Edit Topic Name SubTopics Postings
N/A A Metaphor: this Forum as Filing Cabinet 0 0
Imagine my entire forum as a large filing cabinet.  The drawers are subjects.  Inside the drawers are folders: these are the topics. Inside the folders there are sheets of paper: these are the postings.  Some postings will be very brief, so you can imagine a single sheet of paper.  Others will be longer, some essay-length, in which case imagine multiple sheets stapled together.

The forum has the capacity for me to divide topics into sub-topics and sub-subtopics.  Think of these as folders within folders, or of folders in different colors attached to the main folder.  At the present time, there are no sub-topics and when you go from a topic to a posting, you will be informed there are no sub-topics.

The design has what may seem to you to be a quirk.  It is not so to those who are technically literate; they call it a breadcrumb trail. In order to move from folder (topic) to folder (topic), you have to close the file drawer and open it again.  Similarly, in order to go from one sheet of paper (posting) to another sheet (posting), you have to close the folder (topic) and open it again. 

This seemingly extraneous step has the advantage of preserving context.  Imagine that there are two postings on a single topic and that you want to read both.  You will access the first posting, return to the topic, and then access the second posting.  Returning to the topic will remind you what the two postings have in common where it comes to content.  This will be very important when there are several postings related to the same topic; when a posting is long; and, perhaps even more important, when registered users have replied to a posting and I, in turn, have replied to them.

To return to the overall design, when you move from topic to topic, you will have to go back to the subject that joins them: topic 1>subject>topic 2. 

Therefore, when you finish reading this topic, you will return to the subject, "The Overall Design . . .," and then access the other topic that will illustrate for you, step-by-step, what I have just described. After that you will be able to move about this forum easily.

Note: Only registered users can reply to a posting.  No one can reply to a topic; you must move to the posting(s).  Postings are easily distinguished from topics by the design in which they are framed.
N/A A Sample Procedure for Accessing Content 0 0
I have chosen here as illustrative content the discussion over what distinguishes a genre mystery (that is, a traditional whodunit with an emphasis on a puzzle to be solved) from a literary mystery (one you read more deeply as you would a work of literature you were prepared to think about more).

1.  Return to my Home Page and click on Forum.
2.  Click on the subject The Literary Mystery.
3.  You will discover that there is 1 topic and this number is displayed on a small tab. The topic is entitled "Two Ways of Arriving at a Definition or Description of the Literary Mystery."
4.  Read the description that follows the title, which is an abstract or summary of what you will find when you get to the postings themselves.  This is an example of how I spare you proceeding if you are not interested in or do not have the time to read the longer postings.
5. Now click on the title itself: "Two Ways of .... ." You will be informed that there are no sub-topics to concern yourself with.
6.  Click on the little tab that says postings.  Notice the tab will tell you that there are two postings.
7.  You will now come to two titles, "Good Writing is Not Enough" and "The Perspective from the Reader."
8.  Again, read the descriptions and then click on "Good Writing is Not Enough" (you do not have to follow a particular order when you access postings, but for the sake of following me now, click on that one).  You can also click on Read More....That is, there are two ways of moving from a description of the posting to the posting itself.
9.  Now you have finished reading this posting and want to read the other one "The Perspective...." REMEMBER THE DESIGN FEATURE THAT REQUIRES YOU TO RETURN TO THE TOPIC ("Two Ways of...") BEFORE YOU GO TO THE NEXT TOPIC.
10. Click on the part of the posting that says Back to Forum and you will be brought back to the topic and to the tab that allows you to go forward again to the two poisting titles and descriptions.  It is, again, this "Back" step that preserves context.  Follow Step 7 and following for the second posting, "The Perspective from the Reader."
10. If you are not sure whether you are following the steps correctly and find yourself a little lost, you can at any time go back to the home page, click on Forum, and start down again.

Request: This forum is still a work in progress.  If you have any questions, or if there are any problems with my instructions or with the structure of the forum itself, return to my Home Page, click on Contact and get in touch with me.  I will appreciate your feedback. 
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