cliff's notes for college?
April 17, 2008 12:31 PM   Subscribe

i want something sort of like this, only more to my liking. recommendations, please.

for the last few years i have been slowly collecting a few textbooks here and there. i have been wanting to beef up (review) my knowledge of subjects such as algebra, calculus, world history, american history, physics, biology, chemistry, and some others. with many of these subjects, i have basically had high school classes and some lower-level college classes. and, except for a few calc and music courses i took a couple years ago, its been 6 or 7 years since any of my college courses.

anyway, i have maybe 8 or 10 good texts amassed, but in the few years ive been doing this, i have yet to sit down with any of the texts and study. i eventually get to most of the other books i buy, but the texts seem kinda overwhelming.

so what im looking for is a really good series that would basically be like a cliffs notes for each of these subjects, a sort of summary. for example, i have a calc text that i like. i was imagining what if someone took out each chapter summary, and then beefed it up with some of the chapter content. it wouldnt be quite as concise as a textbook chapter summary, but would be much more concise than a chapter.

obviously, as with cliffs notes, i think not much value would come from this summary being your only source of information on the subjects (except perhaps as an introductory stepping stone - as in the OUP series).

so anyway i did find this series of books mentioned in this thread, and it actually looks awesome, but i was really hoping there was something out there that might be better suited to my needs.

for example, that series has only one book on math. sounds like a great book, but i would also want a few more specific ones.

i realize wikipedia is a decent source for some of this knowledge, but man, i get lost in all those links.

some subjects i would love to read up on:

logic
philosophy
trig
advanced calculus
economics
sociology
anthropology
humanities
art
color
design
geometry
electrical theory
basic electronic theory
basic mechanical engineering
environmental science
information science
networks
cognitive science


and, as mentioned above:

algebra
calculus
world history
american history
physics
biology
chemistry


any recommendations on a great series of books will be much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by gcat to Education (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
SparkNotes produces little laminated print guides called "SparkCharts" for pretty much every subject imaginable: Accounting, Programming Languages, Shakespeare, German Grammar, Music Theory, Physics, etc. You can buy them at Barnes & Noble, or view, download, and print the entire lineup (in PDF form) on their website.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:32 PM on April 17, 2008


(Not as beefy as a booklet, no, but it packs a surprising amount of the fundamental info on each subject into a compact, easy-to-digest form. Also, if you want to get a deeper treatment of any one topic, there's a directory of study guides in the top navigation bar of the site.)
posted by Rhaomi at 1:37 PM on April 17, 2008


The "Introducing" series might be what you're looking for. They're written in a graphic-heavy format, though, like graphic novels, but about nonfiction stuff. Still, They're surprisingly informative, as the authors are experts in their fields.

I know there's Logic and Philosophy editions, and I think there's a calc one
posted by Kronoss at 1:55 PM on April 17, 2008


thanks, rhaomi and kronoss.

im thinking the sparknotes are a little less info than i wanted, but i will certainly be checking them out. and the Introducing series seems very interesting. i wonder how it stacks up against the Very Short Intro series.
posted by gcat at 4:30 PM on April 18, 2008


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