Project Information

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

Before they begin their projects they should carefully read the National History Day® Rule Book. This booklet will answer most  questions about each category. 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.

Exhibit Category

History Day exhibits are presented as mini-museum exhibits.  Students use images, artifacts, graphics, and their own writing to deliver information to the judges.  Exhibits are limited to 500 student-composed words, but there is no limit on quotes from other sources.  For example, if they use an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, those words don’t count towards the limit.  There are also size limits for the exhibit boards.  Projects may be no taller than 6 feet, no wider than 40 inches, and no deeper than 30 inches.

Documentary Category

For those students who love technology, making a documentary might be the right choice.  History Day documentaries are videos that students create using any number of technologies.  Various computer programs will allow students to upload film footage and images, and add a music track and an audio track fo rhte student-written script.  Documentaries are limited to 10 minutes in length, must be in DVD format, and all equipment must be student-run.

If possible, please bring an extra DVD-R copy of your documentary.  Please hand this copy to the judges after your presentation.  This will allow the judges to further review the documentaries during the judging process.

Performance Category

Students with dramatic flair and an interest in public speaking might choose to do a performance.  History Day performances are short plays researched, scripted, and acted by the students.  These are live performances, not filmed in advance.  Any props, backdrops, and media devices must be set up and run by the studnets.

Research Paper Category

The research paper category is an option for students who enjoy writing.  Research papers are to be no less than 1,500 words and no more than 2,500 words.  The paper category is also the only category in which students must work individually; there are no group papers!

Website Category

Students are required to use the National History Day® Website Editor when creating their entry.  Websites are limited to 1,200 student-composed words.

If you are having difficulties with your website, or are unsure if you’ve created it in the correct format, please visit the National History Day® Website Editor Issues page for help.