Categories and Sample Projects

Student standing in front of a poster board.

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.

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 JLor 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:



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:

Three boys standing in front of poster board.


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:

Girl at a computer.


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:

Four students putting on a 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. Do NOT create a new Weebly account for the 2019-2020 school year. 

NHDWebCentral specific resources

Minnesota History Day NHDWebCentral help

Minnesota History Day has developed a series of guides to walk students through the historical and computer-based steps to create a basic website. These guides are meant to be followed in order. 

  1. Account Set-Up (Google Doc): Set-up your NHDWebCentral account
  2. Get to Know NHDWebCentral (Google Doc): Feature overview
  3. Plan Your Website (Google Doc): Use your thesis to divide content and decide which pages you need on paper before creating your site.
  4. Create Your Page Template (Google Doc): Set-up your unique page template, duplicate for supporting pages, and link through the navigational menu
  5. Plan Your Pages and Prepare Content (Google Doc): Sketch out your website on paper and create a plan
  6. Add Content to Pages (Google Doc): Use your plan to add content to your website including columns, text blocks, images, audio/video, and PDF.
  7. Bells and Whistles (in progress)

As changes are made to NHDWebCentral, the guides will be updated to reflect new information. These guides are only available as Google Docs. If you are not able to access them due to your school's security settings, talk to your teacher. Do not request access to the document through Google as we will be unable to grant it.

Sample website

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


Direct any questions about the guides to Sarah Aschbrenner. Use the help feature in NHDWebCentral to report problems with the platform.

General resources

Website project for History Day.