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-Round of judging. Each school must  complete a participation survey in January and include 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 are welcome to attend a Regional Event with their school, but are not required to be there. Paper students are not be interviewed at Regional events.
  • History Day staff sort the papers into judging teams, and mail  projects to teams of judges.
  • Paper judges have about two weeks to review projects and  send their results back to the State History Day office, along with completed judge forms.
  • History Day posts a list of top entries (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. 
  • State 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 finalist 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 2018 Dates for Paper Students

  • Tuesday, February 27: Four copies of Research Papers, registration forms, and fees by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Thursday, March 1: Complete list of all Paper entries posted on website. Please notify Torrie White if your entry is missing
  • Friday, March 30: 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. 
  • Friday, April 6: State Finalist registration forms and topical prize nominations are due by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, April 17: Four copies of State Finalist Research Papers are due by 8:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, April 28: 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 White 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