The fall semester is well under way and high school kids everywhere are looking for some help with their schoolwork.
Some of us in the past have turned to CliffsNotes, but the newer generation has looked to SparkNotes, which are available for free on the Internet.
To access the site, you will have to register with an e-mail address and password, but once you do, you'll have access to hundreds of study guides summarizing practically everything that's required reading -- from "Great Gatsby" to "Great Expectations" to more modern novels such as "Cold Mountain" and the steamy "Like Water for Chocolate."
Of course, these guides, and the Harvard students who write them, say that these summaries are not meant to replace the reading you do on your own, it "supplements a student's understanding" of the novel, according to the site. Besides summaries, you'll find sample exam questions a teacher may ask, and essays on the symbols and themes in the novels that any thorough reader should be aware of. There's also an online discussion where you can share your thoughts or your questions about the book with other students.
SparkNotes are not just limited to literature. There are also study guides for philosophy, physics and math. And they have a new section for college prep tests, too.
The guides are free to read but will cost $4.95 to print.