Navigating Academia is a bit different from the other volumes in the series because it focuses on the supporting genres that facilitate the more public genres that form the building blocks of an academic and/or research career. Included are statements of purpose for graduate school applications, letters of recommendation, and responses to journal reviewers.
One feature that these genres have in common is that they are largely hidden from public view; it is difficult to find examples of them in university libraries. Although guidance about these genres can increasingly be found on the Internet, this guidance is often too general to be helpful in an individual particular situation. This is unfortunate because in almost all cases, the individual needs to be seen as both a serious scholar, researcher, or instructor (whether beginning or getting established) and as a collegial but objective person. As a result, many of these academic communications need to be carefully considered, particularly with regard to the likely effect this communication will have on its intended recipients, who, more often than not, are established figures in the field (as with a job application letter). Because of the roles of these genres, this volume also differs somewhat from the others in that it is as much concerned with social academic practice as it is with more formal academic texts.
This volume represents a revision and expansion of the material on academic correspondence that appeared in English in Today's Research World.