National History Day Rulebook
Above is a link to the National History Day Rulebook. The Texas History Day contest is a recognized state affiliate of the National History Day contest and upholds the rules of the National History Day rulebook.
What is Texas History Day?
Each year thousands of students, encouraged by teachers and parents statewide, participate in the National History Day program in Texas. Texas History Day, an affiliate of NHD and is a highly regarded academic program for 6th through 12th grade students. Each year more than 65,000 Texas students join more than 500,000 students across the country for National History Day!
Texas History Day provides a framework for successful student projects. Each student bases their project on the same annual theme and rule book. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research at libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and more. Projects are not limited to any particular time period or geographic area. After analyzing and interpreting their source material, create a plan to present their findings to the peers and teachers before moving on to regional, state, and possibly national contests. Students can create and present original research papers, exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries.
The student projects may be entered into competitions in the spring at one of our regional contests across Texas. Winners from each regional competition will advance to the state contest in Austin. Students who place first or second at our state contest advance to the National Contest held each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.
For more info, visit: TSHA: Texas History Day
The Thirty-Ninth Annual Texas History Day will be held in Austin on April 27, 2019. Activities will take place at the Bullock Texas State History Museum and at the adjacent buildings on The University of Texas at Austin campus.
Please check back to this registration site as Texas History Day approaches for a finalized schedule of events.
Student projects will be judged based on the following criteria:
- Historical Quality - 60%
- Relation to Theme - 20%
- Clarity of Presentation - 20%
Below are the Judging Instructions for each category, which confirmed judges will receive with their assignments:
Documentary | Exhibit | Paper | Performance | Website
How is an Entry to Texas History Day Evaluated?
Regardless of which category a student enters, the following principles of evaluation will be used in the judging of National History Day entries.
The most important aspect of an entry is its historical quality, which determines 60 percent of the total evaluation. The judges' evaluation will rest on the students' success at conducting historical research, interpreting their research, and drawing conclusions. A superior rating generally reflects positive responses to the following questions:
- Is the entry historically accurate?
- Does the entry provide analysis and interpretation of the historical data in addition to an accurate description? The entry should interpret facts, not simply recount them.
- Does the entry demonstrate an understanding of the historical context–the intellectual, physical, social, and cultural setting?
- Does the entry reflect historical perspective–the causes and consequences of an event, for example, or the relationship of a local topic to larger events?
- Does the annotated bibliography demonstrate solid research?
- Does the entry demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?
- Does the entry use a variety of viewpoints (e.g., those who suffered as well as those who benefited, males, females, individuals from different racial or ethnic socioeconomic groups, as appropriate to the topic)?
- Does the entry demonstrate the use of available primary sources and secondary sources?
Clarity of Presentation
Although historical quality of an entry is the most important facet, entries must be presented in an effective manner. Thus, clarity of presentation is worth 20 percent of the total evaluation. Do not be carried away by glitz; simpler is often–but not always–better. The following questions will be considered by judges when looking at clarity of presentation:
- Is the entry original, creative, well organized, and imaginative in subject and presentation?
- Is the entry effective in communicating the significance of the topic?
- Is the written material clear, grammatical, and correctly spelled?
- In exhibits, are the title, sectional divisions, and main points easy to discern?
- Are photographs and images appropriate in terms of content and location?
- Is the overall project pleasing to the eye?
- In a documentary or performance, is the script clear?
- In a performance, do the students display stage presence?
- Is the visual material clear and appropriate for the type of entry?
- Do the students display adequate familiarity with their equipment?
Adherence to Theme
The entry must clearly explain the relation of the topic to the annual National History Day theme. This section is worth 20 percent of the total evaluation. The topic should be placed in historical context, and the entry must demonstrate the student's understanding of the significance of the topic in history. The entry should not confuse fame with significance. In other words, the entry should answer the questions "So what? Why was this important?" It should not be just descriptive. The relationship of the entry's topic to the yearly theme should be explicit and should be integrated into the entry itself.