Stuck? Use Google Trends For Term Paper Ideas!


The fall semester is over for most students, giving everyone a much needed break after 15 or more weeks of intensive study, research, and writing. I’m sure that you’ll use this time away from college to unwind and catch up with family members and friends while also enjoying the holiday season. Come mid-January light bulb
most Spring semesters are under way, starting the whole studying process over again.

One area of dread for some students is writing, particularly something as in depth as a term paper. Not just the writing part, but choosing the subject matter which can be a real drag if you don’t know what to write about.

Granted, if your professor gives you a list of topics to choose from, then the hard work is done. But, what if you have a Contemporary Issues class where the professor wants you to cover something in today’s news? That’s easy, you’ll write about Barack Obama. Right…as if your professor will allow twenty students to write on the same subject! Not a chance.

Instead, to find cutting edge news particularly trendy stuff, you can use Google Trends to serve you up a daily list of the Top 100 searches.

Google Trends is a tool that takes a daily look at Google web searches to calculate the number of searches completed for a term entered, compared to the total number of searches done on Google over time. Google Trends then develops a search-volume graph with the search results that plots that particular trend.

For example, one of the terms that came up a lot on December 18, 2008, was for “Las Vegas Snow.” As you might guess, tens of thousands of web users were curious about a rare Vegas phenomenon — accumulating snow. For the day, it ranked as the 30th most search phrase — not a topic you might be able to write about, but one that is certainly trendy. By the time that you’ve read this, likely the snow has melted.

So what’s my point? Your writing ideas can often be found online and all in one place, thanks to Google Trends. Sure, you’ll have to discard the usual “Paris Hilton navel” as well as the trip planner and weather results, but a diamond in the rough could be sitting right before your face, just the right idea you can use for your next paper.


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Categories: Academics