Current Events +
Your Opinion =

“The label editorial refers specifically to the official opinion of the newspaper itself on an issue. All the other writing by columnists on the op-ed pages is referred to as commentary and it is the work of this genre to comment on what is going on in the world of politics, culture, and society…There is also a rich tradition of sports commentary –typically found on the sports pages.”
-Katie Wood Ray, Study Driven page 235
Penny Kittle says she calls it 'comment on life' writing as well. The key difference to her is that editorials present a position (they are essentially argument) and often use evidence to support the position, acknowledge the other side of the argument, etc.
“Commentary is driven by ideas that are important to the writer and the piece can simply comment on a situation without the need to convince you with evidence, etc. The writer is writing to be heard, not to change your mind. When you read Leonard Pitts, you'll see a structure like this: did you hear what Obama said about the achievement gap? Here's what I think... here's an example from my neighborhood... or here's why it doesn't fit with what I know about kids in my town... Another common structure is that commentary will end with a question: what are you going to do about that? rather than a suggested solution like editorials.” – Penny Kittle
Commentary is where “our society entertains its most important conversations.”-Randy Bomer
Commentary is written “in direct response to what is happening in the world at a given time." -Katie Wood Ray
“Editorials reflect the essence of our democratic society. Here is a form of writing that is entirely dedicated to civic discourse, to shaping opinions, changing minds, and effecting change.” -Heather Lattimer

A fun piece to include as an introduction to the anthology... I used it as a creative table of contents. It captures the purpose of each students' piece of writing that was included in our commentary anthology.