COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English)

COCA, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, is a resource created by Professor Mark Davies at Brigham Young University. You can explore COCA to develop a better understanding of the language use of published writers, which can assist you in improving your writing. Take a guided tour of the site with creator Mark Davies here. And visit the COCA site.

We have recently updated our screencast tutorials for you. Why now? You and other writers might want to use COCA more now that the Word and Phrase corpus (a sister site to COCA) has been removed from the internet. Having our updated COCA tutorials to watch will make it easier for you and others to become comfortable with this helpful resource.

Our first tutorial gives you an introductory tour of COCA and shows you how to register (for free).

In the second tutorial, you’ll learn how to do a basic search as well as how to narrow your results to the sources that most interest you.

In the third tutorial, you’ll learn how to do several more searches, with the goal of improving language use by finding appropriate collocates (words that work well together). 

In our fourth tutorial, you’ll learn how to do more advanced COCA searches, including to discover what prepositions might work well before or after your search word or phrase. You’ll also learn how to search for words that mean big ~ and work well with the word majority.

In our fifth tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Word search option that was added to COCA in spring 2020.


DukeWritesSuite COCA Introduction and registration
DukeWritesSuite COCA Doing a basic search and narrowing results
DukeWritesSuite COCA Exploring collocations
DukeWritesSuite COCA Doing advanced searches
DukeWritesSuite COCA Using the Word search option

                Screencast tutorials developed by Rene D. Caputo
Brought to you by the Duke University Thompson Writing Program