BAWE – British Academic Written English

The British Academic Written English (BAWE) is a text corpus of academic works written at universities in the UK. It represents a pattern of British Academic English with fairly evenly distributed disciplinary areas (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences) and levels of study (undergraduate and taught masters level).

The whole corpus consists of 2761 pieces of proficient assessed student writing, ranging in length from about 500 words to about 5000 words.

Part-of-speech tagset

BAWE contains POS tags used in the CLAWS tagger version 7.

Tools work with the British Academic Written English corpus

A complete set of Sketch Engine tools is available to work with this BAWE corpus to generate:

  • word sketch – English collocations categorized by grammatical relations
  • thesaurus – synonyms and similar words for every word
  • word lists – lists of English nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. organized by frequency
  • n-grams – frequency list of multi-word units
  • concordance – examples in context

Bibliography & how to cite BAWE

For more information about citing the BAWE corpus, please visit

See Manual for using BAWE in Sketch Engine by Hilary Nesi and Paul Thompson (Coventry University 2014)

A list of all corpus metadata is available in the document BAWE Corpus Holdings.

Search the BAWE corpus

Sketch Engine offers a range of tools to work with the BAWE corpus.


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