Project Categories

NHD gives students the option to present their research in one of five, creative ways: a paper, website, documentary, exhibit, or performance. As you research, think about what category fits your project best and what category appeals to you most.

What do I need to know to get started?

Get Started on your Project

In this website you will explore:

  • Choose  Your Topic
  • Start Your Research
  • Select a Contest Category
  • Write Your Process Paper and Annotated Bibliography
  • Project Examples 
  • Create an Entry
From the NHD contest rule book:

A paper is the traditional form of presenting historical research. Various types of creative writing (e.g., fictional diaries, poems, etc.) are permitted but must conform to all general and category rules. Your paper should be grammatically correct and well written.

An exhibit is a visual representation of your research and interpretation of your topic’s significance in history. The analysis and interpretation of your topic must be clear and evident to the viewer. Labels and captions should be used creatively with visual images and objects to enhance the message of your exhibit.

A performance is a dramatic portrayal of your topic’s significance in history and must be an original production. It should be scripted based on research of your chosen topic and should have dramatic appeal, but not at the expense of historical information.

A documentary should reflect your ability to use audiovisual equipment to communicate your topic’s significance. The documentary category will help you develop skills in using photographs, film, video, audio, computers, and graphic presentations. Your presentation should include primary source materials and also must be an original production. To produce a documentary, you must have access to equipment and be able to operate it.

The website category is the most interactive of all NHD categories. A website should reflect your ability to use website design software and computer technology to communicate your topic’s significance in history. Your historical website should be a collection of web pages, interconnected by hyperlinks, that presents both primary and secondary sources and your historical analysis. To engage and inform viewers, your website should incorporate interactive multimedia, text, non-textual descriptions (e.g., photographs, maps, music, etc.), and interpretations of sources. To construct a website, you must have access to the Internet and be able to operate appropriate software and equipment. Instructions on how to use NHD's website platform, WebCentral, can be found here.