Using corpora to improve your writing in your discipline

Course Timetable: TBC

  Mode of Delivery  Duration  Day and Time of classes Date of first class Date of final class


  • To ensure that we have time to set you up with access to our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas), please make sure you have enrolled and paid no later than five working days before your course starts. 

  • MT = Michaelmas Term (October - December); HT = Hilary Term (January - March); TT = Trinity Term (April-June)

Course overview

This course is specifically designed for advanced postgraduate students, post-docs and visiting academics. Over the seven-weeks, you will firstly learn what corpora software is, and how to use it. You will then create your own database of published works in your specific field of study, and use the software to better understanding how experts academics write. We will work together in class to apply this knowledge to your own writing. You can keep this electronic resource (software + database) on your computer, and access it throughout the rest of your academic career whenever needed.

Please be aware, this is a computer-based course, and you must therefore have a laptop and be able to bring it to class every week.

Learning outcomes

  • You will learn about ‘corpora’ software and how it can be used as a tool for drafting and proofreading your own work
  • You will build your own corpus (i.e. database of scholarly texts), within your specific discipline, and learn how to search it for the specific language patterns, vocabulary, and stylistics commonly used by published scholars in your field
  • Each week, you will learn a new functionality of the software so as to better understand and mirror the common conventions in your field of study

A certificate of attendance is available upon request if you have attended at least 80% of the course

Enrolment information

For Learners with an Oxford University SSO (Single Sign-On) simply click on the enrol button next to the class that you wish to join. 

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, please email with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received we will confirm your place on the course. 

Course structure

  • Taught in weeks 2-8 of term
  • Classes per week: 1
  • Length of class: 2 hours
  • Total hours of tuition per term: 14

Course fees


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