How to Format Word Where One Column is an Essay and the Second Column is Commentary

​If you’ve ever found yourself grappling with the challenge of presenting an essay alongside insightful commentary in a single document, fear not – you’re not alone. 

Microsoft Word is a powerful tool, but the art of formatting can sometimes feel like a mysterious realm. In this blog post, we’ll be your guide, unraveling the secrets of dual-column formatting. 

Whether you’re a student working on a research paper or a professional crafting a report, the ability to seamlessly integrate your essay in one column while adding commentary in another can elevate your document to a whole new level. 

It’s like having a dynamic conversation on paper, with your thoughts flowing side by side. Join us as we break down the process into simple steps, making it easy for you to create visually appealing and organized documents that capture both the essence of your main text and the richness of your commentary. 

Let’s dive in and transform your Word documents from plain to polished with the magic of dual-column formatting!

Formatting the Essay and Commentary Columns

​Every essay should have a specific format. Whether you are writing a paper for class or for publication in a journal, there is a specific format that you should follow. 

The format of an essay is different than the format of a research paper. In an essay, you will typically have a single column, while in a research paper you will have two or more columns. The format of the essay will also vary depending on the length of the essay. A shorter essay will have a different format than a longer essay.

The format of an essay is typically:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

The introduction of the essay should introduce the topic of the essay and provide some background information on the topic. The body of the essay should focus on the main points of the essay. The conclusion of the essay should sum up the main points of the essay and provide a final thoughts on the topic.

When formatting the columns for an essay, you will want to make sure that the columns are evenly spaced and that the text is aligned in the middle of the column.

To format the columns for a commentary, you will want to make sure that the columns are either side-by-side or stacked on top of each other. 

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Setting Up the Essay Column Layout

​In an essay column layout, the bulk of the text is broken into sections, each of which is headed by a subheading. Usually, each section represents a different stage in the argument, story, or train of thought, and each subsection further breaks down that material. This type of layout is particularly helpful when your essay covers a lot of ground or when you need to present a lot of information in a relatively short amount of space.

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One thing to keep in mind when you’re setting up your essay column layout is that each section should flow smoothly into the next. That means that your subsections should be arranged in a logical order that makes sense for your argument or story. 

For example, if you’re writing about the history of your company, you might want to start with its founding and then move chronologically through its major milestones. Or, if you’re discussing different arguments for and against a particular issue, you might want to start with the most persuasive argument and then move on to the weaker ones.

Once you’ve decided on the overall structure of your essay column layout, it’s time to start thinking about the specific details of each section. What information do you want to include in each subsection? How can you break down that information so that it’s easy for readers to understand? And what kind of subheadings will help to clearly signal the start of each new section?

As you’re thinking about these details, keep your audience in mind. What do they need to know in order to follow your argument or story? And what will help them to see the connections between different parts of your essay? By keeping your readers’ needs in mind, you can ensure that your column layout is both effective and user-friendly.

So, if you’re ready to start planning your essay column layout, take some time to think about the overall structure of your piece and the specific details you want to include in each section. By taking the time to plan out your column layout, you can make sure that your essay is both well-organized and easy to follow.

How to Format Word Where One Column is an Essay and the Second Column is Commentary

Crafting the Commentary Column Layout

​Columns are a staple of commentary writing, appearing in newspapers, magazines, and online news sources. A good column layout can make your writing more readable and engaging for your audience. Here are some tips for crafting the perfect column layout:

1. Keep it simple.

Your column layout should be clean and easy to read. Use plenty of white space and avoid overcrowding your text.

2. Choose a clear headline.

Your headline should be attention-grabbing and tell readers what your column is about.

3. Use short, punchy paragraphs.

Keep your paragraphs short and to the point. Long paragraphs can be daunting for readers and make your column seem dense.

4. Engage your readers.

Use strong language and personal anecdotes to engage your readers and make them want to keep reading.

5. Use images sparingly.

Images can help break up your text and add visual interest, but don’t go overboard. too many images can be distracting.

By following these tips, you can craft a column layout that will make your writing more accessible and enjoyable for your readers.

Inserting the Essay Content

​When you are ready to insert your essay content, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to make sure that your essay is well-written and free of any errors. This means that you should proofread your essay carefully before you submit it.

In addition, you need to make sure that your essay is relevant to the prompt that you are given. For example, if you are asked to discuss your aspirations for your future career, make sure that you actually discuss your career aspirations in your essay. Do not try to change the topic or stray from what is asked of you.

Lastly, you need to make sure that your essay is persuasive and convincing. This means that you should back up your claims with evidence and reasoning. If your essay is simply a list of facts or opinions, it is not likely to be very successful.

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By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your essay will be successful and will give you the best chance of achieving your future goals.

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Inserting Commentary Content

​There’s no one answer for the question of how to insert commentary into an essay about your future career. It depends on what your specific goals and aspirations are. However, in general, you’ll want to make sure that your commentary is thoughtful and well-reasoned. It should add something to the conversation, rather than just repeating what others have said.

When it comes to discussing your future career, your commentary can take a number of different forms. You might discuss your plans for the future, your reasons for wanting to pursue a particular career, or your thoughts on the current state of the job market. No matter what you choose to write about, your commentary should be insightful and honest.

If you’re not sure where to start, try brainstorming a few potential topics that you could write about. Once you have a few ideas, start thinking about what you want to say and how you can back up your points with evidence. Remember, your commentary should be based on your own experiences and observations, so don’t be afraid to share your personal story.

As you write, keep in mind that your goal is to add to the conversation, not simply to state your opinion. Be respectful of other points of view and open to hearing other people’s perspectives. Ultimately, the goal is to create a well-rounded picture of the issue at hand. By sharing your own thoughts and experiences, you can help others to see the issue in a new light.

Refining Essay and Commentary Words and Phrases

​It is no secret that the English language is constantly evolving. New words are created and old words fall out of use all the time. This can be frustrating for students who are trying to learn the language, and it can be especially difficult when it comes to writing essays. There are so many different words and phrases that can be used to express the same idea, and it can be hard to know which ones to use.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing an essay is to be clear and concise. This means that you should choose your words carefully and avoid using unnecessary fillers. It can be tempting to try to impress your reader with big words, but if you don’t use them correctly, it will only make your essay sound confusing.

There are a few specific words and phrases that are commonly used in essays, and it is important to know what they mean. Here are some of the most common ones:

“Discuss”: This means to talk about something in detail. When you are asked to “discuss” something in an essay, you should provide a detailed explanation of your thoughts on the topic.

“Aspirations”: Your aspirations are your goals or dreams. In an essay about your future career, you might discuss your aspirations for the kind of job you want to have, or the level of success you hope to achieve.

“Refine”: To refine something means to improve it or make it more effective. In an essay, you might refine your argument by adding more evidence or clarifying your position.

“Commentary”: Commentary is a type of writing that offers a opinion on something. In an essay, you might provide commentary on an issue related to your topic.

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Finalizing the Essay and Commentary Layout

The next step in writing your essay is to finalize the layout. This means deciding on the overall structure of your essay and how you will organize the information you have. There are many different ways to structure an essay, but the most important thing is to make sure that your essay is clear and easy to read.

When deciding on the layout of your essay, you should first decide what information you want to include. The most important part of your essay is the body, which is where you will discuss your aspirations in an essay about your future career. You should also include an introduction and a conclusion.

Once you have decided what information to include, you can start to organize it into a logical order. Begin by outlining your essay. This will help you determine the main points you want to make and the order in which you will make them. Then, start writing your essay, starting with the introduction.

Be sure to proofread your essay before you submit it. This will help to ensure that there are no errors and that your essay is as clear and concise as possible.


​In conclusion, it is best to format your word document where one column is an essay and the second column is commentary. This will help to keep your thoughts organized and will also allow you to easily add or remove sections as needed.

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of how to format your Word document when you have one column that is an essay and the second column is commentary. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly.


How do I create two columns in Microsoft Word for my essay and commentary?

To set up two columns, go to the “Layout” or “Page Layout” tab, find the “Columns” option, and choose “Two.” Your document will now have two columns, and you can start typing in each independently.

Can I adjust the width of the columns to suit my content?

Absolutely! Click on the “Columns” option again, but this time choose “More Columns.” You can then customize the width and spacing of your columns to best fit your essay and commentary.

Is it possible to start my essay in one column and continue it in the other?

Yes, you can! Simply place your cursor where you want the text to continue in the second column and press “Enter.” Your text will seamlessly flow into the next column.

How do I add commentary specifically to the second column?

Place your cursor in the second column and start typing. If you want to add commentary to a specific part of your essay, navigate to that point and begin typing in the second column.

Can I insert images or charts into either the essay or commentary columns?

Certainly! Images and charts can be added in either column. Use the “Insert” tab to add visual elements, and you can position them within the desired column.

Is there a way to change the font or formatting independently for each column?

Unfortunately, Word’s default settings apply the same formatting to both columns. However, you can use text boxes to have more control over formatting within each column.

Anne L. Reader is a seasoned professional in the realm of Essay writing, proudly serving as the Head Content Writer at With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging and informative Essays, Anne brings a wealth of expertise to the table.