This page is full of resources to guide students through the National History Day process!
LEARN ABOUT NHD
LEARN ABOUT THE THEME
Learn about this year’s theme by watching the theme video and reading the narrative below:
Every NHD topic should connect to the theme in a meaningful way. The theme is intentionally broad so that you can explore topics from local, national, and world history topics from any historical time period.
SELECT YOUR TOPIC
Selecting a topic is your first and perhaps most significant step in the NHD process. You want to choose a topic that connects well to the annual theme, will hold your interest over time, has sufficient sources to research, and is historically significant.
How do I start to pick a topic?
Use the Topic narrowing funnel worksheet to help you select a topic based on your interests.Are you having a hard time thinking of a topic?
This Absent narratives worksheet can help your discover unique topics.
Check out this list of Idaho topics
Help! I have too many topic ideas!
Do some preliminary research for 3 topics to help you figure out which topic is right for you
Do you have a good topic?
I wonder statement prompts can help you think about your topic and evaluate if your topic will hold your interest.This Good topic video can help you evaluate if your topic will lead to a strong project: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IxdmKkc4a5eLEHawzUE51xfrzec1s_Yq/view
RESEARCH YOUR TOPIC
At its heart, NHD is a research journey. For most students, this will be the most in-depth, independent research project you have ever undertaken. Of all the aspects of the NHD process, conducting quality research will take you the most time.
It is really important to stay organized as you begin your research.
- Cornell notes are a great way to keep your research notes organized. Watch this video and click here for a google doc template
Step 1: Build your background knowledge and gather information about your topic. Find answers to the who, what, when, where and why questions around your topic. Look at secondary sources like books by historians, magazines, newspapers, biographies, and documentaries.
- Kid friendly search engines that block ads and filter inappropriate content can make researching easier and more enjoyable for younger students. Try:
Step 2: Understand and analyze primary sources. Historians rely on primary sources to explore their topic and to share the argument they are making. IN NHD, you will do the same thing. You will use primary sources to learn how people in your time period experienced historical events, consider different perspectives on the same events or issues, think independently and draw your own conclusions , and provide evidence for your thesis.
- Find out what types of primary sources exist and where to find them
- Find primary sources by using advanced search techniques like Google Powersearching
- Browse the online research categorical for help finding websites with primary sources
Primary Source Kits are a great way to get started exploring primary sources. Check out these kits from the Idaho State Historical Society:
- The Trial of the Century
- Tribal boarding schools
- Inquiry Kits from Thinkport.org are available for many historical topics.
ANALYZE YOUR SOURCES
EVALUATE YOUR EVIDENCE
Once you’ve identified and analyzed your sources, it’s time to evaluate the evidence you’ve collected.
Use this E.A.R. to get started evaluating your evidence.
WRITE YOUR THESIS STATEMENT
CREATE YOUR PROJECT
The following guides will help you with the creation of your project.
WRITE YOUR ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY/PROCESS PAPER
Creating an annotated bibliography lets your reader know what sources you used in the creation of your project. The annotation informs the reader how you used your sources and why they were valuable to understanding your topic.
Look at this Example Bibliography.
Or see Bibliographies Made Easy.
Your process paper gives judges insight into your research process.
PARTICIPATE IN A CONTEST
Contests are what you’ve been working towards! Make sure you understand the rules and evaluation process beforehand.
Evaluation sheet for Papers.
Evaluation sheet for Websites.
Evaluation sheet for Exhibits.
Evaluation sheet for Documentary.
Evaluation sheet for Performance.