The Malmö University-Chalmers Corpus of Academic Writing as a Process (MUCH): Results from Work In Progress
Paper i proceeding, 2013
This paper introduces a recently-launched corpus project which aims to compile and monitor various text drafts
involved in the student writing process in higher education. Most of the students are non-native speakers of
English from undergraduate, master or PhD programmes. The corpus consists of drafts of academic papers, such as argumentative papers and journal paper drafts. Additionally, the corpus contains a collection of self-reflective comments. Papers are collected from approximately 300 students per year over a three-year period. In addition to student texts, the corpus also contains peer and teacher comments. It is tagged for rhetorical and linguistic structures. Upon completion, the corpus will consist of approximately 2,500,000 words. One of the aims of the project is to narrow the gap between writing pedagogy and the use of corpora for teaching and learning purposes. In writing pedagogy, the focus has been on issues such as writing as social action (Miller 1984), feedback processes (Hyland & Hyland 2006) and academic literacy (Lea & Street 1998, Lillis & Scott 2007), whereas corpus-based pedagogy has tended to focus on linguistic aspects (Flowerdew 2010). Notable exceptions to this somewhat sweeping description are for example Charles (2007) and Flowerdew (2008). However, a lot more can be done to merge these two perspectives. We believe that a richly-annotated corpus is an important step in such a process. In this paper, we will establish the rationale for the project and present results from a pilot study, including categorisations and effects of comments in texts.