May 11, 2022

NHD 2021: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More

Last Updated on November 15, 2021

For this year’s topic selection resources and curated sets of primary sources, click here.

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 2021 National History Day (NHD) theme Communication in History: The Key to Understanding?
  • 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 for selecting a topic for your history fair project.

Understanding NHD Projects

There is a new rule book for NHD 2021 so be sure to read it carefully!

Exploring the theme

Each year NHD chooses a particular theme that must be the focus of student projects. For 2021, the theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding. Before doing anything else, make sure you understand the theme.

Investigating & narrowing topic choices

Getting started on your project

Researching your topic

Selecting & using sources

Citing sources

Putting it all together

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