Competition process

Papers will submit their projects via the zFairs Paper Contest portal, are judged off-site, and there are no student interviews. With the most updated NHD Contest Rule Book, Paper students are REQUIRED to write process papers.

Entry limits

Each school must complete a participation survey in January and include Research Paper projects. Allotments will be sent directly to the lead educator in mid-January that lists how many Papers may enter the competition.

Important 2024 dates for paper students

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024: Research Papers registered and uploaded by 7:59 pm CST
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024: State Finalist Papers are announced. Students will get an email from zFairs, the registration system, within 24 hours about the process to register for State. Please check the email you used to register for the contest.
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024: State Finalist registration forms, revised papers, and topical prize nominations are due by 7:59 pm. 
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024: National Qualifiers announced.

Paper judging process

  • Papers are submitted via online registration.
  • 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 available via the online registration portal within one week following the event.
  • 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 results are announced with all other category results at the State Awards Ceremony.

Paper resources


Contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about the Research Paper category.