Figure 35: Essay Excerpt on Petruchio and Katharina, The Taming of the Shrew

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Proof?

You may access the comment by clicking on the “P” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

In the following sample excerpt, the student makes assumptions and fails to provide textual evidence to support her statements. The student doesn’t demonstrate her proof of knowledge, nor does she provide examples as proof within the analysis. Let’s read.

Sample Excerpt

First, Petruchio structures his own behavior just before he marries Katharina, breaking down the usual perception she has of men and people in general.  It is his goal that she never figures him out.  For example, the day of the wedding he is not only late, but arrives uncouth, disheveled, and uncompromising, a behavior not completely farfetched from Katharina’s own attitude, but is surprisingly uncommon in that Petruchio meticulously strives to dismantle her defenses by taking (the concept of) “shock” to new levels.

Figure 35: Essay Excerpt on Petruchio and Katharina, The Taming of the Shrew


The student doesn’t provide in-text evidence of claims she makes within the essay.


1) Where is the in-text evidence of Petruchio’s supposed goal? How do we know that this is his goal?

2) Where is the in-text evidence that Petruchio strives to dismantle Katharina’s defenses? What are Katharina’s defenses?

3) How does he take the concept of shock to new levels? Is it Petruchio’s main objective to shock? What is the in-text evidence?

Revision Considerations

In the sample excerpt, the student makes an unsupported statement and it appears to the reader as just an assumption. The only way to correct statements that lack evidence from the text is to locate a quote within the author’s work that matches the student’s assumption.

Doing this will help to match your ideas about the literary work with the corresponding evidence. In other words, learn how to match white socks with white socks and red socks with red socks. Don’t make a statement, a generalized overview, without incorporating the proof.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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