Qualitative Data Coding and Analysis: A Systematic Review of the Papers Published in the Journal of Second Language Writing

Document Type : Original Article


1 Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar

2 Islamic Azad University, Fereshtegan International Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Yasouj University, Iran


A challenging step in any qualitative research project is data coding and analysis. If the data coding is done appropriately, it will lead the researchers to develop patterns or themes and to make final inferences about the research problem. As such, qualitative researchers are supposed to take systematically informed steps and procedures to perform qualitative data coding and analysis. However, this is not as easy as it might be thought, and even published articles might fall short of providing a thorough explanation of their methods and procedures, making it difficult for other researchers, especially early career researchers, to aim for replication of the study. This article presents a review of the methods and data coding and analysis procedures in the field of L2 writing as a case in point. We scrutinized and analyzed all 168 articles with a qualitative orientation published in the Journal of Second Language Writing (JSLW) over its lifecycle. We present the results and discuss some articles to illustrate how L2 writing researchers handled qualitative data coding and analysis and showcase problematic areas. The outcomes of the review and analysis, including the showcase articles, provide some tips and guidelines for prospective L2 writing researchers and other stakeholders more broadly.