PSU Corpus of Student Academic Writing

The PSU C-SAW or "Viking Corpus" is a student-developed and student-run project that I supervise. We are gradually collecting papers written by PSU students for PSU classes, hoping eventually to include all departments and all types of papers. Papers must have received a grade of at least a "B." We hope the corpus will serve as a resource for any teachers or teacher-trainees who want a better understanding of what PSU students are asked to write and the vocabulary, grammar, and organization that they use. We are also planning an online concordancer so that IELP students can do their own searches with no danger of plagiarism. The corpus files tell the department, level (grad or undergrad), type of assignment, and language status of the writer (native speaker of English or not).

Progress on the PSU C-SAW has depended on student volunteer time. Former students Chip Gardes, Sarah Albers, Linnea Spitzer, and numerous others have made an excellent start with the corpus, but it needs more development. There are many opportunities for MA projects and theses, including analysis of the corpus, further design and compilation, materials development from the corpus, and web design and programming. Talk with me and take the Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching course to find out more.