Bookworm's delight

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 26.01.12
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In Homer’s Odyssey Odysseus’ faithful dog Argos dies seeing his master after 20 years. The dog, once known for his speed and strength was old and tired, but had waited for that one glimpse of his master before collapsing. Argos is the mascot of the featured website this week.www.bookrags.com showcases Argos as an active hound gnawing on the pages of a book. Like Argos, the site hopes its readers would enjoy devouring pages and pages of literature summaries.

The site contains concise book synopsises, study guides, lesson plans, quizzes, essays and complete analysis of more than 4,000 literary works. You can also access e-books and biographies here. The site also positions itself as a research destination with a tagline that says research anything.

From Harry Potter to Hamlet, students of literature will find a variety of titles. Educators write most of the site’s titles and it is a treat for many casual readers. Browse these guides either by the author’s name, the book title or by an alphabetical list. Besides novels and classics, the website features study guides on books on poetry, films, non-fiction, short stories and drama with a separate category for Shakespeare.

The site positions itself as a study guide for literature students. Each title featured on the site includes chapter summary, analysis, criticism and author biography. For instance, if you are studying Yann Martel’s award-winning Life of Pi, you will find a complete analysis of every aspect of the book. The study guide will include an introduction of the novel, an author biography, a plot summary, a chapter summary, a quiz, character description, the objects and places mentioned in the book, the style of writing among other things. Themes, critical overviews, historical contexts, critical essays, quotes, topics for discussion, further reading, sources and analysis also form a large chunk of the featured items. There is a lesson plan for teachers to teach the Life of Pi to students. This includes lesson plans, multiple choice questions, short questions, short essays, daily lessons, fun activities, worksheets and evaluation forms. From the well known to the obscure, the site has a long list of books to keep you busy. All the content can be downloaded in a PDF format or a word file.

If study guides and lesson plans are for literature students, the bookworm can test his or her knowledge quotient in the quiz section. These quizzes come with multiple choice questions on characters, themes and style of writing from various books. As a reader you are spoilt for choice as you can surf almost 22,000 essays on social sciences, literature, history, law, art, science, Shakespeare and business.

You can enjoy unravelling the writers behind the famous titles. The bios section will get you up, close and personal with some of the famous authors of our times. Moreover, the biographies not only include literary figures but also athletes, presidents and world famous personalities. From Magic Johnson to Martin Luther King there are several big names featured here.

From reading e-books to attempting quizzes on famous literary works, the website will keep you hooked. For the literature student it has all that they would need to write perfect literary essays and critiques. The site can also be used to research on a variety of topics. The search results consist of encyclopaedia articles, essays, analysis, news and write-ups from journals, teacher’s resources, activities and homework help. This academic website which was founded in 1999 by James Yagmin and David Lieberman has a simple and neat design. The emphasis is on books and there are few images on each page. Having eulogised the site I must admit the biggest grouse a reader will have is the fact that many of the resources are only for paid users. You will have to surf your way to browse the free samples.

fast facts

WHAT IS it?
A site that offers complete analyses of literary works in English

address
www.bookrags.com/

Downside
Readers have to pay subscription charges to access resources. Free samples are hard to find.

 

Tessy Koshy
tessy_koshy@yahoo.com