A meta-investigation of the use of the labels ‘longitudinal’ and ‘long-term’ in studies of feedback on writing


  • Ruegg Rachael Victoria University of Wellington
  • Paul Iida Akita International University


Longitudinal, long-term, feedback on writing, research methodology, research design


A number of studies have called for more ‘longitudinal’ research of feedback on writing. However, few offer concrete definitions of the term and in practice it seems to be used inconsistently. The purpose of this meta-investigation was to explore how the terms ‘longitudinal’ and ‘long-term’ are used within the literature on feedback on writing in order to determine what the terms mean in this context. Understanding the ways in which the terms are used will increase clarity in terms of the extent of longitudinal research in the area of feedback on writing and the extent to which further longitudinal research is still needed. Having a clearer understanding of the ways in which the terms are used will help researchers to design research to fill the reported gap. Analysis illustrated discrepancies in the use of the words: a wide range in the length of time, vast difference in the amount of feedback and the number of times feedback was given. It may be prudent for researchers to not only describe their research design using labels, but to also justify the basis on which each label applies to the research.