Three major of literature review purposes


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Activity 2: Analyze the following text very carefully. Then, complete the table

that follows.

This paper purports to assess the linguistic complexity of students’ narratives and

reading texts. However, the authors never stated the purpose behind the study. The authors

provide no motivations and goals for the study, no research questions, no strong

methodological practices, and very few findings that can be easily interpreted. While reading

the study, every new sentence is surprise. There are no details and the entire paper is

completely under referenced.

Below I will discuss some of the major problems with the paper. First, the authors never

provide a rationale for their study. They never give a reason as to why they are studying

reading and writing together and they fail to link the two skills. The authors assume that the

reader knows the narrative and made no attempt to assist them in developing the narrative of

the paper. Another major problem with the paper is the naiveté that is apparent in the literature

review, the methods, and the analysis. The literature review is perhaps two pages long and

boost up on their knowledge of L2 writing and reading theory before they submit a paper to a

professional journal.

It is interesting that the language background of the participants is never made explicit

(participants are at the mid beginners to high beginners level in using English is a second

language). The extent to which any results found in the study would be widely generalizable

to what is typically conceived as an EFL/ESL learner is not clear. Moreover, the author

continually draw on literature meant for an L1 acquisition audience and therefore of dubious

extension to L2 contexts.

The methods section contains no details at all. Ten participants per grade level, in a

stratified random sample, hardly seemed enough to get much stable data. Since, there are

only ten participants per grade level on both accredited and non-accredited schools due to

logistical constraints; the paper is more on exploratory study. In other words, it seems a stretch

to ask most journal readers to generalize from such a limited sample from such a specific

population. The authors state that “pupils were not given limits as to time and number of words,

for them to be relaxed in their narrative production” (p.5). However, later the authors explain

that those written data also form the basis of the corpus used for analysis. How does this

differential production affect the results of the analysis? Surely, a participant who produces

1,000 words will have different results from one who produce 500. It is not clear how the

authors can assert any sort of pattern from linguistic ‘snapshot’ from just 10 students per

school, producing such heterogeneous data samples. Again, from such a modest sample size.

In general, the paper is hard to read. This likely goes back to the lack of research

problems. There are few transitions and, organizationally, the paper does not set up any

expectations for the reader. The first paragraph is a great example because it contains a single

sentence and at least five different clauses. The final paragraph in the introduction (right before

the methods sections) is another example. I have read that paragraph four times and am not

sure how to process it.

There are major problems with this paper, but I do not have a time or the energy to discuss

them all. The authors really need to rethink the purpose of the collected data and educate

themselves in the field of L2 reading and writing. I would highly suggest that the authors reread

issues of the journal of Second Language Writing and Reading in a Foreign Language.

Type of Document

Purpose of the


Writer’s Persona

Intended Reader



patulong po plsss asap po pl po. kailangan ko po talaga plsss po.











10.d or a


The purpose of a literature review is to gain an understanding of the existing research and debates relevant to a particular topic or area of study, and to present that knowledge in the form of a written report. Conducting a literature review helps you build your knowledge in your field.


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