Important Dates & Times

Friday March 05, 2021 at 12:00 AM
Thursday April 01, 2021 at 11:01 PM
Wednesday April 07, 2021 at 11:01 PM
Friday April 09, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Friday April 23, 2021 at 5:00 PM
Friday April 09, 2021 at 9:00 AM

National History Day Rule Book



Setup Needed...

About Page

Tell about this contest (history, purpose, benifits, etc)

Setup Needed...

What to Expect During the contest

National History Day Arkansas 2021 will be a virtual contest. Information will be sent after registration.




Group Documentary
Group Exhibit
Note: You will not need to fill in the "Link" below. This is not needed for Exhibits.
Group Performance
Group Website
Note: You will not need to fill in the "Performance Link" below. This is not needed for Websites.
Individual Documentary
Individual Exhibit
Note: You will not need to fill in the "Link" box below. This is not needed for Exhibits.
Individual Performance
Individual Website
Note: You will not need to fill in the "Link" box below. This is not needed for Websites.
Note: You will not need to fill in the "Performance Link" below. This is not needed for Historical Papers.

Purpose of Judging

NHD's goal is to provide young people with a high-quality educational experience—whether or not they win a prize. It is critical that judges' interactions with the students be fair, helpful, and positive. Judges' spoken and written comments are fundamental to the learning process. Together we succeed or fail based on the quality of the learning experience.  

How Does the Evaluation Process Work?

At NHD contests, each division and category (e.g., Junior Group Exhibit, Senior Paper, etc.) usually is judged as a whole by a panel of judges. Judges do not assign a numerical score to each entry; rather, they will rank the entries in their group. Judges are required to consult with each other in determining individual rankings. Judges are encouraged to review the results of their category to assure accuracy in the evaluation process.

Judging Criteria

Regardless of which category a student enters, the following principles of evaluation will be used in the judging of National History Day entries.

Historical Quality--80%

This is by far the most important factor in judging a student's History Day project. 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:

  • Does the entry offer a well-formulated historical argument supported by thorough analysis?  The entry should not simply recount facts, but interpret them.
  • Is the annual theme woven throughout the project? 
  • Does the entry demonstrate wide research? Does it use a variety of primary and secondary sources, with an emphasis on quality over quantity?
  • Are the primary sources used effectively to develop the historical argument?
  • Does the entry demonstrate an understanding of the historical context of the project’s main event? This includes short- and long-term causes such as widely held ideas and beliefs, economic shifts, political developments, environmental change, etc.
  • Does the entry integrate multiple perspectives (for example, people who supported a particular law as well as those who opposed it)? Does the entry draw on primary and secondary sources created by people with different viewpoints?
  • Is the entry historically accurate?
  • Does the entry draw evidence-based conclusions about the topic’s significance in history? its short- and long-term impact?    
  • Are the student’s ideas, analysis, argument, and conclusions original and persuasive?  

Clarity of Presentation – 20%

Although historical quality is most important, entries must be presented in an effective manner. 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?



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