Is Textbook Stop Better than Textbooks.com? Review & Coupon Code

This article compares textbook stop and textbooks.com, two online textbook retailers that buy, sell or rent new and used textbooks. The two sites are analyzed according to their services, eash of use, customer feedback and innovation.

College bookstores have always been a necessary evil on college campuses, complete with overworked and at times grouchy staff,  limited selections and store hours. Purchasing books at a conventional store at the beginning of the semester can be a crowded, long and stressful process and waiting until the masses have cleared out could land you without the materials you need in class. Online retailers eliminate the hassle of dealing with your campus or local bookstore and there are numerous retailers to choose from. Textbook Stop and Textbooks.com are two leading retailers with pricing, promotions and services that make it hard to choose between the two.

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What is the Difference Between the Theoretical and the Conceptual Framework?

Many students, both in the undergraduate and graduate levels, have difficulty discriminating the theoretical from the conceptual framework. This requires a good understanding of both frameworks in order to conduct a good investigation. This article explains the two concepts in easily understandable language. Read on to find out.

Many graduating college students and even graduate students have difficulty coming up with the conceptual framework and the theoretical framework of their thesis, a required section in thesis writing that serves as the students' map on their first venture into research. The conceptual framework is almost always confused with the theoretical framework of the study.

What is the difference between the conceptual and the theoretical framework?

A conceptual framework is the researcher’s idea on how the research problem will have to be explored. This is founded on the theoretical framework, which lies on a much broader scale of resolution. The theoretical framework dwells on time tested theories that embody the findings of numerous investigations on how phenomena occur.

The theoretical framework provides a general representation of relationships between things in a given phenomenon. The conceptual framework, on the other hand, embodies the specific direction by which the research will have to be undertaken. Statistically speaking, the conceptual framework describes the relationship between specific variables identified in the study. It also outlines the input, process and output of the whole investigation. The conceptual framework is also called the research paradigm.

Examples of the Theoretical and the Conceptual Framework

The difference between theoretical framework and conceptual framework can be further clarified by the following examples on both concepts:

  • Theoretical Framework: Stimulus elicits response.
  • Conceptual Framework: New teaching method improves students’ academic performance.

Notice in the illustrative example that the theoretical framework basically differs from the conceptual framework in terms of scope. The theoretical framework describes a broader relationship between things. When stimulus is applied, response is expected. The conceptual framework is much more specific in defining this relationship. The conceptual framework specifies the variables that will have to be explored in the investigation. In this example, the variable “teaching method” represents stimulus while the “students’ academic performance” represents the response. The variables make clear the kind of statistical treatment that will have to be used to analyze the relationship.

theory

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How can students come up with their theoretical and conceptual framework?

In order to come up with their own set of theoretical and conceptual framework that will guide the conduct of the research, students have to review literature pertaining to their chosen research topic. Students need to read a lot and find out what has been studied so far in their respective fields and come up with their own synthesis of the literature. They should look for gaps in knowledge and identify what questions need to be answered or what problems need to be given solutions. Thus, they will be able to formulate their own conceptual framework to serve as guide in their research venture.

For more information on examples of variables, visit simplyeducate.me, a free website devoted to research and statistics topics.

©Patrick Regoniel 29 August 2010 The Theoretical Framework | The Conceptual Framework

Congratulation Messages for College Graduates

Congratulation Messages for College Graduates! If you want to congratulate a person who just successfully completed his/her college degree, then you have reached the right spot. In this article you will find an excellent list of sample congratulation messages for college graduates. Read on to find the perfect message for the special college graduating occasion.

Graduation is certainly a very special occasion! It is a must to convey your congratulatory message and wishes to the person on this particular event of life. So if you are searching for congratulatory messages for college graduates then your search ends here. Read on to find the perfect congratulation messages for college graduates

Writing a graduation message is not easy to do, significantly what you are going to write after you just say “congratulations!” You really should think of the best nice words and phrases that will surely make the receiver more inspired and strong in facing his/her life ahead. Here are the some beautiful collections of congratulation messages for college graduates which will really help you to write a thoughtful congratulatory message. 

1. Congratulations (name)! I wish you all the best as you are going to face much challenging chapter of your life. I’m pretty sure that there are brighter horizons waiting for you as you step out in the world as a certified graduate of (write the degree/profession). God bless you more!

2. Yes! You did it well! Congratulations (name)! You are such an incredible person. I want you to know that I’m so proud of you. I’m sure great companies out there will start contacting you since you have a very good school credentials and records. Keep it up until you finally have your very first job.

3. Waking up early, thesis and time-pressured exam is now totally over! But don’t think entering the new chapter of your life as a college graduate is much easier compared before. Rest assured that you need to become more competent and more responsible in everything you do. Go on now! Embrace sweeter opportunities which your life now offers. Congratulations for successfully completing your college degree.

4. Congratulations! Your hard-work as a college student in a good university has now paid-off. Step out of the school and start embracing your brighter future out there!

5. Your graduation only proves that you are a successful person. I wish and I pray that the Lord will continue to shine His face upon you thus, leading you in the most correct way in life. Congratulations again!

6. Congratulations! I knew from the start that you can do it, ever since I have always believed in your talent. Your graduation is a proof that you are such a great person. I wish for your brightest star as you step out of your university and face bigger world of challenges and dreams.

7. Wow! I’m so happy to hear that you have successfully finished your college. Congratulations and I’m very proud of you. You truly deserve it! Welcome to the new world and so I pray that you will be able to find the perfect job for you soon. More blessings to come my dear friend! Keep up the good work!

So simply use these collections of congratulation messages for college graduates whenever you want to extend your warmest congratulation for a friend that completes his/her college education. You can send these as text messages, in a greeting card or email. So choose the best message from this collection of congratulation messages for college graduates and convey your congratulatory wishes in perfect words. 

Congratulation Messages for College Graduates

What a great accomplishment for anyone to graduate college. A joyous time and also a worrisome time, as this means getting out into the real world, and finding a job or a career.

Showing how happy and proud you are of the new graduate is important, something that just a text or an email cannot portray. It is best to send a card through the mail and or an E-mail card. This is far more personal showing just how proud you are of the new graduate.

You can find all kinds of great congratulatory cards for the new graduate that you can mail from companies like Hallmark. Hallmark also carries a large selection of great E-cards for the new graduate.

Sorority Rush Terminology

These are some basic sorority rush terms that you will want to know. Your Recruitment Counselors may use them or a sorority sister may say them.

These are some basic sorority rush terms that you will want to know. Your Recruitment Counselors may use them or a sorority sister may say them. There are some words that are absolutely not to be said during recruitment. The worst ones are the three B's: boys, booze or bars or sometimes called boys, booze or bad mouthing (other sororities that is).

Sorority sisters will not say negative things about another sorority (or else that qualifies as dirty rushing) but they may also not say anything positive about other sororities either, for obvious reasons. And you shouldn't either (duh). Don't talk about boyfriends, drinking or drugs. I will talk more about the Do's and Don'ts of recruitment later, but for now here are some basic terms to get you introduced to sorority rush!

Potential New Members (PNMs): also called "rushees". These are the girls who have signed up to go through recruitment, and are in the process of rush week. Sorority Sisters are not allowed to talk to rushees outside of the parties so that they are not influenced.

Dirty Rushing: This means when a sorority house or one sorority sister breaks a rule and does something to have influence over rushees. For example promising a girl a bid, telling her she will be her little sister, giving a rushee a gift, etc. Other the recruitment counselors can have contact with rushees outside of the house.

Recruitment Counselors: Also called Pi Chis, Rho Chis, or Rho Gammas. These are the girls that take PNMs to each house, guide the girls through the week, and make phone calls and such. It is a secret which sorority these girls are in until they reveal it at the bid ceremony.

Rush Chair: also called recruitment chair, Vice President of Recruitment, New Member Chair, etc. This is a sister in each house who is in charge of recruitment. The rush chair and the President are usually the girls who are talking when you go in a house or the ones who will open the door or say thank you for coming. The rush chair will probably carry a clip board and look very stressed. The rush chair and the President probably won't talk to any rushees.

Fall Recruitment: also called "formal recruitment". This is the formal, 5 day long rush week that happens around Labor Day weekend.

Spring Recruitment: also called "open recruitment" or "continuous open recruitment (CORs)". This is a more informal rush week in January where sororities take smaller pledge classes and girls are free to stop any house. There are no recruitment counselors during spring rush.

Snap Bid: When a girl doesn't get a bid from any house, she goes on a snap bid list which means a sorority can pick her off the list to include on the bid list. These are girls that have been dropped or are about to be.

Dropped: When a girl is not invited back to visit a house, and also when a girl turns down an invitation to visit a house. When a girl drops out of sorority recruitment that means she has completely withdrawn from the recruitment process and is ineligible for a bid.

Ranking: How girls are sorted into houses is based on ranking. Rush is all about how a house ranks a girl and how a girl ranks a house. A sorority can only invite a maximum number of girls back each day and a girl can only visit a certain number of houses each day. Each day the process becomes more selective and how each house ranks is their own secret. But if a house invites a girl back and she does not want to, the house will go down their list to the next girl.

Rotation Groups: The groups that a sorority puts together. These are the 4 girls you will talk to in the house. Rotation groups are complicated, but they are used to prevent girls from talking to the same girl more than once and make remembering PNMs much easier. I will explain rotation group in more detail later on.

Quota: The goal number of pledges each house wants as their future pledge class.

Hotboxing: When more than one sorority sister talks to a PNM. This can be intimidating since a PNM would not want to have 5 sorority girls grilling her with questions.

~Suzy Sorority

4 Types of Social Research Design

The 4 types of research design used by social scientists.

To come up with a good research output, a good research design is needed. Without a good research design, the researcher will find himself flooded with information which may not be appropriate in meeting his objectives.

Social Research

Social research is aimed towards an understanding of social phenomena. Applying the appropriate research design in gathering the required data about people and their behavior is essential in understanding the complexities of human behavior.

Social research uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches; the former approach focuses on quantifying evidence and usually applies statistics in analyzing the data gathered to reveal generalities while the latter aims to achieve understanding through subjective analysis of subjects and emphasizes the context by which things happen. The number of subjects of social research scientists range from a multitude of people to individuals. Documents are also examined to strengthen the findings.

Hereunder are 4 different types of research design that social scientists employ to gather data in the field in a systematic manner to come up with sound, reliable results.

4 Types of Research Design

1. Experimental Research Design

An experiment is a research design where a certain degree of control over a given set of variables is exercised by the researcher when conducting an investigation. Experiments are used to test new hypothesis or existing theories with the end in view of confirming or refuting them. The experiment starts off with a problem statement, a hypothesis is formulated, then an experiment is carried out to find out if the hypothesis is correct or not. The results are analyzed using statistics that form the basis in coming up with a conclusion. When many experiments have already been done getting the same results, a theory may be formed which are then conveyed through publication of findings.

For example, an experiment is carried out to find out which amount of a toxin will cause symptoms to experimental animals referred to generally as “guinea pigs.” Experimentation need not be done only in laboratories.

2. Case Study Research Design

A case study is a research design that focuses on a single case rather than dealing with a sample of a large population. For example, a careful determination of the factors that led to the success or failure of a community project may be conducted.

3. Longitudinal Research Design

A longitudinal research design involves collection of data over a period of time. This is further subdivided into three types namely trend study, cohort study, and panel study.

a. Trend study

A trend study is a type of longitudinal research design that looks into the dynamics of a particular characteristic of the population over time. For example, a researcher might want to study the people’s preference for projects, whether government or non-government, in their community. Respondents of the study vary across study periods.

b. Cohort study

A cohort study is a type of longitudinal research design where a cohort is tracked over extended periods of time. A cohort is a group of individuals who have shared a particular time together during a particular time span, for example, a group of indigenous peoples living in the forest for decades.

c. Panel study

A panel study is a type of longitudinal research design that involves collection of data from a panel, or the same set of people over several points in time by measuring specific dependent variable identified by the researcher to achieve a study objective. From the data gathered, it is possible to predict cause-effect relationship after a given time. Panel study is usually done when it is difficult to analyze a case-study which is only a one-shot deal. People’s shifting attitudes and behavior can be detected. For example, cause-effect relationship may be investigated between the number of faculty research outputs and the amount of time given for research as work load over three years.

4. Cross-sectional Research Design

A cross-sectional research design is a common research design used by social scientists. It gathers data from a cross-section of a population. For example, a contingent valuation study asks a sample of a population regarding their willingness-to-pay to preserve a given forest ecosystem accessible to them.

Choosing the correct research design will enable the researcher to gain a better understanding of social phenomena. Thus, familiarity with these different research designs is a requisite for a well-guided research study.

Web References

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/case_study

http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/tutorial/Cho2/panel.html

wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

www.nyu.edu/classes/bkg/methods/005847ch1.pdf

©Patrick A. Regoniel 4 December 2010 4 Types of Social Research Design

How to Make a Conceptual Framework

Thesis writing or research requires a good understanding of the topic being investigated. For this reason, a conceptual framework needs to be drawn up to guide the direction of the investigation. How is a conceptual framework arrived at? This article explains and presents a simplified example on how to make a conceptual framework which college students will find helpful in their quest for new knowledge.

Research or thesis writing is a logical process whereby new information can be generated. In carrying out research, one of the fundamental requirements is to be able to define clearly the direction of the study. If the issues are not clear in the researcher's mind, it is easy to wander away from what needs to be investigated.

This is where the idea of putting things into focus comes into play, i. e., the building of a conceptual framework. The conceptual framework works like a map that sets the direction of research or thesis writing.

How to Make a Conceptual Framework

Coming up with a conceptual framework requires reading and understanding theories that explain relationships between things. A comprehensive understanding of the research issue, therefore, can be achieved through an exhaustive review of literature.

Since research or thesis writing involves the explanation of complex phenomena, there is a need to simplify or reduce the complexity of the phenomena into measurable items called variables. Only a portion of the phenomena can be explained at a time.

Example of Conceptual Framework

A researcher might want to test Lamarck's Theory of Use and Disuse. Basically the theory says that whatever characteristic the organism acquires during its lifetime, this can be passed on to its offspring. And this trait is strengthened or developed with constant use during its lifetime. Otherwise, the trait is lost.

The classic example used to illustrate this theory is the long neck of giraffes. Giraffes stretch their necks to reach the leaves of tall, flat topped trees in the savanna. If they don't stretch their necks, then their necks would be shorter. And these traits will be passed on to its offspring.

Two variables in this case may be used. These are the length of necks of giraffes and their habitat - a place where they can stretch their necks to feed and a place where they need not do so.

The conceptual framework may be illustrated thus:

Independent and Dependent Variables

For any phenomenon, the independent variable is the cause while the dependent variable is the outcome. In the example above, the independent variable is the type of habitat while the dependent variable is the length of the giraffe's neck. Using a diagram to embody the conceptual framework, it is now easy to figure out what needs to be done to find out if indeed the opportunities presented in the giraffe's habitat has something to do with the length of its neck. The researcher can measure the giraffe's neck in two different habitats.

The investigation, of course, does not stop here because the researcher has also to find out if the trait of the giraffe developed in its lifetime will be passed on to its offspring. Will the offspring have a long neck, probably longer and stronger than its parent? 

What the conceptual framework really does is to pin down the theory into something that the researcher can objectively measure. This will help him test the validity of the claim, that is, the theory which arose from insights derived by a senior scientist from observations or previous findings. 

Final Notes

The making of a conceptual framework is an iterative process. This means that as a researcher or one engaged in thesis writing becomes much more familiar with the issue or chosen topic, the variables incorporated in the conceptual framework changes in order to capture the essence of the theories. For this reason, conceptual frameworks may not really look as simple as illustrated above.

For more information on variables, read examples of variables from global to local perspective.

©2012 July 30 Patrick A. Regoniel

What is Basic Research?

Find out the meaning of basic research, its basic features and examples.

Universities or research-oriented institutions are always at the forefront of advancing knowledge on different fields of endeavour, that is, utilizing research as a tool towards greater understanding of phenomena. This understanding may later lead to practical applications beneficial to human society. The nature of researches conducted, therefore, can be categorized, either as basic or applied research.

Generally, universities engage in basic research while profit-oriented research institutions anticipate the economic benefit that could be derived from practical applications of research findings. Many students new to the research field, however, are not very clear about whether they are actually performing basic research or applied research in the course of conceptualizing their research topics as part of their college or graduate school requirements.

How different is basic research from applied research? This article discusses the former approach.

What then is basic research? What are the features of basic research? What are examples of basic research?

Basic Research Defined

Basic research is also alternatively called pure research or fundamental research. This kind of research approach is aimed towards the understanding of fundamental principles behind the operation of the world. The main purpose of basic research is to satisfy or provide answers to a scientist’s curiosity or interest in a scientific question.

The Features of Basic Research: What It Is and What It Is Not

To expound further, basic research has the following features, characteristics or purposes:

  • increases understanding of fundamental principles
  • builds new knowledge
  • often purely theoretical in nature
  • usually a source of new scientific ideas or new perspectives about the world
  • lays down the foundation of science
  • mainly academic in nature or carried out by universities
  • its approaches can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory but the latter is most common
  • refutes or supports theories that explain how the world operates
  • increases man’s scientific knowledge base or understanding of phenomenon
  • does not seek to solve problems
  • outcome does not have potential, direct economic value
  • generates new ideas, principles and theories or simply expand man’s knowledge
  • no immediate practical use
  • expands knowledge about things
  • it is not intended to create or invent something

Examples of Basic Research Questions

Sometimes it is still difficult to grasp concepts unless there are examples to illustrate clearly the meaning of those concepts. Examples of basic research questions are therefore given below:

  • What is the effect of roasting on the antioxidant property of coffee?
  • What makes a hard wood so tough?
  • What are protons, neutrons, and electrons composed of?
  • What is the specific genetic code of the anteater?
  • How do the cockroaches reproduce?
  • How did our universe come to be the way it is?

A better understanding of things mentioned above can give rise to applied spin-offs or practical applications in human affairs. The outputs of basic research can have far reaching significance such as the discovery of the properties of the atom, or just the simple, common knowledge nowadays that living things are made up of cells. Or complex things like finding out what happens when high speed atomic particles are collided together using a mammoth Large Hadron Collider in view of understanding how the universe came to be.

References

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's ELSI Project .

The Telegraph

Wikipedia

© 2011 September 6 Patrick A. Regoniel What is Basic Research? 

Cengage Brain vs. Chegg: Textbook Rental Service Comparison

Comparison of the textbook rental services offered by Chegg and Cengage Brain to college students over the internet.  The textbooks are shipped to the residence of the student.

Chegg is a rental book company that rents textbooks to students.  Chegg does not want to sell textbooks; in fact it buys them back at very good rates for their customers.  It rental rates are very competitive especially when you consider the cost of shipping. 

Cengage Brain is a company that sells textbooks below publisher's cost and also rents books and e-texts to its customers.  It offers a free forum for its customers to help each other with school.  Chegg does not offer these items, but it gives its customers discounts on using Cramster and CourseRank, which it owns.  Both companies offer students the opportunity to rent textbooks over the internet and have them shipped to their residence at a much cheaper price than purchasing the books new and in some cases used as well.

Cengage Brain Pros and Cons

Cengage Brain is a new web site that rents textbooks, offers e-copies and also sells textbooks.  For free, it also offers its customers through Facebook the opportunity to form study groups and to interact with fellow students.

Pros:

  • Varies the rental periods to suit the needs of students -  30 days, 60 days, 120 days, one year, two years
  • Cost of rental period for one year equals about 1/2 of the purchase price of the book
  • Offers clients the option of purchasing part of the book by chapter
  • Has great selection of new editions of textbooks
  • Offers a selection of out of print textbooks as e-books

Cons:

  • Some textbooks and/or editions not available
  • Have to wait for books to be shipped
  • Damage to rental book can cause you to purchase the book
  • e-book content can be changed by the website after purchase
  • e-book rental prices are not much less than new book prices
  • Does not rent used or paperback editions if a hardback is available
  • Need to keep book in good shape to return to Cengage Brain

Pricing:

  • Rental for a school year is about half the price of buying the book
  • Consider that if you damage rental book, you will pay for the rental and the full price of the book
  • New book pricing is usually cheaper at amazon or ebay if they have the texts in stock, but they do not offer rental option
  • If you buy a new book and then sell it back for the usual 25%, you are out 75% of your purchase.  With rental, you would be out only 50% of the new purchase price.

Chegg Pros and Cons

Chegg is a book rental service that also owns Cramster and CourseRank, companies that provide other student services.  Using Chegg allows you to obtain some discounts for these sites as well.  Chegg is in the book rental service.  It does not sell new texts or e-books as a prime service.  Chegg offers these services on some books, however.

Pros:

  • Offers 21 day return - no questions asked.  Simply arrange the return within 21 days after your order
  • Rental prices are competitive with other companies
  • Six months rental prices are below other companies prices
  • Provides on-line support to its customers as well as an 800 service number
  • Good selection of college textbooks used throughout the nation
  • Buys back books in good condition at more than most bookstores for its customers

Cons:

  • Usually does not allow the option of buying the textbook
  • Need to return the book by the end of the rental period exactly or pay late fee
  • Have to wait for the books to arrive
  • Service is slower around the times schools usually change sessions
  • Won't change an order after it is placed
  • Does not rent used books to students
  • Need to keep book in excellent shape to return to Chegg

Pricing:

  • Buys back textbooks for good prices from its customers
  • Rental prices are greared to save at least 40% over the price of a new book
  • Great money saver on books that do not have used copies available
  • Rental pricing can be less than buying new book on discount on-line sellers such as Amazon or Ebay.

The Bottom Line

Chegg was one of the first companies to rent books to students.  Taking a good idea and running with it, other companies exist to challenge Chegg.  One of the newest, but a very good one, is Cengage Brain.  Chegg's main business is renting books.  Their services are geared to this goal. 

They do not sell many of their textbooks to customers, they want to rent them.  Chegg does offer its customers great prices on resale of textbooks and lots of customer support to locate their books.  They accept multiple kinds of payment including PayPal, checks and money orders. 

Cengage Brain does more than just rent books.  They do rent books at very competitive prices, but also offer their clients the opportunity to choose e-books to rent or texts to buy.  Neither service offers the option of renting used books.  Cengage Brain includes community forums with its rentals that allow students to communicate with each other.  It also has more rental period choices than Chegg, which usually rents its books for six months.  Cengage Brain offers 30 day and 60 periods as well. 

Cengage Brain allows e-rentals of just chapters of a book for its clients.  Cengage Brain takes major credit cards as its main form of payment.  Chegg includes return shipping costs with rentals and gaurentees the book against being lost provided you used Chegg's mail service when returning the rental book. Chegg seems to offer more earlier editions than Cengage Brain does.

Both companies are respected businesses in the rental industry.  Any student will save money by renting textbooks over buying new textbooks.  The choice between them really comes down to several factors:

  • Does the site have the book you need to rent?
  • How long do you need to rent the book for?  Shorter times - go with Cengage Brain
  • How important are return policies?  Chegg's is better
  • If price is important and you need the book for six months, choose the cheaper company
  • If you might want to buy the book later on, Cengage Brain is a better choice
  • If you have some college textbooks you want to sell back, Chegg is the better choice
  • Check out the shipping costs.  These can get expensive if you rent several heavy books. 
  • Method of payment you want to use

Conclusion

As any parent or student knows, books are very expensive, and what are you supposed to do with the books once you are done with a certain high school or college course, what do you do with those books you paid a lot of money for? These companies make sense by either sell the books or just rent them in the first place instead of buying these expensive books.

Using these companies really can help out with parents and students to hold the costs down of study books, whether high school or college. Plus with Cengage Brain, you can form study groups with your fellow students.

Textbook Rental Sites: Coupons & Reviews (2011)

Three Must-Read Short Stories for High School and College Students

To captivate the mind, here are three short stories that every high school and college student should read by the end of their careers, written by Mark Twain, Shirley Jackson and Katherine Chopin. Short stories differ from novels because they tend to develop one main character with one plot and one theme, yet are still vital to American, British and many other countries' literary histories.

Although short stories and novels both have the same elements – plot, character and theme – the short story develops these much more quickly than the novel due to limited spacing. A short story will typically have one plot, even if that plot has a twist or two, whereas a novel may have many plots built into one story. Characters will also be limited in number, perhaps only being qualified by a physical feature, a name or a personality trait. The theme will typically be simple and carry through the entire short story.

Although there are exceptions to every rule, the short story is the “just right” chair, the “just right” bowl of porridge and the “just right” bed from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. If short stories were any shorter, they would be flash fiction. If they were any longer, they would be a novella or novel. Somewhere in between falls the short story.

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County – Mark Twain

The narrator of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County never reveals his name. He is on a quest for a friend to find information about the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley, yet does not believe the Reverend actually exists. When the narrator comes to the mining town called Angel’s Camp where the Reverend reported lived, he comes across a man named Simon Wheeler and begins to question him; however, the only answers the narrator receives are those about a man named Jim Smiley, a man who would make a bet on anything. According to Wheeler, Smiley “most always come out winner.” He bet on dog and cock fights. He bet which bird would fly first from the fence. When the parson’s wife, who had been ill for some time, began to get better, Jim bet she wouldn’t. If he could not find anyone to bet against him, he’d change sides.

After the death of his fighting dog, Jim Smiley decided to catch a frog and teach it to jump. He claimed that all a frog wanted was education. After three months he showed his frog, Dan’l Webster, off to the town. When Jim ran into a stranger, the stranger said there was nothing special about Dan’l. Jim put his frog up against any frog in the county, claiming it could jump higher. The stranger said he would take that bet but did not have a frog. Smiley put his money and frog on the bar and went in search of a frog for the stranger. While Smiley is gone, the stranger gives Dan’l a quail shot.

Smiley returns and the two men set the frogs to race. Although the stranger’s frog doesn’t jump nearly as high as Dan’l usually does, Dan’l doesn’t move. The stranger takes the money and leaves, saying again that there is nothing special about Dan’l. Angrily, Jim turns his frog upside down and he burps out a large amount of the shot, which had made Dan’l too heavy to jump. Jim runs after the stranger but never catches him.

At this point, Simon Wheeler responds to someone calling his name and the narrator realizes he will not get information about Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley from Wheeler. The narrator leaves.

The Lottery – Shirley Jackson

At 10 a.m. on June 27th, the village square began to fill with people. The children came first, boys anxious to begin their mountain of smooth stones. In this town the Lottery concluded in a little less than two hours, but in other villages, the Lottery could take up to two days due to the sheer number of people. This village had less than one hundred people, which meant after the lottery, the village could go about with the noonday meal. When the husbands came they talked about taxes and their wives followed with gossip.

Each year, the concept of a new box from which to draw is brought up, but nothing ever came from it. Talk of tradition floated amongst the village. Mr. Adams, head of the Adams household, informed Old Man Warner, who was participating in his 77th Lottery, that the North Village is talking about giving up the Lottery. Warner snorts, calling the other town fools, spitting out, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” One by one each male head of the household was called to choose a slip of paper from the box and requested to keep it folded in his hand. When each was allowed to look, Bill Hutchinson had drawn the slip with the penciled black circle.

Tessie Hutchinson, Bill’s wife, began to throw a fit, claiming it wasn’t fair and that Bill was rushed when choosing; however, the Lottery continued. The marked slip of paper and four clean pieces of paper (one for Bill, his wife, and three children) are put back in the box. Each person, youngest first, was called to the box to choose the slip. Tessie chose the slip with the black dot. The villagers armed themselves with stones and handed Bill’s youngest son pebbles. Tessie was still protesting how Bill hadn’t had enough time to choose when the first stone hit her in the side of the head. The town did not stop throwing.

Desiree’s Baby – Katherine Chopin

As a toddler, Desiree fell asleep in front of the stone pillars of the front gate of the Valmonde home in New Orleans and this is where Monsieur Valmonde found her. Madame Valmonde did not care that the child’s origin was questionable or that she had no name. Madame believed that Providence had sent this child to her because she had not borne any of her own. For the next 16 years the Valmondes raised Desiree until she stood against the same pillar on the same day Armand Aubigny rode by. He instantly fell in love with her. He also claimed not to care that her birth origin was unknown or that she was nameless, boasting that he could give her his name that had help prominence for so many years.

After they married, Desiree gave Armand a son. Although Madame Valmonde had seen the baby after birth, she made a trip after not seeing Desiree and the baby for a month. She is in disbelief of the child and Desiree believes it is because he has grown so much. Desiree is excited over the fact that his fingernails had been trimmed just that morning. She tells her mother that Armand has even stopped punishing the Negroes.

After Desiree’s baby turns three months old, Armand changes as well. He refuses to make eye contact, avoids Desiree and practically ignores the child. Desiree is miserable. As she contemplates she watches a quadroon boy fanning her baby. She looks at one then the other and back again. Calling for her husband who is on the other side of the room, she demands to know what this means. He informs her that the child is not white and that she is not white. She reminds him of her grey eyes, brown hair and skin that is whiter than his. She writes her mother, who welcomes her and the baby home. Armand tells her to go. Instead of taking the road that leads to the Valmondes, Desiree cuts through the fields and disappears among the reeds and willows of the bayou.

A few weeks later, Armand begins to burn Desiree’s clothes and possessions, and the baby’s furniture. While going through letters from their engagement, he finds a letter from his mother to his father. The letter praises God that Armand will never know his mother belonged to a race “cursed with the brand of slavery.”

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10 Fun Activities For College Kids That Don't Require Alcohol

Not every college activity is alcohol-centric

Anyone who's ever seen a movie about college life has been exposed to the stereotype that the university years are a sex sandwich with alcohol as the bread and studying as maybe the mustard. Just like most situations, the reality is a little less exciting than the cinematic version. However, whether you're a student finding the party scene a little slower than you expected, a non-drinker wondering how you'll find a good time, or just someone looking for a fun new activity, there are plenty of fun (and completely legal) things to do in a college setting.

1) Movie Night. Tried and true, settling down with a good movie works for any group--friends, a date, or even family. Rent a couple flicks and pop up some popcorn. Consider a comedy or awesomely bad film to keep yourself and your friends laughing. Turn the sound down and make up your own words. If you're looking for something a little more romantic, pick a more sultry movie and turn down the lights, cuddle up and enjoy. On a super- tight budget, look for a RedBox in front of local stores--you can rent a movie for just a dollar.

2) Board Games.  No, I'm not talking about Candy Land (although I'm not one to judge, if that's what you want). There are plenty of games that are a blast for older people too. Apples to Apples is a personal favorite, a card game that asks each player to provide a noun that they think matches the given adjective, often with hilarious results. Other great games include Last Word, Scene It, Scattergories, Catchphrase, Taboo, Twister, Cranium, and Pictionary . . . just check out the board game aisle.

3) Squirt Gun Fights. This can go one of two ways. You could grab some friends, all willing participants, and go out to have a fair, wet fight. Then again, you could do it my way--choose a couple of allies and find a hiding spot, then ambush the passersby. CAUTION:  be careful who you attack, not everyone will find this funny. It's probably best to save your squirting for friends.

4) TP a dorm. Often, people in a dorm leave their doors unlocked while they run down the hall to see a friend. If this isn't the case in your dorm, you may need to engineer a distraction. Either way, you need to get your buddies out of their room. Once the room is vacated, grab a pal or three a few rolls of toilet paper and go to town. Then run. Run away. (Again, better to do this to a friend.)

5) Start or Join a Service Club. Whether your passion is music, art, sports, books, knitting, or cooking, chances are there's a service organization that could make great use of your talents. Sure, it may sound a little cheesy, but it truly feels great to help someone who needs you. If you recruit some friends, you can have a good time while doing a good thing. Bonus: This looks great on a job or grad school application!

6) Learn a Dance. YouTube is a great resource for instructional videos on dance moves. Learn a hot new one to try out next time you're clubbin', it's bound to be a hit. My roommate and I learned the entire Thriller dance and showed it off at our building's formal. It was a lot of fun and great exercise.

7) Bake or Cook Something: If your building has a communal kitchen and you have the funds to buy supplies, try baking up a treat or cooking a fun snack or meal. The internet is packed with recipes, try one you've never made or maybe never eaten. If you're low on cash, plenty of recipes are available for those on a budget.

8) Explore. Pick a part of your campus or the surrounding area you don't know much about. If it's safe, take a trip there with some friends. Maybe you'll discover something new and exciting. Even if you don't, at least you'll know you're not missing anything.

9) Hookah, Anyone? As a music student, I need my lungs too much to smoke anything. However, I have a lot of close friends that sing the praises of a good hookah experience. It's clean, flavored tobacco and completely legal for those over 18. I'm told it's tasty, relaxing, and a great way to hang out and chat with friends.

10) Go Duct-Tape Bowling. This one got my friends and me in trouble in our hallway, but if you're not in the middle of quiet hours and have less fussy neighbors, you'll probably be okay. Set up some plastic bottles in the hallway. (I know what you're thinking, but plenty of things come in bottles like milk, shampoo, soda. You'll find something innocent.) Choose an appropriate distance away and toss a roll of tape down the hall to see who can knock the most down. Throwing is cheating, you have to roll it. It's harder than it seems, too. My tip: Don't do this during midterms, and try to get your RA hooked early in the game.

As you can see, there are all kinds of cheap, fun things to do in a college dorm or college town without worrying about whether or not you'll get busted for drinking. These aren't the only options: make a movie, play other pranks on your buds, play video games, toss around a football or Frisbee, just pick something you're interested in and MAKE it fun. As you may have noticed, friends are the key to any of these activities, so grab a buddy and have a good time.