Help:About AWE

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The AWE guide to Academic Writing in English is meant to help students who have difficulties - or whose teachers tell them they have difficulties - in writing. The target audience is students working in Higher Education in the UK, and therefore using British English, in a formal register. The AWE project is a collection of suggestions designed to help students write in a style appropriate to their studies. (For more on how this came about, see AWE:How AWE is written.)

Our AWE is a guide, rather than a dictionary, an encyclopedia or a thesaurus. While it contains definitions of words and articles on concepts in language, it is not a set of rules to be mastered, by native or non-native speakers. It aims to be an authoritative source that may be quoted in support of views on linguistic correctness. (For more on this, see Help:Caveats.)

The intention is to provide helpful tips which students can access with as little difficulty as possible in order to answer questions like "Why has my tutor marked this wrong?", "What's the difference between 'been' and 'being'?" and "Is it spelled 'prejudice' or 'predjudice'?".

The project is currently in a growing phase. It originated in a University Teaching Fellowship awarded by Hull University to Peter Wilson in 1995, which funded the initial work. The University generously hosted AWE on its website (as until August 2014, when it migrated to its present site at The concept had been demonstrated to work, and had attracted some 9 million hits by then; the total of articles written had reached 3,760.

This is a never-ending project. Your reports on what is successful (and unsuccessful) and your requests for specific items will contribute to improving it. Note that the ability to edit what is here, or to write new material, is restricted to the research team. 'Ordinary' readers can only make suggestions through e-mail. ( However, you may be able to join the research team, though numbers have to be limited. See the page on how to contribute to AWE.

The principal author is Peter Wilson, who asserts his right to be acknowledged as the author and principal editor. Other contributors are listed on the Research Team page. You may also want to see the AWE:Acknowledgements, or the bibliography.

More help

See Help:Contents.