Online Assignment #5: Google Ngrams


Use Google Ngrams ( to graph two or three related terms from the nineteenth century. Then research the terms and their history to find potential explanations for the rises and falls of the terms’ frequencies and write a 300-word blog post about what you’ve learned.


10/8 by 8am


  1. Choose two or three words you’d like to compare over the 19th century
  2. Use to look up the two or three words to make sure they’re historically appropriate (don’t use “rock, metal, and pop” in the 19th century).
  3. Think carefully about your search terms: do you need two or three words instead of just one (“classical music” instead of “classical”)? What about capitalization (“Romantic” or “romantic”)?
  4. Read these instructions on advanced searching in Ngrams:
  5. Enter your search terms into ngrams, adjust the date settings from 1800-1900, change any other settings you want, and take a screenshot of your graph to include in your blog post
  6. Do some research on Google, Google Books, or BranchCollective ( about your words and their history. Can you explain the rises and falls?
  7. Write a 300-word blog post about what the graph and your research tell you about your words over time. Include information about the settings you selected and what difference those settings make.
  8. To cite the information from your research and avoid plagiarizing, consult pages 16-17 from Standards and Styles (

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