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 sir,
i do not know, how to write good letter to university , president, prime minister and any one.
i want to know '' writing for purpose'' is good start for learn to write letter.

Hello ritesh46,

Writing for a purpose is an excellent resource for preparing for the kind of writing you will have to do as a university student. To learn about writing a letter, our English for Emails section will probably be more helpful, though I'd also recommend the Writing a formal letter page at the ESOL Nexus and the Letters and invitations page at the Oxford Dictionary site.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! Hello!

Hope! every one is good.

I am new for this website, Its really very helpful to whom would like to improve their writing skills on their thrive own, Thanks for your guidance faculty friends.

Here by just I wrote one essay : expect your valuable comment.
Universities should accept equal number of male and female students in every subject. Agree or Dis-agree?
By and large, currently all Educational institutions are offering many opportunities irrespective of gender. In some, communities and colleges are still suppressing feminine child to get good education in the name of tradition and religion. However, I strongly believe that equivalent amount of educational provisions set a good and healthy citizens as well as nations.
For instance, some of the community educational establishments are still denying noble educations for girl children as a result of religious principle. Deprive of education is not only preventing growth of individual but also the nations. We could analyze developed and developing nations statistical data’s for how many women entrepreneur and leaders majorly contributing their nation’s growth. So universities must ensure boy and girl students are both has similar important and inevitable role towards growth of society.
So teaching bodies are contributing a vital part in our society like providing good doctors, engineers, lawyers, IAS, IPS, etc., educational bodies are not only enlightening theoretical syllabus as it is in text book but also worthy discipline, tolerance, group behavior, team work, co-ordination, self-confidence, etc. Universities which is equipped our future generation in a right way, its provide entry ticket to our society. This is the place where every individual are identifying own flavor of career and refined well for travelling throughout their life time.
To sum up, everyone has their own rights to get good education without gender differentiation. Government and Universities should come forward to rectify those loop hole and if required amendment certain rule and regulations against deprived and suppressing of education gender.

Hi Dinesh RT,

Thanks for contributing your essay. I'm afraid we don't mark or comment on writing on the site because we have so many users it just isn't possible for us to do so, and we think it's important to treat all our users equally. However, now that you have posted your essay many people will read it and you may well get comments from other users.

Thanks again.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

hello everybody, hello teacher. my name is Hien, i'm start learning english about 4 year, but just really learning about 1 year ago. i feel very difficult can learn it. so i hope if i accede page learneghlish, teachers can help me learn better. thank verymuch!

Hello Hien,

Welcome! I'd suggest you begin by reading our Getting Started page and exploring the site a little bit using the menu on the first page (Listen & Watch, Grammar & Vocabulary, etc.). When you find a section that interests you, you can start there. Or you might want to start with Elementary Podcasts Series 4, which is in production right now. Episode 17 will be released tomorrow, 12 January.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

oh this is nice idea. thank you very much teacher!

Hi everyone,

I'm Ngoc. I'm from Vietnam. It is the first time I join this website. I am an employee of a company. In my job, I often using Enghlish for wringting email, talking with other foreign colleague. However my english skill is not good, I 'm lack alot of knowledge so I am not feel confidential when I talk with them. I tried to improve it many months ago but I was still bad.
How can I improve it? :(

English, not Enghlish
writing, not wringiting
a lot are two different words

Hi Thi Nhu Ngoc,

I'd recommend you first read the advice on our Help page, which will give you some good ideas on how to use LearnEnglish for whatever purpose you need. After that, it sounds to me like Elementary Podcasts might be a good resource for improving your listening and speaking. If you want to work on your email writing, I'd recommend these ESOLNexus and BBC pages.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team