How to publish an article in an academic journal: Avoid rookie mistakes

My article is based on ethnography and interviews, so the methods section is pretty straightforward. I discuss how long the ethnographic research lasted (9 months); how many interviews (83); and the case selection – why I interviewed deportees in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and why most of my interviewees are men.

Data and Analysis

This is the meat of your paper – where your original contribution lies. The main trick here is to make sure that you deploy your data to answer your research questions.
Many qualitative papers fail to analyze their data. You not only need to tell us what you learned from your interviews and ethnography; you also need to analyze each piece of data you provide. Tell the reader what it means and why it’s important.


I have not thus far rejected an article for not having a good conclusion – although I did receive one that completely lacked a conclusion. And, that did not look good.
In any event, a good conclusion can only strengthen your article and make it more likely that your findings will be understood and disseminated.
In my conclusion, I reiterate my findings, mention any possible limitations, and explore directions for future research.