Navigating America serves all of an expository composition/research class’s needs in one textbook. Section 1 covers research (traditional and nontraditional); avoiding plagiarism; the writing process; style, punctuation, and grammar; and arguments and persuasion. Section 2 thoroughly covers MLA and APA documentation, including the most recent updates. Section 3 is an anthology of readings on Television, Film, the Internet; Advertising, Media Multinationals, News Media, and Corporate America. Each article has full pre-reading questions, journals, questions for critical thought, multicultural issues, and suggestions for research. The book’s website extends the number of articles. Navigating America’s unifying focus on information competency helps students make intelligent decisions about what ideas and evidence to trust in the world at large. It will get them closer to one overall objective: the ability to distinguish the different levels of reliability and relevance of the competing sources of information they consume. The online teachers’ manual contains a variety of resources, including exercises, activities, classroom assessment techniques, and strategies for improving student reading.
The Proliferation of Information
The first issue we wanted to address is the proliferation of information. Most texts focus on the skills needed to find academic information. There is so much more to modern day research, however, that we were always left wanting when reading most textbooks. We wanted a text that would address how to cope with the vast amounts of information, both academic and mundane, from diverse media faced by our students, as well as the skills to uncover pertinent materials in their own research and, perhaps more importantly, to evaluate and qualify the sources they find.
An All-in-One Approach to the Research Paper
The other issue we wanted to address was the cost to students of having to buy a number of textbooks to cover MLA/APA format, research tips, punctuation and grammar rules, and an anthology of readings. Aside from the cost of buying multiple texts, these books were also invariably guided by differing pedagogies and voices, and it was frustrating and time-consuming trying to blend these divergent books into a cohesive whole in our classes.
We wrote Navigating America: Information Competency and Research for the 21st Century to overcome these drawbacks and to give a focused and guided approach to the different types of materials found in the study of popular culture, and to do this in a voice that students will find friendly and accessible. -David Moton