This is what I shared with my students before they wrote their first comments to each other’s posts:
Follow these simple rules when writing comments on your peers’ pages!!!!
Rule #1 — Determine Your Reason for Commenting
Are you trying to get the writer’s attention? Do you appreciate the writer’s work and want to say thank you? Do you disagree so strongly with what you’re reading that you simply have to rebuttal? This will help you decide what type of comment to write.
Rule #2 – Be Clear
When people come to the page later and read the comments, it isn’t always clear what you’re talking about. It’s most important to provide context when there are a lot of comments. If comments are coming in really fast, for example, yours can get separated from the comment to which you’re responding.
For example, instead of just starting out “Technique is important too!” it’s helpful if you start with some context like “TLC has a point about showmanship, but has missed one important point” and then go on to talk about technique. That way other commenters won’t be confused as to why you started talking about badly executed dance moves on a post about showmanship on American Idol.
Rule #3 — Be Respectful
I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but comments that start out “You’re an idiot” or are laced with profanity, or are just plain disrespectful are inappropriate. You shouldn’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person. In fact, use this as a rule of thumb WHENEVER YOU ARE ONLINE ON ANY SITE!!
Rule #4 — Make a Point
Don’t just say “Wonderful!” “I love it!” or “LOL” Why is it wonderful? Why did you love it? Why is it funny? It’s even more important to make a point when you disagree. It’s a waste of time to just write “You’re wrong,” Make sure you include the reason you disagree. This is where the commenting gets fun!
Rule #5 — Keep it Brief
Remember, this is a comment . . . not an entire blog post.
Rule #6 — Proofread
I know it’s hard – those boxes in which you write comments can be tiny, and they usually don’t include spellcheck; but, proofreading is important because if you have a lot of typos or misspellings, it undermines your authority.