Crowdsourcing Linguistic Support

I am very excited. Like, embarrassingly, ridiculously excited.

Da book that I have been boring you all with is really 97.34% done. Obviously, I just made up that percentage, but we are really close to done. We have one more pass through the text and finalizing the cover and then it will be off to a print test!

Here’s a very nitpicky detail about the subtitle and I would appreciate your help. The four versions below (title: subtitle) differ only in a single word and therefore differ slightly in meaning.

Pick the one that you feel would be the most appealing to you. I am going for a subtitle that will invite someone to read. What I am offering the reader are the stories of my experiences, as well as advice on how they can find their own path through the academic maze.


  1. The votes are breaking down exactly as I’d rank options. Finding “The” way should be dead last, because it makes it sound as though there’s just one way, and there’s not. Finding “One’s” way is OK, but a little too stiff and formal. Finding “A” way is in some ways the most accurate title, but it comes out awkward. Finding “Your” way isn’t perfect, because presumably the book is about how YOU found YOUR way through academia, and I’m a little bit skeptical that your book will help all your readers find their own individual ways through academia… but it’s also the most inviting title, and close enough to be a good choice.

  2. Why limit yourself to American in the title? “Major research university” might be a better option. Most of what you say is applicable universally for a research university, and you can always qualify in the foreword that it is most relevant to american universities. So why turn away your potential international readers?

  3. Options 1, 2 and 3 make it sound like a self-help book. Only ‘Finding *A* way’ reflects it’s about your experiences.

  4. Similar to the above, I’d say it depends on the tone of the book. If it is (or you want it to be) perceived as a self-help book, I’d suggest “your”. If it’s personal experience, “a”.

  5. I also like “my” since it is a narrative of your experience, more than a “how to” or “self help”. And the idea about leaving out “american” to broaden your audience makes sense to me

  6. Hi all, thanks for the votes and comments! The final decision is with the publisher, of course. This naming business is not simple, since it should balance being truthful, inviting, not too long etc.

  7. I’m firmly in the “THE way” camp because it reminds me of Joyce, and it’s tongue-in-cheek–the implication is it’s actually a maze, there’s only one way, etc. Finding “Your” way sounds like a total snoozefest. It reminds me of all those sterile tomes I’ve got languishing on my bookshelf, read but forgotten: “At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory,” “Making the Right Moves,” etc., which are all pablums and drone drone formality. I didn’t think you were offering bland advice to apply to the modal 60% of the population: I thought you’d be vigorously opining and telling tales. Thus, I like “the” way best, and “a” way is a distant second.

    Just sayin’.

  8. And on further thought (bonus), I like “the” because of the Tao references, and the implication (I suppose parallel to Joyce) that you are revealing a canonical form. I think it’s canonical because it’s authentic and human. So much academic advice crap out there is not. I hope you own it.

  9. #1 or #3 sound most inviting to me. (Gut reaction.) Now I’m going to read the comments and find out what others thought…..

  10. I was going to suggest “Finding MY way…” as well, since these are YOUR experiences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s