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CliffsNotes (formerly Cliffs Notes, often, erroneously, CliffNotes, but originally Cliff's Notes) are a series of student study guides available primarily in the United Statesmarker. The guides present and explain literary and other works in pamphlet form or online. Endorsers say the guides help readers understand complex works, while detractors say they let students avoid even reading them.

CliffsNotes was started by a Nebraskamarker native named Cliff Hillegass in 1958. He was working at Nebraska Book Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska, when he met Jack Cole, the co-owner of Coles, a Toronto book business. Coles was also the publisher of a series of Canadianmarker study guides called Coles Notes. Jack Cole offered the American rights to Hillegass.

Hillegass and his wife, Catherine, started the business in their basement at 511 Eastridge Drive, with sixteen William Shakespeare titles. CliffsNotes now exist on hundreds of works. The term CliffsNotes has now come into modern usage, as a noun for notes of a similar nature to the original CliffsNotes books.

IDG Books purchased CliffsNotes in 1998. John Wiley & Sons acquired IDG Books (renamed Hungry Minds) in 2001.

Other guides

In addition to guides for literature, the company produces several other series of guides, including:
  • CliffsQuickReview - A quick reference for information on scholastic subjects, such as sciences, mathematics, and history.
  • CliffsComplete - Similar to regular CliffsNotes, but also includes notes and commentary.
  • CliffsAP - Advanced placement study guides, including action plans, test-taking strategies, reviews, and exercises.
  • CliffsStudySolver - A learn-by-mastering approach to algebra, Spanish, grammar, and other subjects.
  • CliffsTestPrep - Test preparation guides for the LSAT, SATs, GED, and other tests.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! - The original Shakespeare text side-by-side with a contemporary English version.
  • The Manga Editions - Based on the traditional Manga format.


See also



External links




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