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Exam Preparations

by Luis, Rico and Christian

In an exam, the task could be that you should write a comment or a discussion. You could discuss/comment on a quote, statement, cartoon, photo or a written text. Here are a few tips for writing a comment/discussion.


Before start writing

  1. read the task and the text
  2. highlight relevant aspects
  3. write down arguments and examples you need for your discussion or comment


In the introduction, you briefly introduce the topic and explain the message of the source. You need to excite the reader's interest, for example by asking a question that clarifies the point of contention, like "Is that really true?"

Main Part

In the main part you dedicate yourself in detail to the point of contention and the position of the author or cartonist. You present pro and contra arguments and explain them. By naming counter-arguments and refuting them, you strengthen your own arguments. You can use phrases like this: "On the one hand..., but on the other hand...". The difference between the discussion and the comment is, that you contribute your own opinion to the comment and not to the discussion.


In the end you draw a final conclusion and you should summarize your most important arguments.

Typical Mistakes you can avoid

Many people start writing with arguments in the introduction.

Some forget to contribute their own opinion.

Arguments that were not described in the main part appear in the conclusion. You should only summarize your arguments that you have also described in themain part and not write down new arguments.

The comment or discussion is often written in the wrong tense. You always write your comment in the simple present.

Useful words and phrases


In the following, I will discuss/comment on...

Main Part

First of all...


On the one hand... on the other hand...

An example for this is...

In contrast to that...


All in all...

As a result...

To sum up...

In conclusion...