Step Seven – Commentary FAQ’s

IB Economics.

  1. Are footnotes included in the word count? Yes.
  2. Are diagram labels, axes labels and diagram titles included in the word count?. No. But diagram descriptions / explanations are.
  3. Can I put line graphs, bar charts or pie charts in my commentary? No, not unless there is one already in the article. If there is one, just talk about it in the commentary, don’t reproduce it.
  4. Must you include a bibliography at the end? No. Only include footnotes at the bottom of each page which reference your sources. Bibliographies at the end are not needed.
  5. Can I use an article in a language that is not English? Yes, but  provide a translation.
  6. Can I use economics diagrams that are copied and pasted from the internet? Yes, provided you reference their source as a footnote at the bottom of the page.
  7. Can I put definitions of specialist economic terms in the footnotes? No, they must go in the main body.
  8. Can I quote from the article? Yes, but don’t do it too much because it uses up a lot of your word count. Indeed, I would only do it once, and then if you want to refer to another line or paragraph in the article write (L3) or (P4) at the end of the sentence. This saves your word count.
  9. Can I write more than three commentaries and then just submit the best three? Theoretically yes, providing your teacher agrees with this.
I.B. Economics, commentaries,
Nigeria / France World Cup Game, Brasilia.

Step Six – Final Checks

IB Economics.

Prior to submitting your commentary, use this check list to make sure that you have done everything that you need to do to maximize your marks:-

Commentary Check List.
Check List Subject.

Have I included a cover sheet?


Have I included the article?


Have I highlighted the relevant paragraphs (about five) in the article, if it is rather long?


Does the cover sheet have all the information required e.g. your name, the word count, the date of the article, the source of the article etc.?


Does my commentary start with an opening paragraph and finish with a concluding paragraph?


Have I included one or two diagrams in the commentary?


Are they described / explained in detail and fully labelled?


Have I defined (in the body of the text, not in the footnotes) some specialist economic terms used?


If I have quoted from, or referred to, information in the article, have I made referred to the relevant line or paragraph?


Have I utilised economic theory that we have done in class in the commentary to explain / analyse the situation described in the article?


Have I tried to give my own views / opinions about the situation described in the article? Are they mentioned, especially in the concluding paragraph?


Are my views and opinions backed up by relevant evidence (from the article, or another source)?


Is the word count (including footnotes) no more than 750 words??