A Professor’s Review of Online Cheat Sheets
Apr 01, · 18 Popular Sites Like Sparknotes We have scanned through the web and turned up several leading reference and literature sites like Sparknotes. Come by and discover more sites that complement Sparknotes. Sparknotes. SparkNotes provides students with free study guides for a variety of school subjects. Additionally, it features a an online platform to purchase books, as well as a Test Prep service, helping American students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT. The website was launched in and acquired in by Barnes & Noble.
At this time of year, students are buying textbooks and looking for ways to avoid reading them. Nothing is new about that. CliffsNotes guides, with their familiar yellow and black covers, have been in book bags since What has changed is how many study guides, or cheat sheets, are available online and on mobile phones. Whether you know them as CliffsNotes, SparkNotes or Shmoop, these seemingly ubiquitous guides are now, in many cases, free.
Professors warn that these guides are no substitutes for reading great works of literature, but concede, grudgingly, that as an adjunct, they can stimulate what is the meaning behind candy canes and deepen insight.
Carl Fisher, chairman of the comparative world literature and classics department at California State University, Long Beach, agreed to review the many offerings, starting with the oldest. CliffsNotes guides cover not only literature, but also foreign languages, math, science, history and other topics, and many of the guides are free online.
But more than are available online, and all can be viewed free. CliffsNotes, owned by Wiley Publishing, also offers free podcasts called What are some other websites like sparknoteswhich are three- to five-minute overviews of books with a plot summary.
But CliffsNotes lost points for some dated writing. It offers a library of guides, including literature, math, history and biology, all free on the Web. Shmoopthough, is the newcomer.
It has been online for only 18 months. Guides on topics like civics and economics also are available. All of the guides are free online. GradeSaver boasts that a majority of its authors are Ivy League-educated. The site offers more than guides covering literature, poetry and short stories, with two film guides. Professor Fisher said that the writing was among the best. The site specializes in essays. It sells copies of college essays that the site said landed the authors in top colleges. It says it also carries 2, literature essays.
Some sites did not make the grade at all. Fisher said. BookRagsoffered only partial summaries free, and Professor Fisher said what he found there was too elementary. He advised students to use study guides as additional material to the books. Professor Fisher also had advice for teachers. He says it is very effective at forcing students to offer some original writing, if not some original thought.
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Oct 16, · Shmoop is another website like SparkNotes. Its target audience is pre-university level students. If you're taking your ACTs, SATs, or AP tests, a website like Shmoop is an essential resource. Although they form the core of the site, the content on Shmoop . Some sites are: Natural sites like the Grand Canyon in the U.S., mountains in various countries in the world, etc. Man-made sites like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in the UK, Great Wall of. SparkNotes are the most helpful study guides around to literature, math, science, and more. Find sample tests, essay help, and translations of Shakespeare.
It shouldn't be that hard to read and come up with your own ideas, and you'll find it much easier to defend something you actually believe.
They read Spark Notes!!! They can recognize the themes in your work, and if they are smart, they ask questions that aren't covered in SN. Also, if you disagree with something, don't try to argue it. And I've had some pretty damn smart English teachers. But then again I've never had a smart English teacher. At least that's what it's like here.
Obviously, students should be encouraged to go beyond SparkNotes and Wikipedia, but most of the students are going to come up with the same ideas that are on those two sites, whether or not they use them, because both of them express the main ones and the main ones that are within the grasp of an average HS kid.
Most kids aren't going to be able to create a superior thesis without going to outside sources. They're just going to be restating ones that have already been made, and stating them less eloquently. SparkNotes is a useful tool to understand a material, but you will do better and understand more if you just use your original ideas in papers you write.
Some teachers at my highschool even recommended reading sparknotes along with the book of 'course to help you understand the book.
There's far more value in coming up with a mediocre thesis yourself than regurgitating some website's superior thesis. And if you come up with it yourself, whether the idea is novel or not is irrelevant to the learning experience. I would have never thought of that if I hadn't studied on Sparknotes. I've even had some teachers who draw ideas from Sparknotes for their own lessons, then they can't complain when I use it :. All Rights Reserved. How do teachers know if you use SparkNotes or other note sites?
Easy points were easy. If you use one of those obscure themes in your essay.