This Year's Theme

Seven Steps to a Quality Project

Brainstorm Topic

  • Choose a topic that is not likely to be selected by others. Check this website and ask your teacher for advice.
  • Google your topic and visit your library. Make sure it interests you and that there's enough information for you to research further.
  • Develop a hypothesis. Like a scientist, you will be analyzing and synthesizing the information you gather to develop answers to your hypothesis.

Research Your Topic

  • Use the NHD Philly website to find the sources to build your evidence. It is important to use primary sources, which are first hand evidence to prove your hypothesis. You can also use secondary sources to help you learn more about the subject and also learn about the hypotheses others have developed on the topic you selected.
  • As you conduct your research, take good notes and begin writing your annotated bibliography. You will need to submit this bibliography with your project at the competition.

Pick a Project Category

  • Decide on the category you want to present your research. You can select an exhibit, documentary, performance, paper or website. You can improve your chances of going to the State Finals by selecting a category that has less competition. These are in order of least competitors: paper, website, documentary and performance. Exhibit has the most people competing. Consequently, there are more losers than winners in this category.
  • Follow the category rules in the Contest Rule Book. The judges will be checking to make sure you have followed the rules.

Write/Design Your Project

  • Begin outlining and drafting your final project before you complete your research. This will help you to determine how much more evidence you need to present your hypothesis effectively.
  • Great projects require refinement. Discuss your ideas with friends, teachers, neighbors, a librarian or archivist, a subject expert, or anyone who you think can help you think through your ideas. Contact the NHD Philly coordinator if you need assistance finding someone.
  • Follow the category rules in the Contest Rule Book when putting together the final version of your project. The judges will be checking to make sure you have followed the rules.

Write Your Process Paper

  • This is a 500 word essay about how you did your research, what you discovered, and why your topic would be of interest to others. Judges will be looking for your process paper at the competition.
  • If you are competing in the paper category, you will not need to prepare a process paper. Papers must be completed and submitted by the deadline with the entry form.

Submit Your Entry Form

  • Your entry form must be submitted by the deadline. If you are competing with a paper, send three copies of your paper with your application.

Make Your Project Shine at the Competition

  • Come to the competition with a complete project. Don't leave parts of it at home. The judges will never get to see all of your hard work.
  • Be confident and enjoy the day!! You are the expert and can speak with authority!!