How to comment on someone’s writing in an online environment

Tania Sheko
Feb 7, 2019 · 2 min read

There’s a difference between commenting on your friend’s post on social media and leaving a comment on someone’s post in an educational setting.

Of course, everything you say online should be polite and respectful — that goes without saying — but in your class blog comments you will strive to be articulate, constructive, insightful — and that is challenging, and will need practice.

There is no value in monosyllabic responses, eg ‘great’ because this is not specific; it’s a lazy response. It goes without saying that negative responses are inappropriate and will not be tolerated, but that doesn’t mean you should praise the writer indiscriminately, or agree with everything in the post.

Firstly, you have read the post in a thoughtful, attentive way, and then think about what’s been stated, how you feel about it, what you agree or disagree with, whether you can elaborate on some of the points, or bring up related ideas of your own. If you are disagreeing, remember to think about what it is you are disagreeing with and why; it is not an attack on the person himself. Your response will be respectful; you will articulate your thoughts in order to create a discussion, and perhaps to expand the ideas presented in the post you’ve read.

As I said, it takes practice, but don’t give up if nothing comes to mind straight away. You don’t have to respond to the whole post; you might just address something that has caught your attention.

Here are some suggested responses to get you going:

I was interested in what you said about … and I would like to add…
What you say is interesting but have you considered…
I don’t quite understand what you meant when you said…
Don’t you think that…?
You explained that really well! I especially liked …

Of course these are just suggestions, not a formula to follow.

Our class blog is a safe space for all of us to think about art, artistic ideas, themes and techniques, to learn about artists and the history of art, and to share these understandings in a space where we respect everyone, not wanting to offend or show off, just learning with and from each other in an inclusive, stimulating online environment.

Art viewpoints

Year 10 students’ exploration of Art