Analysis of the empirical research in the journal of second language writing at its 25th year (1992–2016)

Mehdi Riazi, Ling Shi, John Haggerty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this historical survey, we review 272 empirical research articles published in the Journal of Second Language Writing (JSLW) over its first quarter century of publication. We report overall and periodic analyses (1992–1999, 2000–2010, 2011–2016) in respect to the following themes: (1) contexts and participants, (2) research foci and theoretical orientations, and (3) research methodology and data sources. The typical research contexts and participants were undergraduates in U.S. universities or colleges. The most common research foci were feedback and writing instruction and the main theoretical orientations were cognitive, social, socio-cognitive, genre, contrastive rhetoric, and critical theories. The most frequently used research methodology was qualitative and the top three data sources used by L2 writing researchers were multiple sources, text samples, and elicitation. Based on the findings, we make suggestions for future research in studies of L2 writing. Along with Tony Silva’s reflections on our results, the present analysis gives readers a birds-eye view of the scholarship on L2 writing over the last 25 years as represented in the JSLW.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • L2 writing research
  • L2 writing theories
  • L2 writing research methods
  • research synthesis

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