National Contest Judges’ Information
The 2018 National History Day Contest will be held June 10-14, 2018 at the University of Maryland at College Park. National History Day (NHD) is looking for historians, educators, and others to judge student projects at this year’s contest. Judging will take place on Monday, June 11 for the Junior Division (grades 6-8) and Tuesday, June 12 for the Senior Division (grades 9-12).
Students in 6th through 12th grades conduct extensive research on topics related to an annual theme and present their findings in historical papers, exhibits, documentaries, performances, and websites.
Evaluation and discussion with your fellow judges will be an all-day commitment from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In return for your time and effort, we offer free parking and lunch, endless gratitude, and a positive perspective on our nation’s youth.
If you are confirmed as a National Contest judge, you will receive detailed instructions and materials to help you prepare for your busy days. The morning begins with a judging orientation and meeting your fellow judges.
Entries are scheduled at specific time intervals, depending on which category you are judging. There will be a lunch break midday. You will complete evaluations for each entry and submit other paperwork.
After the last entry in your judging group has finished, you and your judging teammates will discuss comments and ratings, and come to a conclusion about the final overall rankings for the entries in your group.*
At the end of the day you will be tired, but refreshed with the spirit of youth who value history and are eager for your feedback about their year-long projects.
*The process described here varies for the website and paper categories. If you are interested in these categories, the process will be explained to you.
NHD relies on consensus judging. That means that instead of giving entries numeric scores, you will be ranking them. If you are confirmed as a judge, you will be assigned to a team of 3 judges, one of whom will be designated as the captain. It is important that everyone on your team agrees on the overall rankings of the entries you judge.
Historical Quality (60%)
- Historical accuracy
- Historical context
- Analysis and interpretation
- Use of available primary sources
- Wide research
- Balanced research
Relation to Theme (20%)
- Clearly relates to theme
- Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions
Clarity of Presentation (20%)
- Presentation, written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized and articulate
- Entry is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic
Below are the Judging Instructions for each category, which confirmed judges will receive with their assignments: