Sometimes, finishing a History Day project can seem like the end of a marathon. Months of research, writing and project creation leads to great satisfactions, but also a bit of exhaustion.
But the actual project itself is not completed until all the paperwork is wrapped up. The bibliography and process paper should never be an afterthought; that information is among the most important that judges will review.
Ideally, students should be working on the bibliography throughout the process, collecting citations and organizing them along the way. But sometimes, the bibliography is left until the project is finished, and occasionally, quickly rushed through right before competition.
A lot of time and thought should be put into the paperwork for a History Day project. A neat, organized, correctly cited and annotated bibliography shows that students took the time to present their research just as carefully as they presented their information. Although it may seem tedious, consistent formatting in a bibliography makes it easier for judges to clearly see the research completed, and robust annotations give them a good picture of the students' research process.
Similarly, the process paper should be carefully done. It isn't just a throwaway piece of writing to give History Day students one more thing to do. It is a summary of the students' entire process, from beginning to end, as well as their understanding of the theme. This document gives judges great insight into a project.
So please don't let the paperwork be the product of the day-before-allnighter. For the competition, and for the students' overall project completion, it is really important to do it right.