When doing your History Day project, make sure that you cover 3 important areas:
- Historical Quality
- Clarity of Presentation
- Adherence to Theme
Ask yourself the following questions of your topic and your presentation. (These are the same questions judges will be asking when they review your entry.)
The most important aspect of an entry is its historical quality, which determines 60% of the total evaluation. The judge's evaluation should rest on the student's success in conducting historical research, interpreting that research, and then drawing conclusions. A superior ranking reflects positive responses to the following questions:
- Is the entry historically accurate?
- Does the entry provide analysis and interpretation of the historical data rather than just a description?
- Does the entry demonstrate an understanding of the historical context?
- Does the annotated bibliography demonstrate wide research?
- Does the annotated bibliography demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?
- Does the entry demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?
- Does the entry demonstrate the use of available primary sources?
Relation to Theme
An entry must clearly explain the relation of the topic to the annual History Day theme. This section is worth 20% of the total evaluation. The topic should be placed in historical context, and the entry must demonstrate the student's understanding of the significance of the topics in history. The relationship of the entry's topic to the yearly theme should be explicit and should be integrated into the entry itself.
- How does the topic relate to the theme?
- Why is the topic important?
- How is the topic significant in history and in relation to the NHD theme?
- How did the topic influence history?
- How did the events and atmosphere (social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of the time period) influence the topic in history?
Clarity of Presentation
Although historical quality is most important, an entry must be presented in an effective manner. This section is worth 20% of the total evaluation. Keep in mind the following questions:
- Is the entry original, creative and imaginative in subject and presentation?
- Is the written material clear, grammatically correct, and correctly spelled?
- Is the entry well-organized?
- In a performance, does the student display stage presence?
- Is the visual material presented clearly?
Consult the National History Day rule book for additional information.