An Easy and Unique Research Tool
Google N-Gram is a search engine that allows users to explore words or phrases that appear in books ranging from 1800-2019. Users have the option to change the language and dates they are searching within. Results are shown on a graph, providing users with a visualization of the frequency a word or phrase has been used over time. The case sensitivity can be altered as well as the measurement of the frequency by percentage.
Searching “Malcolm X,” from 1950-2019 in American English gives us the following results. This search shows that in American English literature, Malcolm X was at peak popularity in 1970, 1995, and 2012.
Users can also combine words and phrases to get advanced results. For example, searching “Malcolm X, Black Power,” gives us the following results showing the trends of both subjects in comparison to one another.
Both subjects follow a similar trend initially, however, “Malcolm X” spikes in the early 1990’s and goes back down in the late 2010’s, while “Black Power” steadily increases. After being presented with the graph, users can scroll down and choose from a selection of books organized by groups of dates.
Clicking on “1971-2006” for Malcolm X provides us with an abundance of books on Malcolm X published during that time period. Google N-Gram is a great resource for anyone researching a topic (or topics) who wants to know when that topic(s) was the most popular. Whether you are a seasoned researcher, or just getting started, Google N-Grams provides users with an easy and unique option.