Important Rules to Know

As students begin to research and create their projects for History Day there are many NHD® rules that one MUST be kept in mind.

Before you even start your project you should carefully read the National History Day® Rule Book. This booklet will answer most of your questions as you work on your entry. This booklet contains the rules of the competition, including information about topics, sources, and more.

History Day rules are determined by the National History Day® office, ensuring that each state follows the same guidelines.

National History Day® Rule Book (PDF)

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. The annotations for each source must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic. You should also use the annotation to explain why you categorized a particular source as primary or secondary. Sources of visual materials and oral interviews, if used, must also be included.

List only those sources that you used to develop your entry. An annotation normally should be only 1-3 sentences long.

Source (example):

Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. 1st ed. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962.

Annotation (example):

Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This first-hand account was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved.

Process Paper

A 500-word Process Paper is required for each project with the exception of the Historical Paper category. The Process Paper describes how the student selected the topic, conducted their research, selected their category and created their project, and how the project relates to the NHD® theme.

The Subjective Nature of Judging

Remember: Judges must evaluate certain aspects of your entry that are objective (e.g., were primary sources used; is the written material grammatically correct and accurately spelled). But judges also must evaluate interpretive aspects of your entry that are qualitative in nature (e.g., analysis and conclusions about the historical data). Historians aften reach different opinions about the significance of the same data. It is therefore crucial for you to base your interpretations and conclusions on solid research. Judges