How to Publish in Academic Journals: Writing a Strong and Organized Introduction Section

David Ahlstrom


Publishing in quality academic journals is challenging. Authors who want to improve their chances of publishing in management and allied business and social science journals can save themselves much time and frustration by ensuring that manuscripts are consistent with the journal’s aims and scope and what the field requires in terms of addressing unanswered research questions or improvements to current theory and evidence. It is well-understood if a manuscript lacks theoretical grounding or makes significant methodological or research design mistakes, it will likely be rejected. Researchers in the social sciences are typically well-trained in methods, statistical analysis, and research design. But many scholars have much less training on the situating, motivating, and organizing of manuscripts, particularly in the all-important introduction of the paper. Oftentimes, an author may face rejection of his or her manuscript not because of bad data or methods, but because of major framing and organizational issues with the paper, as well as a lack of clear contributions. These problems are addressed within the context of writing a clear research question and introduction section, which form the basis for the overall organization of the paper. Numerous helpful sources are also provided.


Research, academic writing, journal articles, research question, paper organization, publishing


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