I did not take full advantage of my undergraduate years. I spent the first two drinking, started shaping up junior year, and then only really buckled down senior year, at which time I started getting interested in grad school. I discovered my enthusiasm too late, however, to correct my past mistakes, got accepted nowhere (except for one school w/o funding) and finished with a weak undergraduate record, tempered only by good grades for the last 3 semesters.
Since then, however, it has remained my hope to get into a good grad school in political science, and I've been trying to publish my way into an acceptance. I tried again with the apps this year, having published 2 pieces in 3rd-tier journals, and it appears I've struck out again. So, my question is, what am I doing wrong? I have an R&R at another journal right now, so fairly soon I'll be up to 3 (solo) publications, but how many do I need? Is my strategy wrong?
The idea that serves as the basis of my plan is that grad schools want to accept students who will make good scholars and that publishing I demonstrate scholarly potential; is this wrong? Is the problem that I'm publishing in journals that aren't very well thought of (frankly, I don't think I have the skills as of yet to crank out an APSR, though, but I could probably work at placing things at least a little higher)? Is it just a quantity issue? Would 4 or 5 pubs succeed where 2 failed? Is publishing just not a strategy that will work? Should I just give up on my grad school dream and spend my free time doing something more fun that political science research? Thanks.