What are sources for chapter summaries of classic books?


Quick Answer

Some sites that offer chapter summaries of classic books include SparkNotes, Shmoop and BookRags. These educational sites all offer analysis and summaries for classic books commonly assigned in school.

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Full Answer

SparkNotes is a education-based site, offering a large selection of study guides for literary classics. From “To Kill a Mockingbird” to “The Odyssey,” SparkNotes features concise chapter summaries for common high school and college texts. The site is also known for its “No Fear” series, which modernizes the language of older texts, including “The Scarlet Letter,” “Beowulf” and the works of Shakespeare.

Shmoop functions similarly to SparkNotes, offering a range of study guides and chapter summaries for classic novels. However, the site offers more in-depth information on many of its texts, including analysis of tone, writing style, difficulty level and the author’s background. The study guides on Shmoop adopt a more informal, playful style than those found on SparkNotes, peppering analysis with jokes and contemporary references. The site offers chapter summary for classic works, such as “Brave New World,” as well as contemporary classics by authors such as Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy.

BookRags is another major study guide site, offering chapters summaries and literary analysis. The site offers a comprehensive selection of study guides, including many on texts not covered by other sites. However, unlike SparkNotes and Shmoop, BookRags charges a membership fee to access much of its content.

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