Web Essay Navigation

This is the post for the Monday, October 19, 2015 class meeting.

Spongebob characters: That face you make when you realize you had homeworkImportant Dates

  • Tue, Oct 20: Post link to your web essay for peer review by 11:59 PM
  • Wed, Oct 21: Project 3 Peer Review in class
  • Mon, Oct 26: Project 3: Interrogate a Story Source due by 11:59 PM


Navigation for Your Web Essays

Your assignment is a multi-page web essay. Your challenge is to make sure that readers can find all the pages of your essay. You need to chunk out your essay into pages that make structural sense and that avoid the tl;dr effect by making sure you have the right amount of text for each page.

We will talk about the examples from last week’s post and the Project 3 Navigation Options. The short version of my advice is as follows:

  • Every page should tell readers what it’s about by using titles, introductory summaries, headings, and so forth.
  • The essay’s navigation should be obvious. Readers should not have to look for it.
  • More than one navigation option helps readers who think differently.
  • Think about the affordances and constraints of the system(s) you choose: what does it allow? what does it prevent?
  • Fit your navigation to your essay. Don’t just copy the examples. Make them fit. Make them yours.

Preparing for Peer Review

Post the link to your Project 3 rough drafts for Peer Feedback by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 20. Submit whatever you have, and remember that your link won’t change even if you continue working.

Follow these instructions to post your draft:

  • Go to Discussions in Canvas.
  • Choose the "Peer Review for Project 3" discussion.
  • Post a reply to the Discussion (Canvas Documentation) that includes the following information in the body of the message:
    • Provide the link to your draft, which can be on your WordPress site or a share link to a Google Doc.
      • Make sure you set the share permissions properly. If your readers can’t get to your document, they can’t give you feedback.
    • Ask your readers to look at anything you are trying to improve.
    • Let them know the kind of advice you need.
    • Explain anything that you are still working on (so they won’t waste time commenting on something you know is incomplete).

In-Class Writing

Go to Quizzes in Canvas, and choose the "Web Essay Navigation" to tell me the navigation plans you are considering for your web essay. I will respond to them on Wednesday, in class, while you work on peer review.


By 11:59 PM on Tuesday (10/20), do the following:

  • Post the link to the first page of your web essay to the Peer Review for Project 3 Discussion in Canvas, following the instructions above.
  • If you do not post a link, you cannot be assigned peer review partners and will receive a zero for the activity.
  • If you didn’t complete your "Web Essay Navigation" quiz in Canvas, please use the grace period to finish by 11:59 PM Tuesday (10/20).

For Wednesday’s session (10/21), do the following before class:

  • If you posted your link on time, you will complete peer review for two classmates (who may be in either the 10:10 or the 11:15 class).
  • If you failed to post your link on time, use the time in class to work on your project.

For Friday’s session (10/23), do the following before class:

  • Continue work on your project and have whatever you need to work on your project in class.
  • Be prepared to show me your work in class.

For Monday’s session (10/26), do the following before class:

  • Be ready to turn in your project in class (unless you are taking advantage of the grace period).
  • Monday will be the last day we will discuss the web essay in class.


Project 3 Navigation Options

Here are some tips you can use as you design the navigation for your web essay. Since it’s a multipage essay, you need to make sure that your readers get from one page to the next. You can consider all of these options, and make up something of your own. Think about how you want readers to move through your document and make things as easy and clear as you can.

General Details

  • You can use different names for your pages. Those used here (e.g., Overview, Design) are not the only choices.
  • None of the links work on this page. Pretend that all the links go to different pages of a web essay.
  • You are not limited to just one navigation system. You can use both whatever menu option your theme allows and some links at the bottom of each page in your essay.

Menu Navigation Option:

Go to Appearance –> Menus, and add subpages wherever you want the web essay to appear in your menus..

Linear Navigation Option:

Add links to the previous and next pages at the bottom of your page. You can play with the options here to make the links look the way you want to. You can just center the two links and add a dash or something in the middle to separate the two:

Previous: Overview — Next: Design

If you know HTML, you can try adding a table to make the previous link left aligned and the next link right aligned.

Previous: Overview Next: Design

If you know CSS, you can try using DIVs to align the links to the left and right, but note that your theme may not work smoothly with the added code.

Table of Contents Navigation Option:

Add links to all the pages of your web essay at the bottom of the page. Usually you remove the link for the page you are on. Some sites will make the link bold as well. I inserted a symbol between the pages.

For the example below, imagine you are on the Overview page, so that word isn’t linked and is in boldface:

Overview ⇔ Rhetorical SituationDesignAffordances ⇔ Constraints ⇔ Conclusion

When I moved to the Rhetorical Situation page, the navigation at the bottom would change to this version. Overview is now a link, and Rhetorical Situation isn’t linked and is in boldface:

Overview ⇔ Rhetorical Situation ⇔ Design ⇔ Affordances ⇔ Constraints ⇔ Conclusion