The NHD website has a wonderful page that can link you to a variety of online
primary source collections in US History. If you have chosen a US History
topic spend some time here!! The National Archives has built a page dedicated to History Day
Resources. Visit it here!
The National Archives and Record Administration in Atlanta has prepared
a suggested topics list for the 2015 theme: 'Leadership and Legacy in History'. Have a look here!
The Georgia Historical Society has prepared a great guide to finding Primary Sources.
Take a look at: 'Where to Find Primary Sources'
Leadership and Legacy: FDR - The legacy of President Franklin
D. Roosevelt is a natural 'fit' for this year's theme. The good folk at Lewis
Library have prepared a Library Guide dedicated to FDR. Given the ties between
FDR and Georgia (especially West Georgia) its definitely worth a look. Find
Also, great FDR information is available at the
Roosevelt President Library. Note, in particular, the online database FRANKLIN
Sources in Georgia History.
Regional and local topics can be very powerful and successful NHD projects. You can explore the possibilities in Georgia by visiting the following:
A gateway to Georgia's history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts,
photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources. The collection currently totals over a million documents. You can
visit the library here.
Our Georgia resources also include -
The University of Florida Digital Collections - The George Smathers Library hosts
a digitized collection consisting of over 8 million pages. The collections
include a wide variety of material from literature and newspapers to oral history's
by veterans. Have a look here!
An important tool used by researchers is oral history. While documents of state and even newspapers tend to focus
on the policy makers and decision takers. Oral history allows those most
impacted by those decisions to be heard. Their stories can be powerful tools
in your NHD 'kit.'
An excellent guide to oral history has been prepared by the Minnesota Historical
Society and can be found here.
Contacting the Expert
The Chicago History Education center has a page dedicated to contacting the expert
you wish to interview about your topic. Have a look here.
Check out these websites:
Creating an Entry
The heart and soul of any history day project is the thesis statement. It
is the fundamental point you wish to make. Building them requires time and effort.
When building one remember the general guidelines -
Keep it short. Thesis statements should hover between 40-60 words. Too short,
and there's not enough information to explain the argument. Too long, and too many
details have been included. Plus, if the students are creating an exhibit, and
they only have 500 student-composed words to use, it doesn't make sense to use
up 100 of those words on just the thesis.
Include all five W's. The thesis is the first thing the viewer reads, so
we should know immediately the who-what-where-when, and also the why-is-this-important.
Include the theme words. Judges and teachers need to know how the topic relates
to the theme, especially if the topic is obscure, extremely narrow, or isn't immediately
clear in its connection to the theme words.
Leave facts out, put arguments in. We don't need to see every detail of the
topic in the thesis. Leave those for the project itself. What we need to see in
the thesis is the student's argument, or the point he/she is trying to make.
Write, revise, research, revise. Students should not use the first draft
of their thesis statement, but instead should revise based on feedback, go back
to their research or conduct new research to make sure the thesis is accurate,
and then revise once more. (http://education.mnhs.org/historyday/news/blog/short-sweet-and-point-thesis-statements)
The good folks at Minnesota National History Day also produced a really good video
on the importance of the thesis statement. Have a look here!
The staff of Lewis Library developed a Library Guide for LaGrange College Cornerstone
students that introduces you to the basics of conducting research, proper citation
and even avoiding plagiarism. You might find this useful at various points
in the building process. Have a look here.
There are five categories you can choose from and information about each can be
Website guide (Courtesy NHD Texas and NHD Washington) - Powerpoint presentation (loaded
as a pdf) that introduces and reviews the Website category.
Documentary - The guide to Documentary building can be found
here. Notice the page includes the 2009 junior individual documentary winner.
Exhibits - The NHD Exhibit guide can be found here. Notice it includes a national winner sample.
Performance - The NHD Historical Performance guide can be found here. Here's an example of an NHD winner from 2009.
Historical Paper - The NHD Paper guide can be found here. It includes a link to a 2009 National winning paper.
The Annotated Bibliography The annotated bibliography is critical to every NHD
project. It is the story of your research. Through it you tell your
reader (teacher, parents and judges) the story behind your exhibit, website, documentary,
paper or performance. It must be organized, detailed, correctly formatted
and complete. Each entry must have an annotation that explains the source's
thesis, place in the topic's scholarship and role it played in your work. It
can be daunting and intimidating! Fear not intrepid NHDer for the Lewis Library
has come to your rescue!!!! Joe Marciniak and Dr. Arthur Robinson have prepared
a LibGuide on the Annotated Bibliography. Check it out here!