Your entry must be clearly related to the annual theme and explain your topic’s significance in history.
You may participate in the research, preparation, and presentation of only one entry each year.
NOTE: Do not share research with other students unless you are members of the same group and creating one entry together. It is not acceptable to have a common pool of research from which several entries are created.
A paper, individual exhibit, individual performance, individual web site or individual documentary must be the work of only one student. A group exhibit, group performance, group web site or group documentary must be the work of 2 to 5 students. All students in a group entry must be involved in the research and interpretation of the group’s topic.
Entries submitted for competition must be researched and developed during the current contest year that begins following the national contest each June. Revising or reusing an entry from a previous year—whether your own or another student’s—is unacceptable and will result in disqualification.
You are responsible for the research, design, and creation of your entry. You may receive help and advice from teachers and parents on the mechanical aspects of creating your entry:
1. You may have help typing your paper and other written materials.
2. You may seek guidance from your teachers as you research and analyze your material, but your conclusions must be your own.
3. You may have photographs and slides commercially developed.
4. You may have reasonable help cutting out your exhibit backboard or performanceprops (e.g., a parent uses a cutting tool to cut the board that you designed).
NOTE: Objects created by others specifically for use in your entry violate this rule. For example, a parent takes photographs or an artist draws the backdrop for your exhibit or performance. You may receive reasonable help in carrying and placing props and exhibits.
You are responsible for setting up your own exhibits, equipment, or props at the contest. You may have reasonable help carrying them, but set-up must be completed by you (and your group members if applicable) alone.
You are responsible for supplying all props and equipment at each level of competition. All entries should be constructed keeping transportation, set-up time, size and weight in mind (e.g., foam core v. solid oak for an exhibit or folding table v. antique desk for a performance). If needed, students must provide their own computers and software. Pianos and Internet access are not provided. Bring extension cords if needed. Be prepared! Be sure to check with the contest coordinators at each level of the competition about the availability of equipment at each contest level.
Documentary contestants at the Colorado state competition : We provide smart classrooms with VCR and DVD players, as well as the equipment to project an image from a computer. We will also provide some laptop computers from which to run a DVD, in case your project does not run from our standard DVD players. We suggest that, if possible, you bring your own laptop or other computer to run your project. Macintosh users MUST bring your own adapter to connect your laptop to the VGA cable.
Please bring a backup copy of your documentary project, in case you encounter technical difficulties with the original. We are not able to provide the equipment to make last-minute edits to a documentary.
Note: We will have a "first-aid" station for entries (not for people) at the Colorado state contest, with supplies to make emergency repairs to exhibits, props, costumes, etc.
You should be prepared to answer judges’ questions about the content and development of your entry, but you may not give a formal, prepared introduction, narration, or conclusion. Let the judges’ questions guide the interview. Ultimately, your entry should be able to stand on its own without any additional comments from you.
You should be prepared to explain the design, research, and creation of your entry if questioned by the judges. Judges need to know that your entry is the result of your own work.
You are not permitted to wear costumes that are related to the focus of your entry during judging, except in the performance category.
Items potentially dangerous in any way—such as weapons, firearms, animals, organisms, plants, etc.—are strictly prohibited. Such items will be confiscated by security personnel or contest officials. Replicas of such items that are obviously not real are permissible. Please contact your teacher and contest coordinator to confirm guidelines before bringing the replica to a contest.
Your entry must have a title that is clearly visible on all written materials.
Entries in all categories except historical papers must include three copies of the following written material in the following order:
1. A title page as described in Rule 13.
2. A process paper as described in Rule 14 (process papers are not part of historical paper entries)
3. An annotated bibliography as described in Rule 15. These materials must be typed or neatly printed on plain white paper and stapled together in the top left corner. Do not enclose them in a cover or binder.
A title page is required as the first page of written material in every category. Your title page must include only the following information:
- Title of Entry
- Student Name(s)
- Category (e.g. Individual/Group, Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, Web site)
NOTE: The title page must not include any other information (pictures, graphics, borders, school name, or grade) except for that described in this rule.
A process paper is a description of no more than 500 words explaining how you conducted your research and created and developed your entry. All categories except historical paper must include a process paper with their entry.The process paper should include the following four sections:
1. Explain how you chose your topic
2. Explain how you conducted your research
3. Explain how you selected your presentation category and created your project
4. Explain how your project relates to the NHD theme
Go to www.nhd.org and in the Contest section click on Creating a Process Paper to view sample process papers.
An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. It should contain all sources that provided usable information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. You will look at many more sources than you actually use. You should list only those sources that contributed to the development of your entry. You must also include the sources of visual materials and oral interviews. The annotations for each source must explain how you used the source and how it helped you understand your topic. When you provide an annotation of a web site, you should include a description of who sponsors the site.
Here is an example of a bibliographic entry and annotation:
Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962.
Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This first hand account was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved.
NOTE: Oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires, and other primary or secondary materials used as sources for your entry should be cited in your bibliography but not included as attachments to your bibliography.
You are required to separate your bibliography into primary and secondary sources.
NOTE: Some sources may be considered as either primary or secondary. Use your annotations to explain your reasoning for classifying any sources that are not clearly primary or secondary. Listing a source under both primary and secondary is inappropriate.
Style for citations and bibliographic references must follow the principles in one of the following style guides:
- (1) Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
- (2) Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th Edition.
Regardless of which manual you use, the style must be consistent throughout the paper.
You must acknowledge all sources used in your entry in your annotated bibliography . Failure to credit sources is plagiarism and will result in disqualification.