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 submitted to the State History Day office in late February/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 interviewed at Regional events.
  • History Day staff sort the entries into judging teams, and send Papers to teams of judges.
  • Paper judges have about two weeks to review projects and return 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) at the end of March. 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 sent to new teams of judges.
  • Paper Finalists are interviewed at the State competition. Judges will have already read and reviewed the Papers. 

Important 2019 Dates for Paper Students

  • Tuesday, February 26: Research Papers and registration forms uploaded by 11:59 pm. 
  • Thursday, February 28: Complete list of all Paper entries posted. Please notify Sarah Aschbrenner if your entry is missing.
  • Friday, March 29: State Finalist Papers are posted on website. State registration materials will be mailed to students' schools. Only State Qualifiers will be interviewed at State History Day. Comment forms for all entries will be returned to schools. 
  • Friday, April 12: State Finalist registration forms and topical prize nominations are due by 11:59 pm. 
  • Tuesday, April 23: Finalist Research Papers emailed to Sarah Aschbrenner by 11:59 pm.
  • Saturday, May 4: State Finalists interviewed at the State History Day competition.

Research Paper Resources


Contact Sarah Aschbrenner 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