August 11, 2022

NHD 2022: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More

Last Updated on December 16, 2021

Debate and Diplomacy

We have compiled a big list of resources to help you dig deep into National History Day projects.

Understanding NHD Projects

Be sure to read the NHD 2022 rule book carefully! You should also check out this YouTube rules video playlist to review general rules for all NHD project categories, as well as category-specific rules.

Exploring the theme

Each year NHD chooses a particular theme that must be the focus of student projects. Before doing anything else, make sure you understand the theme.

Investigating & narrowing topic choices

  • Review the CMHF History Fair and You handout.
  • Flip through newspaper and magazine articles about current events that you find interesting or concerning and then consider the historical and local angles to those topics. (Remember, your project may not be about a current event.)
  • Browse through a history textbook.
  • Check out local and state historical sites, museums and websites.
  • Investigate these 2022 sample topic resources (links to primary sources & related resources).
  • Search the Primary Source Nexus (from the top menu bar) for additional topic ideas.
  • Watch the Thinkport Inquiry Kits for History Day Students video to get some ideas.
  • Look for local resources, like the ones below.
  • Create an outline or mind map of topic ideas that interest you.
  • Consider refining your topic using the following steps: theme, interest, broad topic, narrow topic, thesis.
  • Complete these CMHF worksheets.
  • Complete the NHD Escaping the Topic Maze
  • Complete these MNHS topic & theme worksheets.
  • Review your topic choice by asking yourself the questions below.
    • Does the topic relate to the 2022 National History Day (NHD) theme Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences?
    • 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?

Getting started on your project

Researching your topic

Selecting & using sources

Citing sources

Putting it all together

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