Why Do History Day?

Whether you're a student or parent, there are a lot of reasons to get excited about History Day coming in to your life.

First, you get to choose what you study. Every year, there is a History Day theme. Students are required to fit their topic to that theme, but beyond that, there are generally no restrictions on what historical topics you choose. If you're interested in music or politics or science or sports, you can find a History Day topic that fits your everyday interests. You have the power to study history that is interesting and relevant to you.

Once you've finished your research, you get to make another choice: How you present your information. There are five different categories that you can chose from: Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, Website, and Research Paper. Each category has its own unique advantages and challenges, but you get to chose, based on your interests and your topic, the format in which you want to present your project.

In addition to all this choice that History Day gives students, this project will also equip you with invaluable personal and academic skills.

  • You will learn to do college-level research with primary and secondary sources.
  • You will analyze and write about complex historical subjects.
  • Because you have more control over your project, you'll develop a greater sense of personal responsibility over your project.
  • You will improve your written and verbal communication skills, as well as your ability to collaborate with team members.
  • History Day students reach a level of college and career readiness that many graudating students do not. You can add your History Day experience to your job and college applications, and your resume.

Once you've completed your project, you have the choice to participate in the History Day competitions, which is a great way to showcase your hard work, see your peers' projects, and meet other History Day students like you.

Keep in mind that your teacher has the power to set rules, limitations or requirements that aren't stated in the History Day rulebook. If you ever have questions about what you can do with History Day, make sure to ask your teacher first.


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