I found Sean Carroll's "A No Nonsense Introduction to General Relativity" (about page here. pdf here), a 24-page overview of the topic, very helpful for beginning study. It all got me over the hump of learning the meaning of various terms associated with GR, most of which I had heard before without understanding. It also outlined the most important examples.
Is there a similar document for quantum field theory, which presents the main equations, briefly describes the main ideas, and summarizes the most important applications and results so that the reader can feel the lay of the land before studying in depth?