What are CMs?
Here is a sample essay
In The Iliad Homer clearly depicts a deep emotional growth in his main character, Achilles. At the outset of the epic Achilles cares for noone but himself. He tells the Greek men, “Go now, Patroclus, and give the girl to them to take away. But let them be witness, before gods and men, and before that king of theirs, too, when later he needs me to save all the Greeks from destruction.” This statement displays both his immaturity and the contempt with which he views his fellow citizens. The death of his best friend, Patroclus, causes him to mourn and evaluate his prior attitudes. Achilles realizes that what he has wished upon the Greeks is wrong. He tells his mother, Thetis, “My mother, Zeus has done as I prayed, but what pleasure is that to me? Patroclus is dead whom I honored as no other, even as my ownself.” Finally, he admits that his temper is a major problem and begins to control it. “And Achilles made the women take Hector’s body and wash and put oil on it, keeping it out of Priam’s view, for Priam on seeing it might cry out his bitter sorrow and not keep his anger in, and Achilles himself might be moved to anger and kill him and sin against the will of Zeus.” Here he takes action to not sin. Achilles acknowledgement of his temper and the compassion and remorse shown after the death of Patroclus demonstrate dramatic emotional growth.
One way to force yourself to write a true commentary sentence is to start each one with these words: "This means that..." (Then, of course, you'd go back and delete those words before turning in your paper!)
There seems to be some commentary in there, but I think you've fallen into the trap of simply summarizing the segment of the whole epic instead of analyzing it.
Commentary means your personal opinion, response, reaction, or reflection about a specific detail you are making in an essay. When you write commentary, you are commenting on a point you have made. Synonyms for commentary include the following:
Commentary echoes the focus in your thesis and topic sentences in your essay.
Commentary may be a somewhat difficult skill to master because all the opinions and interpretations must come from you. Your teacher will not supply the information you will need to write commentary. It is up to you to think of some original, individual statements to make about the details and examples you include in your papers.
Read the following paragraph that describes an experience:
Driving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. No signs were visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank. In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit signs until I started passing them. To make matters worse, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us were allowed to pass him. When I finally reached Sacramento that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.
This paragraph has a topic sentence, three sentences of concrete detail, and a concluding sentence. It does not have any commentary.
The paragraph below is a rewritten version of the one on the previous page. It has commentary sentences inserted after each sentence of concrete detail. The commentary sentences are underlined.
Driving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. No signs were visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank. I panicked at the thought of being stranded alone in a strange place. I kept hoping to see a station materialize in the fog and couldn’t make up my mind what to do. In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit signs until I started passing them. I realized I had driven on for hours, dreading the never-ending blurring lines on the horizon. I had been expecting the weather to lift suddenly and let me get back on schedule. To make matters worse, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us were allowed to pass him. It was as though an invisible force field had been thrown up behind the patrol car. No one felt brave enough to dare going around him, and so we sulked behind him for what seemed like hours. When I finally reached Sacramento that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.