Shmoop FAQ

What are Shmoop's credentials as an academic publisher?

Shmoop holds itself to the highest academic standards and we cite our sources. Shmoop content is written primarily by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale. The head of our Literature team is a published author who studied at Stanford, Oxford, and USC Film School. The head of our History team is a Ph.D. in History and an award-winning teacher at Stanford. Please see our About Us page for more information about our team and our academic credentials.

Can students cite Shmoop as a source in essays?

Yes, in fact, you must cite Shmoop if your borrow our ideas in your own work. Shmoop is a "corporate publisher" (in other words, we don't list individual authors of our content). "Corporate publishers" are recognized by all three of the major citation styles - MLA, APA, and Chicago. For more information, see our How to Cite Shmoop page.

Why isn't there an author name?

Shmoop does not publish individual author names because we have numerous contributors to each of our pieces. Shmoop has a distinct, consistent voice. We prefer to present our content as a unifed "corporate publisher," which is accomodated by all three of the major citation styles - MLA, APA, and Chicago. For more information, see our How to Cite Shmoop page.

How do I control emails I receive from Shmoop?

Visit our Account Settings page to change your email preferences.

Do I need to sign up in order to use Shmoop?

Shmoop is free to use and you can read our incredibly deep content without logging in, if you don't wish to. If you do create an account, you can take full advantage of our tools like Clippings, Stickies, and our "Write a Paper" guide.

I want to start using Shmoop. Tell me how.

For Students

Luckily for you, we have outlined the whole process in our handy dandy Help Guide. To find out more about how you can use the resources on Shmoop, go to

For Teachers

If your stand-by for teaching The Scarlet Letter is asking your students to perform Dimmesdale's scaffolding scene in front of the entire class, you have come to the right place. To find out more about how you can use Shmoop as a teacher, go to

How much does Shmoop cost?

How much have you got? Just kidding, Shmoop is absolutely free to use.

I like what I see on Shmoop, but I'm not sure what my options are. How do I buy your guides?

For Individual Students

We have tons of material for you to peruse. Check out these links:
Test Prep, Sat, ACT, PSAT, AP, SAT Subjects, and Mobile Apps

For Individual Teachers

Be your students' biggest ally in the standardized test game. Check out these links:
Teacher Resources, SAT Teacher Guide, and Digital Literacy

For Schools, Libraries, Districts, or States

Find out how much you can save your School/District/Library/State though Shmoop's Group Rates on the Site Licenses page. Hint: It's a lot.

How can I create an account?

Click the "Sign Up" link in the top right corner of any page. Fill in the sign up form, and make sure that you create a secure password. Note that we will never display your real name or email address to other users on Shmoop--that's what the anonymous "username" is for! You will receive an email to confirm that you have successfully signed up.

How can I cancel my account?

Visit our Contact Us page, and choose the "Remove or change my account" option. Include your username and email address in your note to us, so we can confirm that you are the rightful owner of the account.

Can I change my username?

Sorry, at this time, you cannot change your username. You can, however, create a new account. Please note that each account you create must have a unique email address.

How do I sign in?

Click the "Login" link in the top right corner of any page on Shmoop. Enter your username and password. You know the drill.

What if I forgot my username or password?

Fret not, gentle Shmooper. We are all absent-minded professors sometimes. Simply go to the top right-hand corner of your screen ? click "Login" → and then click "Forgot Password." Type your email address into the little box, and we will send you a link that will show you your username and let you choose a new password.

My username or email already exists. Someone must have stolen my identity!

No, you haven't entered the Twilight Zone or crash-landed on Bizarro World. If you receive an error message that your email or username already exists, it probably means that you created an account at some point in the past. To access your long-forgotten account, go to the top right-hand corner of your screen ? click "Login" ? and then click "Forgot Password." Enter your email address, and we will send you the info you need to start Shmooping.

My school has a License for Shmoop, but my Shmoop account does not have access and still asks me to pay.

While a License for Shmoop won't make you a secret agent or give you a double "0" designation, it is still a handy thing to have. To link your account to your school's License, go to your school's sign-up page ? click "Log in to your existing Shmoop Account" ? enter in your Magic Word, and we will upgrade your account. Once you do that, simply head over to, and log in..

How do I get my website linked to from Shmoop's "Best of the Web?"

Use our Contact Us form and include the URL of the website that you would like to nominate. Please also tell us to which Shmoop module your website pertains.

Can I combine more than one Shmoop account?

Sorry, at this time, you cannot combine multiple Shmoop accounts.

What is Shmoop's privacy policy?

Please visit our Privacy Policy page. This policy may change from time to time, so please visit regularly and look for the "last updated" date.

I have noticed a problem on the site that needs to be fixed.

If you are one of those people who cannot focus when there is a comma out of place, we totally get it. Go to Bug. Hey, fix that!, and let us know if you see any problems.

I have a question/comment/suggestion/rant/rave.

We can take your toughest questions. Go contact us, and ask away.

Still scratching your head? First, check for lice. Second, try our Contact Us page and we'll help you out.