2022 Theme: Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences

2021 NHD Theme: Communication in History

2021 NHD Theme: Communication in History

25 Jul 2021

Every year, National History Day frames students' research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for the broad application to world, national or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. This year's theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.

The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding. The NHD theme provides a focused way to increase students' historical understanding by developing a lens to read history, an organizational structure that helps students place information in the correct context and finally, the ability to see connections over time. Topics can come from any geographic area or time period. Local history and world history make equally good sources of NHD topics, and you can explore your interests from ancient history to more recent events.

Students need to think about a topic that will explore the theme for the 2020 contest. Students are forced to also ask questions of cause and effect, time and place, change over time, and impact and significance. They must ask not only when events happened but also why they happened and what their impact was. Students compete in either Junior (grades 6-8) or Senior (grades 9-12) divisions.

Students can present their knowledge in a variety of ways through the categories of Documentaries, Exhibits, Papers, Performances, or Websites. They may choose to work individually or in a group except for the Paper category where they must work individually. Projects should include an investigation into available primary and secondary sources, analysis of evidence, and a clear explanation of the relationship of the topic to the theme. The New Mexico State contest is TBD. If you would like more information, email the New Mexico State History Day Coordinator at historyday@nmhumanities.org or call 505-633-7372.

2022 Theme Book: Debate and Diplomacy in History »

Debate and Diplomacy in History Graphic Organizer »

Why Teach with a Theme? »

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National History Day Rule Book

The new rule book is out!

New for this year: 

- New website guidelines

- New evaluation forms

- Many clarifications

2021 NHD Rule Book »

Summary of Significant Rule Changes »

New Evaluation Forms (all) »

2021 Rule Book in Spanish »

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