Living the SparkLife

Living the SparkLife

Savana Freyman, Staff Writer

In the life of a high school student, time inevitably slips away. Due dates arise out of nowhere and many students look to their saving grace… SparkNotes.
The most popular use of Sparknotes is its chapter summaries, which give users the basic outline of a story. These quick reads are becoming more and more popular among students from all over.
Yet it seems that an increasing number of teachers are beginning to frown upon SparkNotes claiming that students aren’t really using it for its designed purpose, which is to review and help students understand difficult reads. However, contrary to many teachers’ beliefs, there are students who actually read the assigned books.
“I use SparkNotes to refresh my memory on the book I was assigned. I also use it to clear up any misunderstood information I come across in a chapter.” Alyssa Uzzi, Junior, Said.
SparkNotes also is a website that provides study guides for subjects like literature, poetry, history, film, philosophy, math, health, physics, biology, chemistry, economics and sociology; and it has content related to the SAT, ACT, and AP testing.
The easiness of reading one page over thirty becomes more and more appealing. And once one has gotten themselves into the habit of using SparkNotes regularly, it can be hard to break away from its grasp.
“I started using SparkNotes in 7th grade and it helped me alot. Now every book I’m assigned to read, I use SparkNotes as a resource. It gives you some great theme ideas that make writing essays much easier.” Ashley Shear, Junior, Said.
However, don’t be fooled into using SparkNotes alone without actually reading the book. This is not the way to be successful. Some students believe that teachers are aware of what is on SparkNotes and design their quizzes and tests around information that is not present in the summaries.
“I think SparkNotes can be a valuable tool when looking at theme analysis, but it is not a equal supplement for reading the actual text. Students lose the beauty of a piece when they don’t read the actual words in the book. At times I have arranged my tests in a way that prevents students from scoring well if they relied solely on SparkNotes summaries. Mrs. Wilcox, 11th Grade English Teacher, Said.
Whether it’s while reading the romantic tale of Romeo and Juliet or The Catcher in the Rye, nearly every high school student will submit to the allure of SparkNotes at least once. When used correctly, these websites can be a valuable tool. But to get the full effect of a story, reading the book is a must. Even if the student must sacrifice their time, it will pay off in the long run.