Navigating this site:

Theoretical Considerations

My investigation deals with the concept that individuals follow their own paths to knowledge, regardless of how structured authors and institutions attempt to be in presenting information on a subject.

In this webtext I wanted to see if I could subvert the hierarchical standard of beginning, middle, end, where placement might indicate importance of information. I have tried to break up the information into "chunks" of one HTML "page". Each navigation icon represents one chunk/page. The navigation icons are not particularly descriptive, although when viewed with Netscape Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 you will see text windows with more information appear below the cursor as you move over a navigation icon. On each page the navigation icons are presented in a different order, which goes against consistency guidelines.

Because I have selected which information should be grouped together, and the buttons have words which give some indication of the topic, this arrangement does not truly avoid hierarchical interpretations. However, it may give the reader some sense of how much we have come to rely on cues in deciding what to read and in what order. If a reader can move through my text, somewhat randomly choosing topics, and come away with agreement on a concept, then that reader and I will have achieved a passing theory. Readers will need to assess on their own whether the agreement would have been different had I, as author, attempted to guide more firmly from point to point.

Basic Technical Considerations

This site is designed to present a combination of academic research, personal opinion, non-linear navigation, text-style alternatives, and various linking styles. In trying to accomplish this task, I felt the structure might confuse some readers.

Although there is no set order for access of the different sections, the "bread crumb" action of active vs. visited links is a standard web feature.

In my text, this would reassure readers that although they may not be certain where they are going, they can tell where the have already been.

Internal and external linking has been kept to a minimum. These are integral parts of webpage navigation; however, for this article I have focused on some basic issues surrounding moving from page to page in a website.

To cite sources, I have created links to the works cited after each quotation. Although the links are numbered, I did not intend to indicate any hierarchical arrangement. I assigned a number as I came across each quote so that when a reader went to the works cited page, they could clearly attach the appropriate entry to a particular quotation. By using Java, JavaScript, or similar programming languages, it is now possible to have a small text box appear as readers move the mouse over a certain part of the text. This would be an interesting way to show citations, but not all browsers can display Java-based maneuvers; therefore, I went with a less sophisticated method.