Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ten Steps to Publishing Your Article

If you are looking for how to write and publish a journal article, my first suggestion is that you check out Wendy Belcher’s book: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing. In this book, Professor Belcher provides valuable step-by-step instructions on writing and publishing.

Otherwise, here are ten steps from beginning to end for publishing an academic article.

Step One: Choose a journal.

The first step is to choose a journal – so that you know what you are aiming for. This post explains how to choose a journal.

Step Two: Find a model article.

Once you have selected a journal, choose a model article. You can learn how to do this here.

Step Three: Write an awesome introduction.

Now that you are ready to write, it is important to put your first step forward and write a stellar introduction.

Step Four: Write up your literature review.

Writing your literature review can be daunting. Here are six easy steps from beginning to end.

Step Five: Check your literature review to make sure it is effective.

Make sure your lit review distinguishes between conceptual and background literature.

Step Six: Write up your data analysis.

Here, you want to be sure that your data answers the questions raised in your literature review and introduction. This part will vary depending on what data you are using, but Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation by Sonja K. Foss has some good tips on how to code qualitative data.

Step Seven: Write your Conclusion

Patricia Goodson’s book, Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive & Powerful Writing has some great advice on writing conclusions, as well as lots of other advice.

Step Eight: Revise.

Your first draft should be just that – a draft. It is important to learn to write first and revise later. The concept of a "shitty" first draft is explained here. Another awesome technique is to use an after-the-fact outline to revise. It sounds like a lot of work, but it totally works!

Step Nine: Get feedback.

Don't even think of sending an article off for review without asking someone to review it first! Get feedback from your friends, colleagues, and mentors. Also, consider using a professional editor to make sure your article is as good as it can be.

Step Ten: Submit your article.

Then, submit, submit, submit until successful.

If you get stuck along the way, try the two week method of writing an article.

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