Categories and Sample Projects

Each category has its own set of resources and rules. Find out a little bit about each one and the tools we have to help you get started. Sample projects can be viewed here or under each category. Look at the Curriculum page for more in-depth resources about the entire History Day process.

Documentary  |  Exhibit  |  Paper  |  Performance  |  Website


Documentaries are great for students who like to work with computers and multimedia. After you research, you will write a script and find illustrations and multimedia to create a mini-film about your topic. If you don't have access to video editing software at home, be sure to check with your teacher about what is available through your school. The most common software used is iMovie, Windows MovieMaker, or Final Cut Pro. History Day has some WeVideo licenses available for schools to use. Please contact Sammi Jo with questions about using WeVideo or getting a license for the year.

Documentaries can be created individually or in a group. Below are some resources to help you with your Documentary:

WeVideo resources:


Exhibits are great for students who like to work alone or in groups. Exhibits are similar to what you might see in a museum, but on a smaller scale.

Objects, pictures, and documents go along with your own words to tell your story. This is especially a great category for students who like graphic design and "hands-on" creativity.

Below are some resources to help with your Exhibit:


Research Papers are great for students who like to work alone and prefer to use words to tell a story. Papers have a longer word limit, so you usually have more space for your argument than some of the other categories. 

Papers are judged through on off-site judging process in the First-Round of competition. You are not required to attend a Regional competition. 

Below are some tools to help you with your Paper:


Performances are a great for students who want to act and show off their dramatic flair. You will write a script based on the research you conduct and create characters, scenes, and dialogue to prove your argument.

Most students design a simple set, wear costumes, and may have props to help people connect to your story. Performances can be done by an individual or a group.

Below are resources to help you with your Performance:


Websites allow you to tell your story using your own words, pictures, videos, and images to share online. This category is great for students that like to work with computers and technology. Students can work alone or in groups to create a Website. Students must use the official NHD Website Editor to create their website. National History Day is now using NHDWebCentral as its platform. 

NHDWebCentral specific resources

Sample website

With student permission, we have recreated a past National Qualifier website in the new NHDCentral platform:

General resources