We’re your brilliant, book-smart best friend, and we’re here to help you ace that test, transform that paper into pure gold, and understand even the most intricately-plotted Shakespeare plays. (Titus Andronicus, meet your match.)
Need help deciphering Shakespeare’s prose? We translated all of his plays into modern-day dialogue for you, and decoded obscure Elizabethan slang, so you’ll know what your friends mean when they call you a bull’s-pizzle. (Hint: nothing nice.).
Not sure how to identify the themes in The Great Gatsby or the symbols in Of Mice and Men? Check out our classic literature guides, and you’ll soon be waxing poetic about the decline of the American Dream and the meaning behind Lennie’s puppy.
We’ve got easy-to-understand guides for hundreds of books and subjects. Our comprehensive literature content provides in-depth analysis of novels, plays, and poems, unpacking everything from context and characters to motifs and metaphors. We take away the stress of homework and test prep, and give you the tools to read, analyze, and write about the classics like a pro.
What are SparkNotes?
We think that SparkNotes are an excellent way to supplement your understanding of great works of literature, which can often be extremely confusing. Teachers tell us that they use SparkNotes in their classrooms for this purpose, as well as in conjunction with longer books that they do not have time to teach in their entirety.
SparkNotes are meant to help you understand literature—not as a substitute for it.
Reading a SparkNote instead of reading a book is misusing a SparkNote. Those of us who write SparkNotes love the books that we write about, and we want you to read them as well!
We believe that the content of SparkNotes reflects this philosophy—our analysis sections are detailed and longer than our summaries, and the supplementary sections, such as "Character Analysis" and "Themes, Motifs, and Symbols" are scholarly secondary material that can be invaluable when developing paper ideas or writing papers.
Can I use your site for my class? Can I use your content in a paper?
Yes, but you must cite your references to SparkNotes in the same way that you would cite your references to any books. Everything in a SparkNote—from the chapter summaries, to the analysis of themes, to the sample essays—is copyrighted, and using or copying that content without crediting SparkNotes as the source is not only plagiarism, but is also illegal.
The writers of SparkNotes are professors and graduate students who specialize in the subjects and books they cover. Their enthusiasm and expertise about literature ensure that we’re providing you with the best content possible.
When you open a SparkNote, scroll down to the very bottom of the Table of Contents. Under the heading Writing Help, you’ll see a sub-heading that says How to Cite This SparkNote. Clicking that link will take you to this page which provides you with instructions on how to properly cite our content.
Note that when citing a SparkNote’s author, it’s most accurate to credit “SparkNotes Editors” instead of a single name, since the guide may have been created through a collaboration between several writers.
Many of our SparkNotes are about books that exist in several different editions, each of which have different ways of numbering pages. What may be on page 27 of your book would be on page 34 of someone else's! We do cite passages from works of drama with act and scene numbers, however.
You may link to any HTML page on SparkNotes.com, but you may not replicate or use our material on your site, blog, or any other public forum.
You cannot copy content directly onto a page, but you are welcome to link to the appropriate SparkNotes page.
Writing a SparkNote is a labor of love that takes several months, so unfortunately we can’t whip one up at a moment’s notice. But you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which books you'd like to see SparkNotes for, and our editorial team may consider your request in the future!
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I contacted customer service. When can I expect a response?
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