CommentPress is a mobile-friendly WordPress theme that enables media-rich paragraph-level comments of long form texts. Available on the MLA Humanities Commons or installed on a self-hosted WordPress website.

Note that CommentPress does not enable annotation of files such as PDFs or text documents. Annotatable text must be directly inputted into the text editor.

Use cases

Collaborative annotation of course texts

CommentPress can help facilitate collaborative, media-rich annotation of assigned texts in a public or private WordPress blog.

The Readers' Thoreau uses CommentPress to facilitate an ongoing student annotation of Walden and Resistance to Civil Government. Take a look at their example as inspiration for your own class or assign your class to join their annotation.

Peer review of student writing

CommentPress can also be used to host student writing for paragraph level feedback from their peers. While we don't know of any public examples of student writing on CommentPress, many scholars have used for soliciting feedback on their manuscript drafts. See for example Kathleen Fitzpatrick's Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good hosted on the MLA Humanities Commons.

How to use it

Before you download CommentPress you will need to have a self-hosted WordPress site or have access to a WordPress service that has the CommentPress theme already installed (like the MLA Humanities Commons).

Extensive documentation on installation, structuring, formatting, and reading texts on CommentPress are given on the developer's site.

Replacement for

  • Google Docs (for annotating)
  • Microsoft Word (for annotating)


  • Croxall, Brian. “Writing in the Internet's Margins.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 Oct. 2009 Link
  • Allred, Jeff. "Novel Hacks: New Approaches to Teaching the Novel Genre." Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 24.1-2 (2014): 121-137. Link