How To Comment Effectively
The key to writing effective comments is to understand how regulatory
decisions are made. Unlike members of Congress or the president,
agency legislators cannot make decisions based on majority voting.
Instead, they should investigate the problem, gather information, and
use their knowledge, experience, and good judgment to find the best
overall answer. Courts will overturn a rule made by the agency just
because so many people support it.
This means that the best reviews explain not only what the
agency needs to do, but why. Someone with new information, relevant
personal experience, or a good idea will have a greater impact on the
bottom line than 1,000 people simply saying they are for or against
the proposed rule.
So how do you make critical comments?
Spend time learning exactly what the agency offers and why.
What is the agency trying to do? Will this proposal be
What information does the agency rely on? Are these details
correct? Is the agency missing important data?
What costs and benefits does the agency expect? something is
What questions does the agency want to answer from
Pay attention to the parts of the proposal that apply directly
to you, or that you know or have personal experience with.
Explain how you know what you are talking about.
Provide specific details and examples.
Provide dates if you know, or at least identify the types of
information you’ll need.
Be clear about your thoughts, concerns or opinions.
Stay on topic.
The strongest reasons are those that help the agency do what
Congress has asked of it. Therefore, look for anything in thematic
articles that explains the purposes, requirements or limitations of
the agency’s statutes.
Show that you have considered the pros and cons. Suggest how
you can improve the suggestion.
There are almost always at least two sides to every problem,
and the agency often has to weigh several different goals (e.g.
consumer protection, cost, efficient operations). Showing that you
understand this will make your comments more thoughtful.
Even good suggestions can often be improved upon. Help the
agency improve its work.
If you think a suggestion is a bad idea, there may be ways to
make it less bad. Sometimes Congress doesn’t give the agency a
chance to do something, but the agency may still have several options
on how to do it.
If you disagree with other reviewers or the agency, please do
The agency should take into account all the aspects.
Attacking or ignoring people who take a different attitude than you
are not helping the agency understand why they should choose one way
or the other.
Stay away from ridicule, sarcasm and personal attacks. This
is not helpful to the agency and is likely to be against your site’s
Even if you think the suggestion is a bad idea, the real
people at the agency worked hard on it. Insulting or insulting her
is unlikely to change your mind.
Don’t just repeat what has already been said.
If there’s something you can add and improve on what someone
else has already said, respond to their comment and add your own
idea, reason, or information.
If you can’t improve on what others have said, feel free to
“support” their comment anytime. This allows you to join
the discussion without saying more.
Understand what the agency can and cannot do.
The federal government as a whole has a great deal of power,
but individual federal agencies only have specific powers that
Congress grants them.
The agency can’t do anything with complaining about a comment
that only Congress can change.
Articles on the subject of Regulationroom are intended to
inform you of limitations or legal requirements. If you have
questions about what the agency can (or can’t) do, ask us.
How do you comment on other blogs effectively?
Here’s a small taste of what I get every time I leave a
1. Start with a Simple Greeting
Here’s the trick:
It shouldn’t be too complicated. It can be as simple as
hello, hello, hello, etc. It is common to start with this greeting
or something similar.
2. Mention how you found or heard about your post.
This mainly applies when you visit your website for the first
time. The more you visit their website and start commenting on their
blog posts, the more you don’t need to take this step.
But if it’s your first time, be sure to tell them how you
3. Tell exactly what you liked best about the post
This is where you really start digging into the points that
you loved and agreed with.
In this part it is very important to show how much you are
really interested in your content and develop it a bit more.
4. Include parts of your post that you accept or like in your
I almost always do this whenever I leave a comment on a blog.
Not only do I think it’s a great way to build engagement with
the blog owner, but it’s also a great way to differentiate yourself
or your comment from other comments because not many people are
actually in this stage.
5. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you think you need it.
This is great, as it also creates a bond with the owner of the
blog and opens a dialogue with him.
On top of that, it shows the blog owner that you are
interested enough in the topic and want to know a little more.
6. Write whether the material was useful, persuasive, etc.
Again, this is important because it summarizes everything you
just discussed and lets them know that your blog post really made a
difference to you.
7. Thank them and let them know you’ll be sharing their stuff.
We are now at the end of your review and it is important that
you let them know that you appreciate the time and effort they have
put into creating a useful article.
8. End your remarks with a thoughtful closing sentence.
Many people will tell you that it doesn’t matter how you close
your comment, but I’ll tell you another way.
If you take the time to comment like in this example, closing your
comment by saying a simple thing like “thank you” won’t do.
It doesn’t take away from your comment that it was meaningful and
thoughtful, but it’s just plain tasteless.