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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.