This book is about investigating the way people use language in speech and writing. It introduces the corpus-based approach to linguistics, based on analysis of large databases of real language examples stored on computer. Each chapter focuses on a different area of linguistics, including lexicography, grammar, discourse, register variation, language acquisition, and historical linguistics. Example analyses are presented in each chapter to provide concrete descriptions of the research methods and advantages of corpus-based techniques. Ten methodology boxes provide clear and concise explanations of the issues in doing corpus-based research and reading corpus-based studies and there is a useful appendix of resources for corpus-based investigation. This lucid and comprehensive introduction to the subject will be welcomed by a broad range of readers, from undergraduate students to professional researchers.