A bibliometric analysis on L2 writing in the first 20 years of the 21st century: Research impacts and research trends

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number100963
Journal / PublicationJournal of Second Language Writing
Online published5 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


This study adopts a bibliometric approach to investigate a) impacts of scholars and publications and b) major research trends in L2 writing research between 2000 and 2020. Data (2723 files) were collected to represent L2 writing publications in the past two decades, with four subgroups representing publications in four specific periods (2000–2005, 2006–2010, 2011–2015, 2016–2020). The findings show influential scholars and highly cited publications in L2 writing and reveal a trend of practice-based research on L2 writing, which indicates a need for more hermeneutic or interpretive work to corroborate and refine our understanding of the field. Specifically, feedback and ESL writing studies have been dominant in L2 writing research over the past two decades; however, ESL writing has garnered decreasing attention between 2000 and 2020 due to increasing attention to EFL writing and languages other than English in L2 writing research. Also, collaborative writing, peer feedback, and EAP writing have been increasingly investigated under sociocultural theories and with the help of technology. In contrast, research on contrastive rhetoric and native speaker has decreased due to their changing focus on power dynamics and social inequalities.

Research Area(s)

  • L2 writing, Bibliometric analysis, Research impacts, Research trends