Writing is an activity to which many qualitative researchers still attach a very limited and, to a considerable extent, subordinate importance to the collection and analysis of data. The paper challenges this tendency and reminds us that many of the great ethnographic masterpieces of the past (from Street Corner Society to Asylum, to name but two) displayed a very effective narrative tone that echoed many stylistic elements prevalent in literature and investigative journalism, without abandoning analytical rigour. It is the thesis of this article that if qualitative sociologists are to play a public role and thus reach a wider audience than just the academic community, they must work on their writing and rediscover the power and beauty of an effective narrative style. Giving research data a narrative form, e.g. , avoiding the inclusion in a paper or book of numerous interview excerpts that are merely transcribed from recordings, or inserting clearly delineated and recognisable.
Parole chiave: ethnography, writing, narrative, ethnographic style, narrative truth