In this paper, I first discuss what autoethnography is elaborating on an autoethnographic spectrum. Then, I draw on several scholars’ understanding of what a “good” autoethnography is and propose a list of suggestions to contribute to autoethnography’s conceptualization and operationalization in qualitative educational research in the future. Believing that a good autoethnography is the work of a scholar who aims for the witty hand of an artist and the sharp/critical mind of a social scientist, I suggest that a good autoethnography (a) creates a sense of transformation through a story of illumination, healing, understanding, and/or learning, (b) engages readers as a companion rather than passive audience through commonalities and particularities, (c) goes beyond personal confessions by mindfully offering autobiographical and background information, (d) uses appropriate tools and sources and explains why using them makes sense, (e) denaturalizes social issues by making invisible power dynamics visible, and (f) embraces the subjectivity of memory and interpretation. I explain each suggestion in more detail in subsections and provide some guiding questions for future autoethnographers to help them make mindful decisions before and during their autoethnographic endeavors.


autoethnography, evocative autoethnography, analytic autoethnography, crafting good autoethnography

Author Bio(s)

Ufuk Keleş works at Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey. As a Fulbright grantee, he completed his Ph.D. studies in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Alabama, USA. Before this, he was an English teacher for fifteen years at a university in Turkey. His research interests include transnational socialization, social justice in ELT, multicultural education, and qualitative research in education. He has presented his research in multiple national and international conferences and published his work in several international peer-reviewed journals and edited book volumes. He is married with a son called Deniz (Mare Nostrum). Please direct correspondence to ufuk.keles@es.bau.edu.tr.


I would like to thank Bedrettin Yazan, PhD for his mentorship in this study and his friendship beyond. I am also thankful to Stephanie A. Shelton, PhD, who has, as a member of my dissertation committee, given me the inspiration and encouraged me to craft this work.

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