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What does the teacher mean when they say "the significance of the quote"?I wrote an...

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andreweberhard | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 9, 2009 at 8:28 AM via web

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What does the teacher mean when they say "the significance of the quote"?

I wrote an on The Merchant of Venice and I didn't do to bad 74%. The problem is I don't say what is significant about the proof or quote I give. I ask the teacher and they always say "It's the so what?" Well my question is the so what of what?

It totally doesn't make any sense to me, I know I have to relate it back to the thesis statement ,but my proof is the proof it show's what is said in my thesis statement so I never know what to write after. Can some really clear this up for me? I'm suppose to write the significance of that quote but, I really don't know what it means or what to do?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM (Answer #1)

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Here is a way to look at it. Ask yourself why you chose a particular quote? You must have had a good reason to chose one quote out of the many that are in the play. The significance is to tell the reader why you chose that particular quote. What is it saying?

Now, I should say that the quote should in someway further your argument and further develop your thesis. If it does not, then I would say that you should get rid of the quote (no matter how great it sounds) and find another one that actually moves your argument along. Judging from your teacher's comment, you chose a quote that did not help your argument at all. Good luck.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 9, 2009 at 8:35 AM (Answer #2)

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If you would like a really good answer, you should give us an example of your thesis and one of the quotes (and everything you said about the quote) so we could really give you feedback based on actual knowledge.  Since you haven't done that, I'll give it a try, but it won't be as good.

From what you say, I suspect that your teacher wants you to actually go ahead and spell out the connection between the quote and your thesis.  It sounds like maybe you're assuming "well, I know what I'm saying so the teacher will too."  But the teacher probably wants to see you prove that you see the connection between the quote and the thesis.

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