British Academic Written English Corpus (BAWE)

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British Academic Written English Corpus (BAWE)

About BAWE

The British Academic Written English Corpus (BAWE) was collected as part of the project, 'An Investigation of Genres of Assessed Writing in British Higher Education'. The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. (2004 - 2007 project number RES-000-23-0800). 

The corpus is a record of proficient university-level student writing at the turn of the 21st century. This Excel Spreadsheet contains information about the corpus holdings. A more detailed spreadsheet is available from the Oxford Text Archive. It contains just under 3000 good-standard student assignments (6,506,995 words). Holdings are fairly evenly distributed across four broad disciplinary areas (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences) and across four levels of study (undergraduate and taught masters level). Thirty main disciplines are represented.

The BAWE corpus manual is available here (356 Kb). 

Our free, research-based academic writing materials - ‘Writing for a Purpose’ – are available on the British Council Learn English website.
The development of these materials was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/J010995/1).

The corpus is available free of charge to researchers who agree to the conditions of use and who register with the Oxford Text Archive. It can also be searched online via the Sketch Engine open site Please contact Hilary Nesi ( for further information, or if you have any queries or comments relating to the project.

Project Team