Sparknotes

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Sparknotes

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1Cecrow
Jul. 24, 2014, 9:54am

I saw this site mentioned a couple of times elsewhere on LT, and was made glad when I finally checked it out. Notwithstanding I'm in my forties now and this appears geared towards helping students in highschool or university trying to write a meaningful essay about what they've been forced to read ... it's very well done and insightful. I couldn't have gotten through Augustine's Confessions without it, and now I'm frequently returning to it as I read Dubliners.

Seems to be sponsored by Barnes & Noble: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/

I know I'd be posting in this group a lot more often if it wasn't for this web site. I'm sure it's not the definitive review of everything (what can be?) but it's a great helping hand. Anyone else who uses it found that it's not up to snuff for some entries?

2Morphidae
Jul. 24, 2014, 10:38am

I can't answer your question but I know I've had the same experience with it. I couldn't have gotten through certain classics without the site.

3razzamajazz
Bearbeitet: Jul. 24, 2014, 10:51am

Why not try

www.cliffsnotes.com

for extended help and commentaries of many classics.

4Cecrow
Jul. 24, 2014, 2:08pm

Those seem helpful as well; maybe I should have labelled this thread more generally! Comparing the two entries for the story "Two Gallants" in Dubliners, I find I prefer the Sparknotes summary and analysis for its greater depth, although I appreciate that each points out things the other does not and seem to differ on interpretations. I like that the Cliffnotes analysis includes a glossary of the lingo that confused me.

5Bookmarque
Jul. 24, 2014, 2:11pm

I've only used Cliffs Notes in paper versions, so I can't really compare. That was when I read Crime and Punishment and it was helpful. I should keep Sparknotes in mind for the next book I feel I might miss greater depth/insights without some guidance.

6.Monkey.
Jul. 24, 2014, 2:59pm

Spark/Cliffs notes have been around in paper format for ages (Cliffs for a number of decades, Spark for a number of years); I've never bothered to look at the website(s) though. They never really appealed to me, I always kind of saw them as just something for the cheaters (who use them rather than reading). As an adult, I can appreciate that they'd give useful info for the more conscientious reader, as a supplement rather than supplanting. ;P

7Morphidae
Jul. 24, 2014, 4:05pm

Definitely a supplement. I'm using it right now for Great Expectations. It's nice for little subtleties and not so little subtleties. I'm relatively oblivious to some things. SparkNotes lets me know what those things are. It also gives me, "OOoooh, THAT'S what was going on" moments.

8razzamajazz
Bearbeitet: Jul. 25, 2014, 9:03am

Another interesting website to venture for study notes from literature to math.

www.enotes.com

9Cecrow
Jul. 25, 2014, 7:17am

With Dubliners my routine is: read a story, try to understand the point of it, read the Sparknotes coverage and slap my forehead. Repeat.

10.Monkey.
Jul. 25, 2014, 8:58am

>9 Cecrow: Lol, there were a bunch of things that the notes in mine pointed out that I wouldn't otherwise have known. Parallels to his life, among others. It did help me dislike some of the stories a little less, with the extra insight, but overall I was not impressed regardless. :P

11Morphidae
Jul. 25, 2014, 2:50pm

>9 Cecrow: That's basically my routine any time I'm using SparkNotes!