NHD Contest Categories
There are nine categories in each division:
• paper (individual only) • individual exhibit
• group exhibit • individual performance
• group performance • individual documentary
• group documentary • individual web site
• group web site
Each category in each division is judged separately. Groups may include two to five students. Group participants do not have to be in the same grade to compete together, but they must be in the same division. For additional information, see the NHD Rulebook, Judging Instructions, and Judge's Evaluation Forms.
The following category descriptions are copied from the current NHD Rulebook (2021 edition).
A paper is the traditional form of presenting historical research. Various types of creative writing (for example, fictional diaries, poems, etc.) are permitted, but must conform to all general and category rules. Your paper should be grammatically correct and well written. Beginning in the 2021 contest year, a process paper must be included with paper submissions.
An exhibit is a visual representation of your research and interpretation of your topic’s significance in history, much like a small museum exhibit. 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. Beware of using excessive quotes to get around the word limit, as it takes away from you analysis and interpretation.
A performance is a dramatic portrayal of your topic’s significance in history and must be original in 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, much as professional documentarians do. The documentary category will help you develop skills in using photographs, film, video, audiotapes, computers, and graphic presentations. Your presentation should include primary materials and also must be an original production. To produce a documentary you must have access to equipment and be able to operate it.
Web Site Category
The web site category is the most interactive of all NHD categories. Therefore, a web site should reflect your ability to use web site design software and computer technology to communicate the topic’s significance in history. Your historical web site should be a collection of web pages, interconnected by hyperlinks, that presents primary and secondary sources, interactive multimedia, and historical analysis. It should incorporate textual and non-textual (photographs, maps, music, etc.) descriptions, interpretations, and sources to engage and inform viewers. Beware of using excessive quotes to get around the word limit, as it takes away from you analysis and interpretation. You also need to watch out for plagiarism.
To construct a web site project, students must use the NHDWebCentral to build their websites.
Once on there, students (or teachers) must create an account for EACH entry to be entered into competition and establish a username and password for that account. Students and teachers should provide an email address when setting up the account, as that is the only way a password can be recovered should the student forget it.
For group entries, only a single account to be created. All students working on that particular entry will use the same login to access their site. Please note that when working on the website together, students should work on different areas of the site rather than the same page at the same time. Working on the same page at the same time could result in lost information for one or multiple students.
Site URL and 8-digit ID: When website entry accounts are set up at the NHDWebCentral, a unique URL is assigned to each website. The URL will be formatted as such: http://17427217.nhd. The bold part of the URL is the unique 8-digit ID for the website, and should be noted by students and teachers because they will need this information when registering for the NHD contests. The website entries MUST be published before the registration deadline of the contest. 2020 updated NHD Web Central guide