A Note on Freakonomics Student and Teacher Guides

School is back in session, and Freakonomics continues to get shoved down the throats of students in everything from economics and finance classes to philosophy and literature classes. For this we are grateful, if baffled.

To make things easier, our publisher commissioned a student’s guide to the book as well as an instructor’s guide. The student’s guide can be downloaded by anyone, from this website. To discourage students from downloading the instructor’s guide (and its answers to quiz questions), our publisher sensibly set up a web site within its academic division to distribute the guide to qualified parties.

But someone — a student perhaps? — apparently didn’t like this security measure, and hacked the HarperCollins site.

So until they figure out a new solution, if you are a teacher/professor who wants to get the instructor’s guide, send your request to academic@harpercollins.com, and they will get you a PDF.

By the way, we are still offering free signed bookplates that can turn your shabby copy of our book into a shabby autographed copy of our book.


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  1. DK says:

    Congrats on the continued success of the book and a really great blog here, including the guest contributers.

    Can someone answer a question I’ve been wondering about: There are plural authors but the subtitle is singular (“A Rogue Economist Explores…”). Doesn’t Dubner explore too, or is he just a wordsmith? No props for the journalist?

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  2. Dave says:

    I sent off for the faceplate months ago and didn’t get anything. Made me a sad panda. Probably USPS. They really hate the fact that my address has no numbers or postcode.

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  3. bunnyblaster says:

    I loved the book. I was not lucky enough to study it in Highschool, although I imagine it would have been a great study. Reading it for leisure gives me a different perspective and much more appreciation. I find that the academic rigors take some enjoyment out of a great deal of material that I may have enjoyed more otherwise like Dead Poets Society, Chrysalids, among others.

    Anyways, here’s my question: Is it that bad for students to read the teachers version too? I have always been someone that does not mind reading the endings of movies and watching it again. I do not mind spoiling it if I am curious enough; I still enjoy the movie. To me, quoting Voyager, “it’s the journey and not the destination”.

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  4. Joe Q says:

    The prohibition on students accessing instructors materials (chiefly answers) is particularly aggravating:

    1) It subtracts from the usefulness of the text book. Learning is best accomplished when immediate feedback is available – that is you develop an understanding of the material, try a problem, check the answer and then either move on or re study the material.

    2) Textbooks (although not Freakonomics) are generally expensive compared with other books. For an expensive book to not give full service (that is, provide the answers that are necessary to make questions useful) is a rip off.

    3) If you aren’t a student, you have no means of accessing the answers to the questions.

    4) Finally, to address the argument that students will cheat if they have the answers available – teachers/lecturers should have the understanding of the material to be able to write their own questions for grading purposes.

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  5. Michael says:

    As a teacher, I’m actually not a fan of this particular student’s guide. The summary section of each chapter along with the description of the concepts involved in the chapter actually strike me as a way to get students to not read the book. I find that there are many more students who use these type of guides to get around reading books instead of ways to supplement their reading of the book — particularly, since the book is written in such an accessible style.

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  6. Jain says:

    When a college student chooses not to read the book, it is either the student’s loss (if the book was worth reading), or the student’s gain (if the book is not worth reading). If the exam is all that matters to the student, she will read what she needs to read to accomplish her objective.

    It seems that the underlying problem is that many if not most of the students feel that, if it were not for university grades, any time spend with the book, guide or lecturer would be a waste of time.

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  7. Julianna says:

    To your amusement or irritation…

    my highschool’s freshman English teachers assign it to teach bias. As in, an example of an extremely biased piece of literature.

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