First Journal Article

I have already put very many hours into my MRP (Masters Research Project) and want to get at least one publication out of all that work. My MRP was a study of ceramics at Huaca Colorada, Peru, a Late Moche settlement. I did a statistical analysis (chi-squared) of the distribution of ceramic types (style and forms) looking at the difference in culinary practices (and feasting) between the more domestic sectors and the ceremonial architecture at the summit of the Huaca. I was in charge of data collection of around 6,000 sherds which I organized into categories to test their various distribution. This means that I have a lot of data which I think is a good place to start for an initial journal article, and then to build from there for future publications.

Nawpa Pacha is the journal I am intersted in publishing in.

With a note on publishing style:

Nawpa Pacha is a strictly Andean archaeological journal with lots of data and some interpretation. But, it does not focus heavily on theory which for a foundational article for myself I am happy with that decision. There also seems to be a lot of room for images which is important because I have to describe ceramics that have received little attention previously and there are few examples of in the literature to date. The articles are not very long, about 8 pages of text and around 15 in total with illustrations and references.

My timeline is to follow the course since that gives me incentive, otherwise I will probably put it off. To start, I would like to look at my data and decide if there are pieces that are not integral to a short paper on feasting, since I did probably more analysis of the ceramics than were required for a single question. I’d then need to trim the corresponding theoretical and interpretive analysis out and narrow in on the one topic. After that is done it will all need to be rewritten to fit with the format, but also because it would need to be a cohesive paper. My writing needs to be less rambling, as well. I had a lot more room to elaborate on ideas, even if they were somewhat tangential to the core of the thesis. My weekly goal is to devote 2 afternoons a week ~4 hours each (Monday and Wednesday) and Sunday morning ~3 hours to writing. I am pretty concerned I won’t stick with this schedule, since I rarely stick with any schedule. Luckily, I don’t need to devote a lot of time to research since I’ve already done that, I think the hardest part will just to get STARTED!

Edit to add:

My outline is very tentative still, this is my rough draft of my outline:

Abstract: 100 words

Introduction: 1-2 pages

– Description of time period and site and the relationship to the broader regional trends at this time. In particular that the Late Moche period is one of flux and change, how my research contributes to this discussion.

Description of ceramics

– What we found and why it is important. Huaca Colorada is significant because we found large quantities of highland ceramics in this coastal settlement, but there is also coastal hybridizations of highland ceramic styles.

Analysis of Ceramics

– Describing the chi-squared analysis of the ceramics and the results as they relate to feasting and ceremonial/political practices at the site.


– What do the results of the analysis tell us about wider regional patterns happening at this time.


4 thoughts on “First Journal Article

  1. Hello
    I think you have a really good handle on the process of publishing an article. You have been able to pick an appropriate journal and figure out how long the text needs to be. That is one of my biggest difficulties, trying to squeeze all the information into the required page limits. I rely heavily on appendices –thank goodness for them. I also think you have done well to determine how heavily theoretical your journal is and you have chosen to focus on a journal that requires lots of data and some interpretation-smart move, this way you can save some of your more interpretive concepts for another journal article. It can never hurt to try to get more than one publication from your Masters work and it sounds like you will be able to accomplish this.

  2. Sounds like you have a good plan and you just really need to find the discipline to get started. Maybe consider associating a timeline with your outline like Daina did. When is your goal to submit the paper? You might want to try and get it in before you start your comps and fieldwork since they will be extremely demanding. Also, I find summer time is just full of way more fun distractions than winter.

  3. Hi Sally,
    I do think N-P is a good way to go with this paper. (Strange I could not find their word count restrictions…something you may want to follow up on). I think you want to really tighten down the one big “so what” question you’re going to engage with in this paper. Is feasting your core question? If so you want an introduction/discussion that engages with it in a way that is going to be of interest to a broad Andean archaeology audience (the readership of N-P). If you were drinking beer with that group, what would be the issues that were the entry point? If you have one or two ideas feel free to put them up here and we can be your sounding board.

    • Re: Feasting. I’m not entirely sure, because it can easily get too big too fast. I think if I focus a lot on feasting then talking about the broader regional patterns may be difficult to include to a large degree. So, perhaps I’d need to change the introduction to include a description of previous research on feasting in the Andes and omit a lot of the discussion of the highland “invasion” (although it is important). My MRP leaves me feeling overwhelmed.

      Also, I can only find the 2008 and 2006 journal publication for Nawpa Pacha online to look at how my paper would “fit”.

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