Research Papers

Paper Competition Process

Papers do not compete alongside exhibits, documentaries, websites, and performances at the Regional event due to the length of time needed to view and judge a paper. Paper students are welcome to attend the Regional event in which their school is attending and receive a participation ribbon, but they will not be interviewed by judges at this event. Paper students are not required to complete a process paper. 

Entry Limits

Each school may enter as many papers as they would like into the first level of judging. Each school must still complete a participation survey in January for Research Paper projects. 

Research Paper Judging Process

  • Papers are mailed to the State History Day office in early March for a first level of judging. Students may attend a Regional Event with their school, but are not required to be there. Paper students are not be interviewed by judges at Regional events.
  • History Day staff sort the papers into judging teams, and mail out the projects to teams of judges.
  • Paper judges have about two weeks to review and judge the projects, and then they send their results back to the State History Day office, along with completed judge forms.
  • History Day post listing of top entries on website (top 12 in Junior Division and top 12 in Senior Division). Comment forms will be mailed back within two weeks of being returned to the History Center. 
  • Finalists are allowed to make changes before submitting a final project back to the History Day office about three weeks before the state competition.
  • The final papers are mailed to new teams of judges.
  • Paper finalists are interviewed at the State competition. Judges will have already read and reviewed the papers. 

Important 2017 Dates for Paper Students

  • Tues., Feb 28: Four copies of Research Papers, registration forms and fees due at the Minnesota History Center by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Thur., Mar. 2: Complete list of all paper entries posted on website. Please notify Torrie Wiebe if your entry is missing
  • Fri., Mar. 31: State Finalist papers are posted on website. State Registration materials will be mailed to students' home addresses. Only State Qualifiers will be interviewed at State History Day. Comment forms for all entries will be returned to schools. 
  • Fri., Apr. 7: State Finalist registration forms and topical prize nominations are due at the Minnesota History Center by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Tues., Apr. 18: Four copies of State Finalist Research Papers are due at the Minnesota History Center by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Sat., Apr. 29: State Finalists interviewed at the State History Day competition.

Research Paper Resources

  • Download the Research Paper Registration Form (available in January)
  • Review the History Day Rule Book for paper category requirements
  • Resources about organizing information for your paper can be found on our Project Resources page. 
  • Read sample papers from previous competitions to get ideas. 


Contact Torrie Wiebe with questions about the Research Paper category.

National History Day in Minnesota is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, Department of History
Minnesota Historical SocietyUniveristy of Minnesota