Checklists / To-Do

National History Day Checklist – in basically this order:

  1. 1.  Talk about participating in National History Day (NHD) with your parents


  1. 2.  Decide to work on your own / in a group


  1. 3.  Scan through the NHD Rulebook


  1. 4.  Figure out your category: exhibit, website, presentation, and performances can either be solo or group; historical papers are solo only


  1. 5.  Start brainstorming historical ideas, concepts, events, and people that interest you


  1. 6.  Choose a topic that best connects to the theme for this year: Debate + Diplomacy


  1. 7.  Narrow down your ideas. Small ideas > big ideas

·    For example, it’s better to focus on Abraham Lincoln’s treatment of his Civil War generals than it is to focus on the whole Civil War

·    It's also better to focus on The Culper Ring (the group of spies that helped Washington during the American Revolution) just spies


  1. 8.  Revisit your category options – make sure whatever you choose (historical paper, website, exhibit, performance, or documentary) best complements your topic


  1. 9.  Write your THESIS – what are you trying to prove with your topic?


  1. 10.  Start researching sources – make sure to have at LEAST 33% books; entries with tons of websites are usually frowned upon 

·        Click here for NHD's student resources

·        Collect primary sources – the words of the people who lived in that time are THE most important thing to your project

·        Collect secondary sources – words of other historians are crucial

·        Give credit to all your sources – not doing so is PLAGIARISM

·        Make sure you save all of your sources so that you can add them to your annotated bibliography


  1. 11.  Begin assembling your annotated bibliography

·        Separate your bib into 2 categories: primary and secondary

·        Projects could have anywhere from 10-40+ sources


  1. 12.  Look at past winners' projects in your category (click on each category and then scroll to the bottom to see some winning entries)


  1. 13. Write/design an outline for your project


  1. 14.  Begin constructing your project


  1. 15.  Strengthen your THESIS


  1. 16.  Complete your process paper (all groups except the historical paper)


  1. 17.  Complete your annotated bibliography


  1. 18.  Strengthen THESIS one last time


  1. 19.  Complete your project for Good Hope / Eagle View competition


  1. 20.  Attend Good Hope / Eagle View competition 


  1. 21.  Be prepared to answer judges’ questions


  1. 22.  Strengthen your project, bibliography, and paper for Regionals

Related Files

NHD Checklists (PDF -250 KB)
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