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Analyzing Metacommentary

(Questions are taken from pages 139-140 of the textbook)

Choose an article from the “Readings” section of the book (hint: choose from a topic you may want to expand on for your essay assignments). Using the templates on pages 137-139 as your guide, annotated to indicate the different ways the author uses metacommentary

Recommended Annotations:

  • circle transitional phrases and write “trans” in the margins
  • to put brackets around sentences that elaborate on earlier sentences and mark them “e-lab”
  • underline sentences in which the author sums up what he or she has been saying and write “sum” in the margins

Then answer the following questions in the numbered format:

  1. How does the author use metacommentary?
  2. Does the author follow any of the templates provided in this book word for word?
  3. Did you find any forms of metacommentary not discussed in this chapter?
  4. If so, can you identify them, name them, and perhaps devise templates based on them for use in your own writing?
  5. How do you think the author’s use of metacommentary enhances (or harms) his or her writing?


  • Complete the assignment and submit a PDF or .jpeg document of your annotations; submitting a screenshot or scan of the text is also permissible 
  • Students will be graded on content (40%), organization (35%), and grammar and mechanics (25%). It is most important to address the question completely