Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Colleen Brice

Second Advisor

Shinian Wu

Third Advisor

Christen Pearson


Graduate students in China have addressed concerns about second language writing (SLW) in their theses and dissertations since 2000, but their voices are not represented in the current SLW literature. The present study aimed to investigate resident Chinese graduate students’ research in the field of SLW. The author reviewed the abstracts of all master’s theses and PhD dissertations on SLW completed in Chinese Universities between the year 2003 and 2012. The abstracts were collected from China Doctoral Dissertations Full-text Database and China Master’s Theses Full-text Database. Each abstract was coded for major topic, research type, and target population. The coded abstracts were analyzed in order to identify trends and patterns in Chinese graduate students’ theses and dissertations on SLW.

The author found that the number of graduate theses on SLW has increased greatly during this period, with a wide array of topics being investigated each year. Writing instruction was the most frequently researched topic, and empirical research was the most frequently adopted research type. The author also analyzed reasons for the increase in SLW studies, the large variety of SLW topics, the focus on writing instruction, and the large number of empirical studies. The findings indicate that Chinese graduate students have increased their knowledge of EFL writing by including SLW topics in their master’s theses and PhD dissertations.

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