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Posts by maura barry garland

What Every Zodiac Sign Should Write About For Their College Application Essay

By Maura Barry-GarlandNovember 2, 2017
College essay season is upon us, and we know that it might be tempting to make up an inspiring story about, say, saving an orphaned kitten from rabid sharks in the middle of a hurricane or something. But admissions officers aren't looking for cookie-cutter essays, or even aw More  →
What Every Zodiac Sign Should Write About For Their College Application Essay

The College Major Test

By Maura Barry-GarlandSeptember 25, 2017
You’ve been contemplating what to study in college for ages, but the only thing you’ve decided is that you’re definitely undecided. Choosing a life path is stressful even when you're NOT up to your elbows in due dates and extracurriculars, so give this quiz a ... More  →
The College Major Test

QUIZ: How Purple Is Your Prose?

By Maura Barry-GarlandAugust 3, 2017
Sometimes, we all use purple prose in our writing… or should I call it "unnecessarily abstruse and excessively overwrought verbiage"? Flowery descriptions and overly complicated vocab words are tempting to throw around in your stories and essays, but sometimes they can distract from your overall message instead ... More  →
QUIZ: How Purple Is Your Prose?

QUIZ: How Sheltered Are You?

By Maura Barry-GarlandDecember 14, 2016
Only take this quiz if you’re prepared to learn the truth about Santa. [viralQuiz id=205] ... More  →
QUIZ: How Sheltered Are You?

How to Ask for an Extension on Your Paper

By Maura Barry-GarlandDecember 2, 2016
You may think that SparkNotes is run by a bunch of quasi-sentient robots living inside your computer, but the truth is that the SparkNotes editors are regular people just like you and me. This is why, sometimes, it becomes necessary to appeal to their better ... More  →
How to Ask for an Extension on Your Paper

Which Classic Lit Death Would You Die?

By Maura Barry-GarlandNovember 8, 2016
Anyone who's ever read a book knows that fictional characters are always dying in new and fascinating ways, and never is this more true than in classic literature. Now, in all likelihood, you have many chapters left in your life story (seriously, it's going to ... More  →
Which Classic Lit Death Would You Die?

11 Characters Who Never Asked to Be Part of This Narrative

By Maura Barry-GarlandNovember 7, 2016
It’s tough being a fictional character. You have to DO things, constantly, and you don't even get a say in the way your story plays out. Rather than putting themselves back in the narrative (à la Eliza Hamilton), these characters would rather be excluded from it ... More  →
11 Characters Who Never Asked to Be Part of This Narrative

How Much of a Grandma Are You?

By Maura Barry-GarlandOctober 17, 2016
Whether you're into knitting, you wheel and deal in Werther's Originals, or you know someone named Gladys, there's no denying that you are—indeed, we all are—some degree of grandma. [viralQuiz id=145] ... More  →
How Much of a Grandma Are You?

9 Reality TV Shows the Wizarding World Desperately Needs

By Maura Barry-GarlandOctober 3, 2016
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child addressed a few of our lingering questions while leaving others still unanswered, like "WHERE IS TEDDY LUPIN" and "WHO TEACHES SEX ED AT HOGWARTS. SERIOUSLY, SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT." But perhaps the most egregious oversight was the fact ... More  →
9 Reality TV Shows the Wizarding World Desperately Needs

A Bucket List for Your Senior Year of High School

By Maura Barry-GarlandSeptember 15, 2016
If there’s anything we’ve learned from movies, it’s that the final year of high school is a time for wild parties, shocking personal confessions, and flawless choreography. But you don’t need to belt out catchy musical numbers to make your senior year as memorable as ... More  →
A Bucket List for Your Senior Year of High School
About the Author
Maura Barry-Garland

Maura Barry-Garland was born and raised in Alaska and attends college in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, petting dogs, and panning for gold. You can find her on Twitter @maurajbg.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.