Important Dates & Times

Sunday December 01, 2019 at 12:01 AM
Monday February 03, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Monday February 03, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Saturday March 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Saturday March 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Saturday March 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Please read the Rule Books online (see the links below) and understand the common rules and the category specific rules.

The contest rule books also discuss issues such as Plagiarism, Fair use, disqualifications, etc.


Judging Criteria

Historical Quality (60%)

Historical accuracy

Historical context

Analysis and interpretation

Use of available primary sources

Wide research

Balanced research

Relation to Theme (20%)

Clearly relates to theme

Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions

Clarity of Presentation (20%)

Presentation, written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized and articulate

Entry is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic

Judge’s Conflict


Contest Rule Booklet in English:


Contest Rule Booklet in Spanish:



Welcome to the Seton Hall University

Regional Contest

We are looking forward to hosting you on March 17th, 2018

More Information Coming Soon!!!

Welcome to the Seton Hall University

Regional Contest

We are looking forward to hosting you on March 17th, 2018

More Information Coming Soon!!



Group Documentary
Group Exhibit
Group Performance
Group Website
Individual Documentary
Individual Exhibit
Individual Performance
Individual Website

Historical Quality

The most important aspect of an entry is its historical quality, which determines 60% of the total evaluation. The judges' evaluation will rest on the students' success at conducting historical research, interpreting their research, and drawing conclusions. A superior rating generally reflects positive responses to the following questions:

  • Is the entry historically accurate?
  • Does the entry provide analysis and interpretation of the historical data in addition to an accurate description? The entry should not simply recount facts but interpret them.
  • Does the entry demonstrate an understanding of the historical context - the intellectual, physical, social, and cultural setting?
  • Does the entry reflect historical perspective - the causes and consequences of an event, for example, or the relationship of a local topic to larger events?
  • Does the annotated bibliography demonstrate solid research?
  • Does the entry demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?
  • Does the entry use a variety of viewpoints (e.g., those who suffered as well as those who benefited, males, females, people from different racial or ethnic socioeconomic groups, as appropriate to the topic)?
  • Does the entry demonstrate the use of available primary sources and secondary sources?

Clarity of Presentation

Although historical quality is most important, entries must be presented in an effective manner. This section is worth 20% of the total evaluation. Do not be carried away by glitz; simpler is often - but not always - better. The following questions will be considered by judges when looking at clarity of presentation:

  • Is the entry original, creative, well organized, and imaginative in subject and presentation?
  • Is the entry effective in communicating the significance of the topic?
  • Is the written material clear, grammatical, and correctly spelled?
  • In exhibits, are the title, sectional divisions, and main points easy to discern?
  • Are photographs and images appropriate in terms of content and location?
  • Is the overall project pleasing to the eye?
  • In a documentary or performance, is the script clear?
  • In a performance, do the students display stage presence?
  • Is the visual material clear and appropriate for the type of entry?
  • Do the students display adequate familiarity with their equipment?

Adherence to Theme

The entry must clearly explain the relation of the topic to the annual National History Day theme. This section is worth 20%of the total evaluation. The topic should be placed in historical context, and the entry must demonstrate the student's understanding of the significance of the topic in history. The entry should not confuse fame with significance. In other words, the entry should answer the questions, "So what? Why was this important?" It should not be just descriptive. The relationship of the entry's topic to the yearly theme should be explicit and should be integrated into the entry itself.

In addition to these three sections, a fourth section is at the bottom of the sheet, indicating compliance with the rules laid out in the Contest Rule Book. Rule infractions can, in some cases, lead to disqualification (or at the very least, an equally-qualified project to not advance over another), so please be sure to familiarize yourself with them. Questions? Your teachers and coordinators are here to help!

Setup Needed...

Judge Criteria

A text overview of the job and criteria of a contest judge.




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