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Creating an Entry

Now that you understand the rules and the theme for National History Day, and have chosen your historical topic, it is time to choose how you want to present your work. But what are the categories? And how are they different? Here is a helpful "quick look" at each category and how to begin. For more details, check out the Making History Series books, available at the NHD SHOP.


Before getting started, be sure to check out the NHD Rule Book!

You may also find the Category Rule Verification Sheets helpful. These check-off sheets will guide you as you review your entry to make sure you have followed NHD rules for your chosen category.

The NHD Evaluation Forms will also help you review your entry.

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. You must conclude your description with an explanation of the relationship of your topic to the contest theme.

A title page is required as the first page of written material in every category. Your title page must include only the title of your entry, your name(s) and the contest division and category in which you are entered. Do not include your age, grade or school name.

The first section should explain how you chose your topic.
The second section should explain how you conducted your research.
The third section should explain how you selected your presentation category and created your project.
The fourth section should explain how your project relates to the NHD theme.

Click here for tips on annotated bibliographies

Sample process papers:

Martin Luther and the Reformation
Dr. Spock: Turning the Road in Parenting
Michigan: A State Divided No More

Students and NHD

See what students have to say about their experiences with National History Day.