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Since 2009, Shmoop has been a digital publishing company with a point of view. Our teaching method revolves around the basic idea that learning is often too hard—so we carry gallons of humor-laden academic WD-40 to squirt on the tracks whenever we can. If students enjoy the process, they will do it...more.

Recent Posts

20 Examples of Awesome Personal Statements for College Application Season

Posted by Shmoop on 12/3/18 9:00 AM

College application season is officially in full swing. And as tedious as it is to fill out those zillions of fields on the apps, we all know the most stressful part is the personal statement.

So, allow us to inspire you with 20 examples of awesome personal statements. We've got some

thing for everyone, no matter who you are. Whether you...

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Topics: College Prep

5 Books That Definitely Were Not Written in a Month

Posted by Shmoop on 11/29/18 9:00 AM

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, for those in the know. Here at Shmoop HQ, we keep trying to hit the 50,000-word mark, but year after year we come up short. To make ourselves feel better (and to procrastinate on the whole novel-writing thing), we came up with a list of books we're absolutely sure were not written in a month. 

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Topics: Literature

6 Dinners More Uncomfortable Than Your Family's Thanksgiving (Don't invite Beowulf over).

Posted by Shmoop on 11/22/18 11:00 AM
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we're most grateful for. It's also a time to reflect on how incredibly awkward family dinners can be. But remember: you're not alone. To help you get through whatever shenanigans are planned for you this year, we've got a list of dinners that were definitely more uncomfortable than your family's Thanksgiving will be.
1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Toward the beginning of Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones & co. find themselves at a classy nightclub dinner—fully equipped with a lounge singer. But when he's introduced to said singer, Dr. Jones grabs her and pushes a dinner fork into her side. Indy, did you learn nothing in school? That's the cold cuts fork. The stabbing-ladies fork is the second from the left  
 
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Topics: Literature

Who Shmoop’s NOT Inviting to Thanksgiving Dinner—Sorry, Holden Caulfield.

Posted by Shmoop on 11/21/18 10:30 AM

Shmoop counts down the 10 most ungrateful literary characters who are persona non grata for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving is a time to put aside all of your familial angst in the name of deliciousness, but after a hard day in the kitchen, Shmoop isn’t about to share with anyone who can’t spare a compliment to the chef.

Since Shmoop prefers its dinners to be low-drama and its guests thankful, here is Shmoop’s list of literary characters who will not be getting an invite this year. Shmoop’s ranked them from 10—allowed in if they bring a green bean casserole—to 1—never allowed in, even with a gourmet brined turkey. No offense, guys. It’s just that Peeta Mellark can both bake bread and say, “Thank you.” Maybe next year!

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Topics: and the wardrobe, charlie and the chocolate factory, ender's game, harry potter, king lear, medea, oliver twist, thanksgiving, the aenid, the catcher in the rye, the lion, the phantom tollbooth, the witch, top ten, Updates

EdTech in the Classroom Podcast—Best Online Educational Publisher

Posted by Shmoop on 11/18/18 1:58 PM

Last week we were lucky enough to sit down with Jeffrey Bradbury of EdTech in the Classroom. David Siminoff, founder of Shmoop University Inc., and Jeffrey, an educator and founder of the TeacherCast Educational Networkdiscuss Shmoop's versatility as a solution not just for students, but also a great tool for teachers. In a world where teachers are expected to do more with less, Shmoop tries to make life a little easier (to help you be able to have one) by providing online drills, courses, teaching guides, and more. Check it out. 

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Topics: Literature, Teachers

Why did they read The Great Gatsby at the Royal Wedding?

Posted by Shmoop on 11/16/18 12:25 PM
Lack-of-self-awareness should be a SuperPower, don't you think? Adverbially named Stan Lee was working on a Narcissus paradigm before his untimely death at 95. So when Eugenie had this passage from The Great Gatsby read at her Royal Wedding to Jack, tongues either wagged or remained pressed firmly in cheek. 
Why? 
 
Well, read it, for starters. The most gorgeous writings live in Gatsby. Every paragraph is either Angelina in her early 20s or Thor or his brother, pre-MalibuMiley fires. So here it is:
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Topics: Literature

To Kill A Mockingbird is still winning literary contests. Why?

Posted by Shmoop on 11/15/18 4:12 PM
Attempted murder.... of a kid. Child rape. Incest. Violent alcoholism. Racism redux. Sounds like the evening news, right? Or maybe the plot for Stephen King's next novel. Or just another day in Somalia. But no. These edge-kissing sub-topics are core elements of what was just voted the most beloved novel of all time, read by 12 year olds all around the globe— "To Kill A Mockingbird."
 
PBS just polled (monkey-surveyed if you found them online) - and readers spoke. TKAM officially won the 100 meter Best Literature contest at the LitOlympics. If you don't remember the book's edges, let us refresh: It's the story of Scout, a little girl growing up in the Deep South, who witnesses racial injustice and the eventual accusation and murder of a black man for a crime he did not commit. 
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Topics: Literature

Shmoop Helps Indio High Schoolers Boost ACT Scores

Posted by Shmoop on 5/30/13 12:48 PM

Improving student test scores on the ACT* exam may not be as difficult as it can seem. As it turns out, the recipe for success could be as simple as one short step: “Just add Shmoop.”

At Indio High School in Indio, California, Assistant Principal Charles Mazet has noticed some striking improvements in ACT exam performance since Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and test prep, was first introduced to classrooms. Students also look taller, seem to have developed better posture, and appear to have shinier hair.

(Disclaimer: Not directly related to the use of Shmoop, although it probably doesn't hurt.)

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Topics: Updates, Press Release

Shmoop Explains Literary Critics in New Educational Guides

Posted by Shmoop on 5/23/13 10:04 AM

It’s no secret: literary critics are tough nuts to crack. Most of them are long gone, and all they’ve left behind is a bunch of mumbo jumbo that even the most intellectual tweed-wearer has a tough time deciphering. But these smartypants brought about new ways of reading old books, and they’re definitely worth a closer look.

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Topics: Updates, Press Release

Shmoop Offers New Self-Serve System

Posted by Shmoop on 4/25/13 10:29 AM

It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when a person patronizing a frozen yogurt establishment would have to ask some goober behind the counter to prepare their dessert for them. Now, of course, one can fill their cup with whatever (and as many) flavors as they desire, load it up with a sickening combination of Butterfinger, gummy worms and Cap’n Crunch cereal, and then top it off with a half-pint of caramel syrup. Mmm … freedom is delicious.

The point is that things are simply better when it can be done without anyone else butting in. One gets that warm, comforting sense of accomplishment, and can revel in the convenience and flexibility of his or her own decision-making.

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Topics: Updates, Press Release

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