If you are studying in a British university you will be required to do a large amount of writing, whatever your subject. Some people distinguish between "essays" and "reports", and you may also know some other names for written assignments. However, sometimes the same name is used for very different types of assignment, and different names are used for very similar types of assignment.

Some of these assignments are more common in some disciplines than in others. For example, in business Case Studies are very common, in law Problem Questions are very common, while in history and philosophy Essays are very common.

Three thousand examples of proficient British university assignments from more than 30 disciplines, such as business, engineering, law, biology, sociology and history have been collected. These form the BAWE (British Academic Written English) corpus. By analysing these assignments 13 basic Genre Families of student writing can be identified and each one has been given a specific name.

The 13 Genre Families are:

Here is some more information about the background to identifying these Genre Families.

Note that the names that have been given to these assignment families have very specific meanings on this site, but you will probably find that your lecturers and your fellow students use these names much more loosely – they may for example call most written assignments "essays", and they may use the terms "essay" and "report"  interchangeably.

Try this Task to check that you understand about the BAWE project.


Task 1

Choose the correct answers for these questions about the project.



Hello Raghu kathuria,

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hello everyone,
could anybody tell,which one is correct sentence?
it hurts like a hell to see a mother is crying.
it hurts like a hell to seeing a mother cry.

Hello. I am a new member. I would like to know if there is a way to choose a specific level for my training in order to make the most of this opportunity. Thanks.

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The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much. Actually a do know my level, because I attended two courses at the British Council, Madrid. Your advice has been bery useful to me. Thanks Again.

Hello every one
I 'm new here .
Can somebody help me to answer a questions becouse I'm trying to learn how can I answer ?
1. Would you prefer to live in a house or a block of flats ? Why?
2. Do you think the flats in the photograph are unsual ? Why?
3. Why do you people choose to live in unsual places ?
4. Which place would you prefer to live: by the sea, on a mountain or in a city center? Why?

Hello Raghaddone,

Why don't you try answering the questions yourself, and then asking us about any of your answer that you're not sure about? It'd be good for you to try on your own, first. It's more difficult, but you'll learn more.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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. Thanks to find this site.

Hello myo min latt,

Welcome! I'd recommend you read our Help page, where you can find advice on how to use the site to improve the different skills.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Just now I have logged on this site as a new member. I am from Bangladesh. I am very much eager to learn English. I hope, you all will help me.