Welcome to SparkNotes!

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.

Using SparkNotes

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.

Who writes SparkNotes?

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.

How do I cite a SparkNote?

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.

Why don't you put page numbers with quotations in SparkNotes?

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.

Can I link to SparkNotes pages?

You may link to any HTML page on, but you may not replicate or use our material on your site, blog, or any other public forum.

Can I use the content on a SparkNotes page on my site?

You cannot copy content directly onto a page, but you are welcome to link to the appropriate SparkNotes page.

I want a SparkNote on ___ and I want it in one hour!

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 to let us know which books you'd like to see SparkNotes for, and our editorial team may consider your request in the future!

When will new notes or charts be available? Why don't you have a printable version of the note or chart I need?

We no longer offer downloadable/printable PDFs of SparkNotes or SparkCharts. However, you can head to to browse and purchase anything from our collection!

Ordering SparkNotes Products

Where can I buy your books?

SparkNotes products are sold at Barnes & Noble and other retail outlets. You can see our Barnes & Noble collection here .

How can I contact customer service?

You can write to us directly at—we’d love to hear your feedback!

I contacted customer service. When can I expect a response?
We manage Customer Service through an automated, online system that routes and tracks your problems to the correct person to handle your situation. You can expect an email response from us within 5 business days. We will do everything we can to resolve your issue. We do not offer Customer Service by telephone.

SparkNotes Newsletter

How can I unsubscribe from the SparkNotes newsletter?

While we hate to see you go (you'll miss out on so many hilarious memes!), unsubscribing from our mailing list is easy. Just scroll to the very bottom of the last newsletter you received and click the “Unsubscribe” link. We’ll immediately remove you from our mailing list (we miss you already!). 

Technical Questions

Your pages freeze, crash my computer, or don't load.

We test our website on the most popular browser and operating system combinations to make sure errors like these don't occur. If you're experiencing a persistent problem, please send us an email and tell us what web browser and operating system you're using, as well as what you were trying to do when the problem occurred.

SparkNotes App

How do I get the SparkNotes app?

Click here to get the app on iTunes and Google Play!

How much does it cost?

If you cancel your subscription before your 30-day free trial ends, you will not be billed for the app. If you would like to continue using the app, you can choose to be billed either $.99/month, or $4.99/year.

How do I cancel the app?

Option 1 (available to users of both Android and iPhone devices):

You should have received an email confirming your subscription; in that email, you'll find a link that takes you directly to the page where you can cancel (click the words "Learn More" after the words "You will be automatically charged the subscription cost (currently $0.99/month) at the end of your trial unless you cancel").

If Option 1 Doesn’t Work, Try These:

iPhone Users:

Click here to cancel on your desktop, OR follow the below:
On iOS 11, go to "Settings" on your iPhone, and select iTunes & App Store. At the top of the screen, there should be an entry for your Apple ID with your email address. Select that, then “View Apple ID”. Enter your password in the sign-in prompt. From the menu that follows, look for the entry for “Subscriptions”. Choose the SparkNotes app, then press “Cancel Subscription."

Android Users:

Click here to cancel on your Desktop, OR follow the below:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Tap Menu -> Account -> Subscriptions.
  3. Find the subscription you want to cancel.
  4. Tap Cancel.

Does the app have your No Fear Shakespeare translations?

Currently, the app only features our traditional lit guides, but we hope to add more of our great content in the future!


I’m an advertiser and I want to contact your Ad Sales team.

For sponsorship information, advertising opportunities, and business proposals, please contact and include “ATTN: Ad/Sales Team” in your subject line.