Traditional Literature Review and Research Synthesis

  • Shaofeng LiEmail author
  • Hong Wang


The exponential growth of research and enormity of the body of knowledge that has been accumulated in applied linguistics make the need for quality and reliable synthesis of the available research more pressing than ever. Traditional reviews seek to critique existing research, provide an overview of the research, and/or contextualize a new study. Research syntheses aim at reaching conclusions by means of aggregating the totality of the empirical research that has been carried out on a certain topic. This chapter discusses the procedures and best practices of each of the two approaches and concludes by making a comparison between the two approaches and proposing ways to integrate them.


Literature review Meta-analysis Research synthesis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Foreign and Second Language Education Program, School of Teacher EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Linguistics and Applied LinguisticsGuangdong University of Foreign StudiesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.University of Auckland Library and Learning ServicesThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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