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eNotes vs SparkNotes vs BookRags: Study Resources Compared

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The eNotes site is helpful for those who need live support since they have an option for asking an expert a question for a few dollars. You can also get definitions of strange words on eTexts here. SparkNotes is a good site for those who’d rather go as

Things are even more competitive in academia these days than ever before. A student could really use every advantage they can get. Here are a few sites that serve as study resources, including a comparison between them in terms of their effectiveness and features.


The eNotes site offers study guides, eTexts and even direct help from educators if you want to buy it. The site even adds highlighted glossary terms that you might be familiar with so you can click on them and get definitions.


  • Free 2-Day Trial-You can try out eNotes for 2 days where you can access all the study guide materials on the site. You can’t download PDFs during this time period though. You also can’t access lesson plan content unless you get the Teacher’s edition. If you don’t want to keep going with it, make sure you cancel before your free trial ends. You can do this on the account page.
  • Homework Help-If you have a question about a homework problem that you need help with from a real person instead of just trying to figure it out from the study guide, you can buy credits on the site to do this. You have to sign up such as using the “connect with Facebook” button in order to access all of this.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee-The 100% satisfaction guarantee through the site is for the homework help credits, and it means that if you don’t like the answer you can get your money back.



SparkNotes is actually owned by Barnes and Noble, which is why there’s an advertisement for Nook devices at the bottom of the site. This company is one of the more famous on the web when it comes to study guides and summaries for books. The “site map” link at the bottom will let you access SparkNotes study guides, test prep documents, or study resources for college.


  • Test Countdowns-Whenever you click on a section of the site, like the SAT section, for example, they often show countdowns for the next important date when it comes to that test.
  • Free Study Guides-Not only are there many study guides, test prep material, and other resources available on the site for free, but you don’t even have to sign up in order to access them.
  • SparkTests-Once you sign up, you can take tests in various different subjects online to make sure you understand a particular subject.



BookRags have over 6000 literature guides available. It has a GeoTrust seal youc an click on in order to confirm Internet security on the date you visit. You can view free samples by clicking on the green link for the study tool that you’re looking at if you want as well on this site. Sometimes this will even have most of the title that you want.


  • Homework Help-You can click on this link from the menu and type up a question you have to get help from the community. It’s not really curated professionally, but you could get help this way from other students.
  • Huge Repository of Study Tools-This includes more than 27,000 biographies of famous people. This also includes more than 6,000 study guides and 22,000 essays on various academic topics.
  • Pay Through PayPal-You can pay with PayPal as well as through regular credit cards on the site.


Head to Head


You can access some of the eText books on the eNotes site for free, especially the older ones like from Charles Dickens. These texts have highlighted parts to make it easier to understand terms you might not know about right away. There’s also homework help for if you need help. If you click on the “TA leaderboard” you can see who’s answered the most questions. You can also join this program yourself to answer questions and earn rewards like giftcards.

SparkNotes has a lot of information about helping with test prep, all under the “contact us” area. Contacting them here is mostly through email. The site is also known for having a lot of free summaries.

BookRags has support features through the “customer service” link, which then has a “Submit a request” tab where you can send an email through a form. One of the main general features that the site is known for is having a huge number of resources to draw on like 27,000 biographies. You can also access email faster by clicking on the envelope icon in the top right corner of the site.

Overall, support features for the sites are largely the same. SparkNotes has the advantage on price and for those who specifically want summaries.


The eNotes site costs $15 for a monthly subscription. If you want to do it yearly, it’s $50. There’s also a version for teachers that gives them lesson plans which goes for $25 per month. Another thing you can buy is homework help credits. These credits let you get help from a educator expert on the site with any of your homework questions.

Most of the resources available on SparkNotes are free to access for as long s you like, unlike with eNotes. You can buy stuff on the site, however. The SparkNotes and SparkCharts that you can print in PDF form cost $5 or so each. This means that eNotes and SparkNotes both let you print out PDF documents that you can download, but both require you to pay a cost in order to do so.

BookRags is $20 for a monthly subscription, or $100 or so if you bill annually. This tends to be for individual study packs though, and it doesn’t look like you can get access to the whole site this way. If you want access to all of them you have to pay $25 per month, or $200 a year.

Overall, SparkNotes definitely has the cheapest option since most of the study guides there are free, and you only have to pay if you want to print something out. The next most expensive is eNotes at $15 per month, with BookRags being the most expensive by far at $25 per month.


About This Article

Mitchell Wyatt

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