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In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 12:48 AM

We read seven books, portions from three books, and three books of our choice in English class. The three choice were for book reports. I read like 1 and a half of the required books and two and a half of the book report books.

No one really reads the books and everyone copies off each other. It's an honors class too. I usually don't copy homework. I've done it like twice this year.

I got two B's and a C in the quarters and people get a lot higher grades without reading the books. Is this what all classes are like or just mine?
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 04:13 AM

They use sparknotes or something like it. Shorter, easier, quicker to understand, and gets about the same grade as actually reading the book. Goodness knows I used sparknotes often and I got a A- in American Literature (Honors).
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 04:33 AM

Last year I only finished like one book that we read and was able to write the essays with SparkNotes and CliffsNotes


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 04:51 AM

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Originally Posted by Rosana View Post
They use sparknotes or something like it. Shorter, easier, quicker to understand, and gets about the same grade as actually reading the book. Goodness knows I used sparknotes often and I got a A- in American Literature (Honors).
That's what I'm on now! The mass cheating however, I don't really partake in.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 04:57 AM

I'm probably one of very few people who actually read and studied all the recommend books in high school English.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 06:17 AM

In high-school English, I did as little as possible because I had no interest. In university English, I had more interest in some parts. Some of the books I read part-way while other books I was genuinely interested in and read them a few times even after the course was over. For the most part though, it's good to read at least some of the book then either read the rest or use Coles or Sparksnotes. In university we had to hand in our English assignments online and in-person, and given the class was small with just one TA, cheating wasn't an option I considered as a few people were caught.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 03:27 PM

I usually did the minimum amount of reading. Like I'd skim the book, read bits and pieces, follow along with what ever the teacher brought up in class, I usually got 70s and 80's.
Every once in a while there was a class I saw fit to read, but it depended how interested in it I was.
But then again, I am not exactly the one who's academic inclination you want to imitate. I have a pretty good memory and apparently "don't apply my self to my fullest extent" (I really don't see a problem with averaging around a 75 though haha)
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 24th 2012, 03:49 PM

I took an Advanced English course in university when I was in my first year. I didn't read any of the books/plays/etc. because I quickly realized that I hated the class. Furthermore, as if that wasn't bad enough, I stopped going to class in October (when the class ran from September until April).

With the use of Sparknotes and Wikipedia, I managed to get an A- in the class, which was in the top ~5%. I, however, had to put in a LOT of work as there were over 100 poems/books/short stories/etc. that I had to know *in depth* for the exam.

I guess it really depends on what you like and where your abilities lie. Given that you're in high school, I wouldn't be too concerned.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 12:54 PM

Took an English Studies (Adv.) class at the beginning of Law School, just to get a grasp on what was required in undertaking a law degree. There were 24 decent sized books to read, and over 200 journal articles (ranging from 10 to 50 pages each) - all based around random stuff: politics, society, norms, changing values; there were even a few on how chocolate is made. Needless to say, only 2 or 3 were necessary for the exam, but the pop quizzes were a bitch to do.

I didn't do so well in the pop quizzes. I used book reviews for the exam. I grabbed notes off others. I scrounged whatever I could without actually reading the boring drivel that they gave us. Managed to smash the exam, but failed the tests. Ended up with a Distinction (Australian University ratings are different to the US/Canada/England, I guess - we don't have A, B, C, etc. We just have HD, D, C, P and F from highest to fail).

Highly possible to do better in the exam without reading the book. Sparknotes and the like are incredibly helpful because they occasionally have pre-arranged arguments you can use in essays with evidence from the book to back it up. Year 12 English, for me, was made so much simpler because of those pre-arranged arguments.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 01:49 PM

I think in 4 years, I've finished 3 books that I had to read for high school. I did just fine in my classes every year. I would just Sparknote it and pull random ideas out for the essays we had to write. It seemed to work just fine.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 02:59 PM

In high school English, we either read from a textbook (9th, 10th, 12th grades) or we read 4 novels (11th grade). The only class I really had to "read" anything in was 11th grade and that was because she liked doing quizzes to make sure we were reading - as long as I read the CliffNotes beforehand, I was fine.
In college, I had a strictly writing-based English class and then I had World Literature (sounds fun, right?) and Children's Literature classes (yay for being an Elementary Education major!). Both lit classes were taught by the same professor, and I discovered that you really didn't have to -read- the books to pass his class. You just had to take excellent notes on his interpretation of the books, which was relatively easy. Children's lit, I read a few of the books just because children's lit is SO much more fun than adult lit most of the time. :P


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 04:54 PM

Yes you can pass just go to Sparknotes they have all the books there.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 07:27 PM

High school english classes are pretty easy to get by in without actually doing the readings most of the time. Usually the books are summarized online or have sparknotes etc so you can quickly read through those to get key points and such. That being said I still would recommend reading as much as you can. Actually this post makes me think of my brother because he was very mucht the student who did as little as possible to get through his english classes..he actually had a teacher who told them that if they didn't read the books they wouldn't pass the class...he got a 75 or 80% I think and all he did was used sparknotes. When it comes to University English classes? If you want a decent mark without reading the books you're still gonna have to work hard and take great notes in class.pay attention to the passages they point out and be able to explain them. Honestly...few people do ALL the readings for university English classes, especially if they are taking more than one english class at once. My profs themselves even admitt that they don't think they ever read every single work in their english classes. That being said....the more you read the better you'll be able to write on that work etc.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 08:30 PM

I took two years of honors English, and two years of AP (Advanced Placement) English. My freshman year, I read all the books, though I slacked a lot of my vocabulary homework since it was ridiculously easy to learn vocabulary in context so I never felt it was necessary. My senior year, I only read what sounded interesting to me, and everything else I sparknoted.

The thing is, you have to put effort in, even if you don't put 100% effort. People who don't read the books and don't sparknote will not do well. You have to at least put in the effort of reading the Sparknotes and actually understanding the concepts talked about in the Sparknotes, so my recommendation to you is read everything attached to the Sparknotes including the book summary and chapter summaries, along with the symbols and themes. I also EXTREMELY recommend you use the Sparknotes website and do the Sparknotes provided quiz. My junior year AP English class had some ofthose exact questions on her quizzes about the book, so it's reeeally helpful to learn some important little details.

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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 08:36 PM

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I'm probably one of very few people who actually read and studied all the recommend books in high school English.
You are not alone. I have too. Yay for us!

I know many kids that cheat on the study guides by sharing answers but honeslty, sparknotes is very helpful and can help as much as reading.
My teachers encouraged us to read the book but use sparknotes if necessary. (You can guess what most kids do.)
I think I will continue to have the same habit of reading all of the works I need to read for school when I'm in college, or I hope...I hear some are really long though.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 25th 2012, 08:54 PM

I got an A in an Italian literature class last year having read three of the seven required stories and about five pages of the required novel. It's definitely not just your class. However it's not something I'd advise if you're actually aiming for an A!!


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 28th 2012, 08:12 AM

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I got an A in an Italian literature class last year having read three of the seven required stories and about five pages of the required novel. It's definitely not just your class. However it's not something I'd advise if you're actually aiming for an A!!
Was it a class on Literature from Italy or was it actually in Italian?
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 28th 2012, 10:51 AM

The class was taught mostly through English but the novels we had to read were in Italian. Not that that stopped us buying the translated versions though.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 28th 2012, 11:03 AM

SparkNotes is a life saver regardless of whether you've read the books or not.
English Literature is good in the sense that the books are what you make them to be. Yes, you can pass without reading the books. I wouldn't really recommend it, though.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 28th 2012, 07:41 PM

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The class was taught mostly through English but the novels we had to read were in Italian. Not that that stopped us buying the translated versions though.
Did you take tests in Italian?
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 29th 2012, 12:41 AM

I'm one of the few that actually reads and studies for the books. Some people use Sparknotes. But for some of our books in our honours English course, it'd be hard to pass WELL without reading the book. We do projects on them that are worth two test grades.


   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 29th 2012, 03:54 AM

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The mass cheating however, I don't really partake in.
It's not cheating. It's the same as reading a review of the book, or reading an essay on the book, or talking to another teacher about the book. Sparknotes is just another way to learn the material, so please don't call me a cheater for using it. I don't appreciate it.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 29th 2012, 10:59 AM

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Did you take tests in Italian?
For this particular class the tests were all essay tests, which we wrote in English, but we could obviously only reference and quote in Italian.



I think sparknotes is great, and it is in no way cheating. I find sparknotes is helpful if you want a simplified or compacted overview, or to look at something in detail. I've been using it a lot recently to help me out with study. Don't diss it!! :P


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 29th 2012, 04:27 PM

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It's not cheating. It's the same as reading a review of the book, or reading an essay on the book, or talking to another teacher about the book. Sparknotes is just another way to learn the material, so please don't call me a cheater for using it. I don't appreciate it.
I wasn't talking about Sparknotes. Go read my first post where I talk about how everyone cheats.

People copy each others work, so four or five people have the same work, or they each do a section of the homework then copy each other's work. More commonly, since the work isn't checked closely, they switch the heading at the top from last chapter's homework or write anything.

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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 29th 2012, 06:04 PM

I don't really know. I try to read the books and I always pass.


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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 30th 2012, 02:09 AM

As much as I love reading, some books are either really weird or bore me. I've passed all English classes maybe only finishing a quarter of the books we read I think I used sparknotes for some, but most of the time I just skimmed random parts of the books for a general idea of what I should know.
   
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Re: In your English class can you pass without reading the book? - April 30th 2012, 07:55 PM

It's probably different over here, but we have to basically know three books off by heart and be able to analyse them in-depth, quoting parts of the book word-perfect. So we kinda have to read the books
   
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