, comedic zombie movie.
But, as soon as you turn this essay in, if you haven’t seen it already, watch it! In the meantime, for our lesson, watch this You Tube clip of one of my favorite scenes from the film.
You need to understand the difference between commentary and summary.
While both writing styles can be used to discuss another piece of work (like a play, book, movie, or poem), this is about the sum total of their similarities.
As I discussed in my previous post about writing a cover letter, these phrases are redundant (you wrote the essay, so it’s obvious you think, believe, or hope what is written) and they reduce your credibility.
In general, you should provide approximately two points of commentary for every specific detail you offer.
I didn’t even have enough for the shop.” He makes it home safely and turns on the TV, ignoring the news reports about the zombie invasion.
While this may be a perfectly good summary of this scene, it doesn’t offer any additional insight into the film.
Here are the three main differences between summary and commentary: There is only one way to provide a summary: You read or view a work, and then write down a recap of what the work is all about.
However, there are many ways to provide commentary, including: Here are some real life examples of summary and commentary: A summary is something you’d read in a movie description or on the back of a book, like this summary of The Godfather: Part II from IMDb: Commentary is what you’d read in a film or book review, like this one from Rotten Tomatoes: As you can see, the main difference between these two write-ups of The Godfather, Part II is the IMDb summary includes no opinion or evaluation, while the Rotten Tomatoes review includes the opinion “strong performances” and the evaluation “set(s) new standards for sequels that have yet to be matched or broken.” So, now that you hopefully understand the difference between summary and commentary, let’s work on an example.