Reporting and Interpreting Quantitative Research Findings: What Gets Reported and Recommendations for the Field

Jenifer Larson-Hall, Luke D Plonsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


This paper presents a set of guidelines for reporting on five types of quantitative data issues: (1) Descriptive statistics, (2) Effect sizes and confidence intervals, (3) Instrument reliability, (4) Visual displays of data, and (5) Raw data. Our recommendations are derived mainly from various professional sources related to L2 research but motivated by results from investigations into how well the field as a whole is following these guidelines for best methodological practices, and illustrated by L2 examples. Although recent surveys of L2 reporting practices have found that more researchers are including important data such as effect sizes, confidence intervals, reliability coefficients, research questions, a priori alpha levels, graphics, and so forth in their research reports, we call for further improvement so that research findings may build upon each other and lend themselves to meta-analyses and a mindset that sees each research project in the context of a coherent whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-159
Number of pages33
JournalLanguage Learning
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015



  • Confidence intervals
  • Effect sizes
  • L2
  • Language
  • Mean
  • Meta-analysis
  • Methodology
  • Quantitative
  • Raw data
  • Reporting practices
  • Standard deviation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics

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