June 30, 2020

NHD 2020: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More


The graphic above from the Chicago Metro History Fair (CMHF) is a great encapsulation of how to choose a topic for a history fair project. In addition, ask yourself the questions listed below.

  • Does the topic relate to the 220 National History Day (NHD) theme: Breaking Barriers in History?
  • Does the topic relate to local or state history?
  • Does the topic really interest you?
  • Do you have a personal connection to the topic? (It’s not necessary but it can be a good thing.)
  • Will you be able to find enough primary and secondary sources to thoroughly research the topic?
  • Why is this topic important?
  • What will people learn from your project?

Below we dig a bit deeper and uncover some strategies from TPS-Barat and CMHF for selecting a topic for your history fair project.

Understanding NHD Projects

Exploring the theme

Each year NHD chooses a particular theme that must be the focus of student projects. For 2020, the theme is Breaking Barriers in History. Before doing anything else, make sure you understand the theme.

Investigating topics

Narrowing topic choices

Getting started on your project

Researching your topic

Selecting, using & citing sources

Putting it all together

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