CliffsNotes (formerly Cliffs Notes, originally Cliff's Notes and often, erroneously, CliffNotes) are a series of student study guides available primarily in the United States. The guides present and explain literary and other works in pamphlet form or online. Detractors of the study guides claim they let students bypass reading the assigned literature. The company claims to promote the reading of the original work, and does not view the study guides as a substitute for that reading.CliffsNotes was started by a Nebraska native named Cliff Hillegass in 1958. He was working at Nebraska Book Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska, when he met Jack Cole, the co-owner of Coles, a Toronto book business.