Student papers across the curriculum: designing and developing a corpus of British student writing

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This paper reports on a collaborative project, currently being carried out by the Centre for English Language Teacher Education and the Warwick Writing Programme at the University of Warwick, England, to compile a multmillion-word corpus of student writing. Since May 2001, we have collected samples of proficient writtem coursework produced by students at all levels and in a range of disciplines. We believe this student writing collection will eventually provide an invaluable database for use by researchers and writing teachers, enabling them to identify and describe, in a systematic way, the characteristics of assigned work across disciplines and levels of study. Our corpus is confined to shorter assignments assessed within departments - the most common form of student writing, but unpublished and therefore generally unavailable to researchers. This paper describes the project, and explains the rationale for developing the corpus. It also considers the corpus' potential role as a resource for research and teaching within and across subject disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-450
JournalComputers and Composition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers and Composition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers and Composition [Vol 21, 4, (2002)]. DOI: 10.1016/j.compcom.2004.08.003.


  • concordancing
  • corpora
  • corpus linguistics
  • English for academic purposes
  • genre


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