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I can't speak for Quora, since I have not used it, but I have found the eNotes discussion forum to be one of the most intensely polite and reasonable places on the Internet. Most unmoderated or high-volume discussion forums attract contentious or contrarian debaters, people whose only function and first love is to spur reaction, no matter what that reaction might me. Here, the eNoters tend to be highly educated and much more rational; the few trolls or deliberately nasty posters are flagged and removed quickly, allowing discussion to continue in a constructive manner, rather than the destructive arguements that are fostered on other sites. Quora may be equally good, or far worse; I can't say, but I haven't actively participated on other forums for a long time.
I personally like both forums for the quality of response. Both forums attract educated, rational people who can intelligently answer all sorts of questions.
I prefer enotes because of its educational mission. Sometimes I think Quora (which I haven't spent anywhere near as much time) is more geared toward people who just like to argue about things on the internet. While there are few trolls, there is also little emphasis on supporting opinions with references to primary sources or relevant scholarship like there is on this site. In short, I think many of the discussions here, as well as obviously the Q and A section, help people.
Enotes seems to have a broad and intelligent audience. I also think it is approachable even for students, who seem comfortable enough to share ideas even if they are not perfect. I vote for enotes!
Naturally, I vote for eNotes. From the Q&A to Discussions, the focus and drive of eNotes is education. The editors do a really good job of maintaining the academic focus of the discussions; the posting editors on the site are intelligent and focused. Moreover, the site does a really good job at filtering insulting/inflammatory posts, which are quickly taken down.
The educators at eNotes really do seem to value students' questions and take them seriously-- there really is no 'stupid question' stigma at eNotes! Students feel like they can ask for help and receive a genuine and thoughtful response in a timely manner.
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