Sep 27

On Commenting--Shorter Version

​There is a longer version of the importance of commenting that you can find here.

Feedback from your peers is a critical part of the writing and editing process. 

Commenting on others’ work helps you focus on what you notice about a piece of writing. With practice, you learn how to express what you notice in a way that’s well received. And you begin to look at your own work more objectively and with strong critical awareness.

When you receive comments you get insight from someone outside your brain who doesn't know what you intended. They can give you clues as to how to improve your work. 

Robust and regular commenting on this site helps build the community. You bring shine to others and they will reciprocate.

Good commenting takes time; don’t be discouraged. Keep your focus on commenting; nudge rather than issue edicts.
The stages:

  • Affirmation (I read it, I liked it, I wish to acknowledge it)
  • Affirmation with Observation and Question (I read it, I noticed this and I wondered about this)
  • Affirmation with Suggestion (I read it, I noticed some things and had these thoughts for improvement)
  • Affirmation with Sprout (I read it, it made me think of my own experience, opinion, viewpoint and so I SPROUT a connected story.)

Some hints:

  • Positive, supportive, specific observations and questions work best
  • Avoid ‘throwaway’ language such as ‘amazing,’ ‘you’re such a great writer’
  • Avoid passing judgment, good or bad
  • Avoid commenting on spelling, grammar and punctuation; these ‘gotchas’ don’t add much
  • Take on the responsibility of commenting FIRST on posts that don't have comments; go to (in menu bar, too) to see who has 0 comments.  
  • Acknowledge the commenter when you receive a comment. Thank them!

(Photo credit: Oceania, a YWP Community Leader)