CliffsNotes has over 300 literature notes available, including for To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, The Kite Runner and Of MIce and Men. Many of these are available for free online at CliffsNotes.com.
Clifton Keith Hillegass started CliffsNotes in 1958 with 16 Shakespeare study guides. The global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt purchased CliffsNotes in 2012. The company notes that CliffsNotes are not a substitute for reading the original work.
CliffsNotes are available online or in print. The company recommends reading a chapter or act in the original work and then reading the corresponding section in CliffsNotes for further understanding. Students can also read the entire work and then read CliffsNotes.
The free online CliffsNotes begin with the title and author of the work, followed by the year the work was first published. Students can find lists of genres, motifs, major thematic topics, main characters and major symbols. Students can follow links on the website to find deeper information, including character analysis, author biography, critical essays, and chapter analysis. Other studying options include online quizzes, essay questions and practice projects.
Other CliffsNotes products for literature include CramCast, the CliffsNotes App for iPhone, iPad and iPod, and CramPlans. Students can also follow CliffsNotes on social media.