Students in the current age have got no excuse for failure. Technology has radically removed all the barriers hitherto encountered in the academic world.
Students are no longer limited to their classroom notes and outdated/ancient textbooks imposingly piled up in their schools’ libraries. There are now easily accessible online resources on virtually every field of learning that can be used to support their classroom notes and textbooks.
As a smart student, you must not restrict yourself only to what your lecturers teach in the class nor get satisfied with the ancient textbooks stacked up in your school’s library. There are many websites nowadays that provide useful lesson notes on various subjects/courses (Literature, Law, Medicine, Physics, etc.). Their contents are prepared by verified scholars in their chosen fields and they are regularly updated to accommodate new developments in the disciplines.
And interestingly, a majority of these websites are free to use.
In this piece, I will examine some of these websites, particularly those that are meant for students of literature.
Spark Notes provides detailed internet study guides for literature/history/philosophy students. The website was created by Havard University students; Sam Yagan, Max Krohn, Chris Coyne, and Eli Bolotin. Their bold slogan (When your books and teachers don’t make sense, we do). We attests to the quality of notes they provide. The website address is www.sparknotes.com.
Note: Spark Notes has expanded its focus to include other subjects such as biology, chemistry, economics, health, mathematics, physics, sociology, etc.
This reputable electronic study guide features literary materials that are prepared by reputable teachers and professors. It was founded by Clifton Hilegass in 1958. The website address is www.cliffsnotes.com.
This is a literary blog that focuses on Arabic literature. It was founded by M. Lynx Qualey. ArabLit is an effective website for any literary students working on Arabic/Middle East literature. The website address is www.arablit.org.
Wawa Book Review
Wawa Book Review provides excellent literary reviews which students can use to support their understanding of literary texts. It focuses mainly on African literature. This website was founded by Wale Dada, Emeka Ugwu and Adebiyi Olusolape who is also the website’s Managing Editor. The website address is www.wawabookreview.com.
Saraba magazine is an online magazine published by Saraba Literary Trust. It was founded in 2009 by Obafemi Awolowo University students; Emmanuel Iduma and Dami Ajayi. This website provides a platform for literary students/emerging writers who are keen about developing their writing skills. The website is www.sarabamag.com.
Brittle Paper provides “fresh and provocative take on African writing and literary culture”. It was founded by Ainehi Edoro. This free blog features best of the emerging writings in Africa and it’s an invaluable resource for any literary student working on contemporary African literature. The website is www.brittlepaper.com.
Just as the name implies, this website is “an open door to the Arab world”. Al Bab provides virtually everything needed to know in Arab/Middle East literature. It covers society and politics, Arabic language, arts and culture, etc. The website is www.al-bab.com.
For literary students working on American literature, www.americanliterature.com is very useful as it features a catalogue of American writers and their works.
American Literary Review
This was established in 1990 by the department of English, University of North Texas. It publishes literary works such as poetry, fiction and non-fiction by budding or established writers. This is a good website for literary students interested in contemporary American literature. The website address is www.americanliteraryreview.com.
Asia Literary Review
This is an online literary magazine published on a quarterly basis. It focuses on Asian literature and is available both in English and in translation. Asia Literary Review is to Asian literature what Saraba Magazine is to African literature as it also focuses on writings from “new and emerging voices….” The website is www.asialiteraryreview.com. Another important literary website in Asian literature is theasianwriter.co.uk.
Auslit is, arguably, the best web resource available for any students interested in studying Australian literature. The website address is www.austlit.edu.au.