What makes a good commentary? Ten guiding questions:

  • Updated: April 1, 2011 - 12:38 PM

1. Is the topic relevant to our readers?

2. Is the topic timely?

3. Will your commentary add a fresh perspective or merely rehash what has already been said?

4. Do you have expertise or experience in the topic area? (This adds to your credibility, but it’s  not mandatory; experts don't have a monopoly on insight.)

5. Is the writing clear and efficient and within our word limitation? (There's a limit to the amount of editing we can reasonably do.) 

6. Is the commentary engaging?

7. Does the submission offer a clear point of view? Is it plausible?

8. Is the argument being presented logically sound in its construction and conclusions?

9. Does the commentary avoid hyperbole and fallacious reasoning? (No exaggerations, no red herrings, no ad hominem attacks.)

10. If outside material or data is being presented, is it appropriately sourced? Do any numbers cited add up correctly?

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