Concordancing oneself: Constructing individual textual profiles


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This paper discusses the construction and analysis of a corpus of an individual's own academic writing. Following an examination of the area of academic writing and the position of academic writing corpora within it, the paper discusses how a ‘personal corpus’ might be put together, along with issues of the necessary quality and quantity of ‘text’, and problems which may arise in the construction of a personal corpus. The paper also proposes a background, general ‘reference’ corpus against which features of academic writing may be measured, whilst admitting that accessibility to, or production of, such a potentially large corpus will generally be beyond the means of many researchers interested in small-scale analyses. Using concordancers, some limited analyses of lexical, syntactic and discourse features are then presented to show how a potential personal profile might emerge. The paper concludes with a discussion of the limitations facing the analysis of one's own writing, but suggests that, despite limitations, worthwhile insights can be gained in respect of one's personal language awareness. Copyright © 2004 John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-298
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


Coniam, D. (2004). Concordancing oneself: Constructing individual textual profiles. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 9(2), 271-298. doi: 10.1075/ijcl.9.2.06con


  • Academic discourse
  • Concordancing
  • Corpus construction and stylistics

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