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National History Day  

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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NHD 2014 Resources

2014 Theme: Rights and Responsibilities in History

Every year National History Day frames students' research within a historical theme.  The theme is chosen for the broad application to world, national or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past.

Theme Sheet

The theme sheet provides not only a description of theme but oodles of examples and ideas for choosing and narrowing a topic.

Sample Topics

A list of possible topics in addition to those mentioned in the theme sheet.

Process Paper

A process paper is a description of no more than 500 words explaining how you conducted your research and created and developed your entry

How to Create an Historical Exhibit

Historical exhibition  presents information about an event, person, place, or idea from the past by  physically displaying documents, images, or objects. 

National History Day Rule Book




National History Day (NHD) Information

National History Day is an academic program in a competitive format. Students excel not by winning, but by mastering knowledge about an historic event, improving their research skills, and learning how to successfully convey their knowledge to others.


Primary/Secondary Sources

Primary Sources

A primary source is a piece of information  about a historical event or period in which the creator of the source was an  actual participant in or a contemporary of a historical moment.

Examples of  primary sources include documents, artifacts, historic sites, songs, or other written and tangible items created during the historical period you are studying.

Secondary Sources

A secondary source is a source that was not  created first-hand by someone who participated in the historical era. Secondary  sources are usually created by historians, but based on the historian's reading  of primary sources. Secondary sources are usually written decades, if not  centuries, after the event occurred by people who did not live through or  participate in the event or issue.

Content © 2013  National History Day


Tips for Success!

  1. Research takes time. The better your research, the easier writing the paper will be. So, use your time wisely.

  2. Use the tools given to you in this guide. It will save you time and energy.

  3. Ask questions.

  4. Be open minded. You will need to do a lot of thinking. The answers will not be jumping out at you.

  5. Stay positive. Your teachers and library staff are here to help you succeed. You can do this!


Eight Steps of Historical Research

Eight Steps of Historical Research

  • Research is a natural part of everyday life, but there are effective ways to conduct research.
  • Although these steps are presented sequentially, the actural process is not so tidy. You may be working on several steps at once or may go back and froth among the steps.
  • A useful model for thinking about research is this: LEARN, THINK, SHARE. In other words - you will learn about a topic; think about that topic; and share what you have learned.



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