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How to Create Entries for National History Day
Understand the Rules and Theme
Before you begin work on an entry for competition, you, your teacher, and your parents should carefully read the contest rules and know what the requirements are for all categories and for each individual category.
National History Day Contest Rule Book (pdf file, 987kb)
Accepted Styles for Citations and Bibliographies (pdf file, 21 kb)
The themes are chosen to be broad enough to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local history to world history, and from ancient time to the recent past. To understand the historical importance of your topic you need to ask questions about time, place and context; cause and effect; change over time; and impact and significance. You must consider not only when and where events happened, but also why they occurred and what factors contributed to their development.
2013 Theme Sheet (pdf, 364kb)
2013 Theme Book (pdf, 7.31mb)
2013 Sample Topics (pdf, 906kb)
Choose a Topic
Think about a time in history or individuals or events that are interesting to you. Start a list. Read books, newspapers or other sources of information and add to your list. Talk with relatives, neighbors, or people you know who have lived through a particular time in history that interests you and add more ideas. Keep thinking, reading and talking to people until you have many ideas that are interesting. Now go back through the list and circle the ideas that connect with the theme. From the ideas that you circled, select one to begin your research. Keep your list because you might need it again.
Visit the NHD website for more information.
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