SparkNotes is a resource for students to turn to when you want to understand a book in-depth. Their mission is not only to help you to understand books, but also write papers, and study for tests, presenting all the info you need in a clear and concise way that includes all of the important info.
What Do SparkNotes Offer?
The SparkNotes website includes a sub-brand called No Fear Literature, featuring a wide range of classic literature side by side with a simple English translation. These translations are available both online and in book form at book stores such as barnesandnoble.com.
Aside from the translations, SparkNotes have over 500 free study guides that contain summaries, characters, themes, quotes, and insightful critical analyses of authors and books – everything from Beowulf to Game of Thrones.
Shakespeare and literature are the most prominent and in-depth areas of content on SparkNotes, though they also do a pretty thorough job covering other subjects, including:
- Computer Science
- US Government and Politics
Most of these subject areas also include short quizzes, which allow you to test your retention before any upcoming exam you might have.
Shakespeare On Sparknotes
No Fear Shakespeare is a book series and set of Shakespeare study guides from SparkNotes. The book series offers modern English translations of most of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.
As with the NoSweatShakespeare ebooks, No Fear Shakespeare modernized versions of Shakespeare make reading the plays much easier. Whilst any modernization of Shakespeare’s works is obviously likely to reduce the experience and dramatic impact that reading a Shakespeare’s play gives, having the original text and translation text side-by-side makes a great tool to help young and first-time Shakespeare readers understand the works.
Their online study guides offer loads of free play-specific information including:
- Character insights
- Main themes and ideas
- Writing help
For some of Shakespeare’s more popular plays No Fear Shakespeare also offer teaching guides designed to help classic literature engaging and relevant to today’s students. These teaching guides are in old school print format only, and available to buy from Barnes & Noble.
About SparkNotes’ Website
SparkNotes are one of the biggest education websites around – certainly for literature, but also for many other subjects.
The SparkNotes website currently receives about 20 million visits each month, with website users spending over 5 minutes on average reading around 3 pages each visit.
Over two-thirds of their users come from North America, with other English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and India making up the bulk of the remaining users.
SparkNotes In Their Own Words
SparkNotes is a resource you can turn to when you’re confuzzled. We help you understand books, write papers, and study for tests. We’re clear and concise, but we never leave out important info.
Our guides contain thorough summaries and insightful critical analyses. We offer more than 500 guides for English literature and Shakespeare, and a vast number of guides for history, math, biology, and other subjects. Our most popular guides now include quick quizzes, so you can test your retention before the test.
We are well qualified to lend a hand: we’re graduates of top schools, we have advanced degrees galore, we’ve taught undergraduate and graduate classes, and we’ve edited books on Shakespeare, The Scarlet Letter, and the SAT (and that’s just the S’s!).
What Do NoSweatShakespeare Offer?
Our mission is to help everyone understand Shakespeare’s language.
Much like No Fear Shakespeare, we offer a broad range of Shakespeare resources. Our free resources cover everything from play and sonnet translations to in-depth looks at characters, play summaries, themes, settings, and significant and famous Shakespeare quotes from all of his works
We also have lots of general information about Shakespeare’s life, family, homes in London and Stratford, theatres, and use of language. Plus we have a Shakespeare blog that covers some of the fun and modern-day takes on the Bard of Avon.
And last, but certainly not least, we offer a range of NoSweatShakespeare ebooks. These stem from a realisation that although so much good work has been done on textual aspects and the broad grasp of plot, few resources are available to give students a complete grasp of the complexity of a whole Shakespeare text in one short reading. (See samples of Shakespeare’s plays as modern English ebooks.)
That’s our review done of what No Fear Shakespeare has to offer the online Shakespeare ecosystem. What are your thoughts – have you used them before and have an opinion?
We’d love to hear from you. Please do join in with the comments section below!