How to structure your IA commentary?

So, you have chosen your article for the IA commentary, now what!? Remember you only have 750 words, which isn’t much, so you have to be efficient with your use of the word count.

This is the structure I often give my students:

1- Introduction (150 words):

Use the first paragraph to very briefly (in a sentence or two) tell the reader what the article is about. Remember, you don’t have to summarize the whole article because it’s attached to the commentary! Also, use this first paragraph to define any key terms that are relevant to the context of the article (don’t stress too much about the definitions because you are being assessed on your effective use of these key terms in the context of the article, but it is helpful to provide some definitions of the main key terms).

2- Introduce theory/concepts relevant to article, draw and explain your diagram/s (150 words):

This second paragraph is where you mention the economic theory or theories or concepts relevant to the article and explain them briefly. Then get right down to drawing your diagram, labeling it fully and correctly, and explaining it in full detail (mentioning every curve and shift and from which direction to what direction etc…) For example: due to the rise in the costs of production the supply curve (S1) shifts to the left to (S2), which causes a rise in price from P1 to P2 etc…

3- Explain the link between the key terms, diagram/s and theories/concepts in the context of the article (200 words)

This is your APPLICATION (Criterion C) and your ANALYSIS (Criterion D). This is where you take all the key terms and concepts you explained, along with the diagram, and use them as tools to analyze the article, and apply them in the context provided in the article. Essentially, you want to show an understanding of how these concepts and theories and diagrams can be link and applied in the context provided by the article.

4- Evaluate (250 words)

This is your EVALUATION (Criterion E). Here is where you discuss the short term vs long term implications, the effects on different stakeholders in the context of the article, the positive and negative consequences, the assumptions and limitations of the model, the pros vs cons, and you prioritize your arguments depending on the context of the article!

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