It is state contest week! That means that it is time to start getting excited! After all of your hard work, it is finally time to present at the State History Day competition. States isn't just about presenting though. We want you to have fun and enjoy your contest experience! Below are a few of the opportunities available during the contest to help you make the most of your States experience!
Want to support your friends, classmates, and fellow CHD participants?
There is plenty to do to help you enjoy your State History Day experience. Now for just a few reminders.
With all of that, congratulations and good luck to all of our State Participants! We'll see you at registration Saturday morning!
As of today, the State History Day Contest is eleven days way. That means that you have a little over a week to make your final changes, updates, and edits. If you've done a website or a paper, you can rest easy and prepare for your interviews and seminar as your final products were due on April 12th. As for everyone else, it is time to get in that last bit of work!
A few weeks ago, we here at the state office shared some tips to help prepare for the State Contest. First, we shared some editing tips. We then helped out our participants doing papers and websites by answering a few questions. Today we are going to talk about, you guessed it, Process Papers and Annotated Bibliographies.
Every project, with the exception of papers, needs to have a process paper. On the rubrics that the judges fill out to evaluate for your project, one of the boxes they can check off is if your project includes a process paper and annotated bibliography. Some students find the process paper to be one of the most challenging parts of their project because they aren't sure what it is or what to include. Lets clear that up.
Your process paper is a narrative that describes your process for creating your project. Every process paper must include:
Along with your process paper, all projects need to have an annotated bibliography-- even papers! Just like with the process papers, this portion of your project shows up on the rubrics. Judges can check yes or no if you included your annotated bibliography so you want to make sure to include it on contest day. You may be wondering what your annotated bibliography is supposed to look like or what it is supposed to include. We'll cover the basics below. Make sure to check the National History Day website for an in depth how-to guide on annotated bibliographies.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a document that gives judges, in the case of History Day, evidence of all of the hard work and research that went into your entry. The annotated bibliography shows what sources you used for your project and provides annotations on how you used your sources and why they were useful.
How should my annotated bibliography be formatted?
Your history day annotated bibliography should:
A strong annotation includes:
In the days before the State History Day contest, make sure that your annotated bibliography follows these tips and check the NHD website for more help!
We hope that these tips for your Process Papers and Annotated Bibliographies helped prepare you for States! See you all on April 28th!
Useful Tools and Resources
Sample Category Rubrics- Want to see how the judges will evaluate your History Day project? Find your category and National History Day provides a PDF file of what the judges will be looking for.
Process Paper in NHD's Own Words- Rule 15 in the Contest Rule Book gives participants the exact rule for what to include in their entry's process paper.
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography for NHD- National History Day gives tips and tricks to participants on how to craft an annotated bibliography for your project.
The Connecticut History Day Contest season kicked off March 3rd this year in New Haven and Mansfield. From there, we here at the state office and the judges, volunteers, and coordinators from the six regions saw hundreds of incredible projects. Here are a few highlights from our regional contests this year to get you ready for the State Contest on April 28th!
New Haven, March 3rd at Southern Connecticut State University
A student discusses her exhibit with judges. Students at the New Haven contest presented on topics such as Agricultural Adjustment Act (above), racism, the Nuremberg Trials, and Child Labor.
Gizmo the Therapy Dog is ready for the day and helps to hand out buttons to participants! You can see more of Gizmo and Frens at our History Day contests here.
The winners from the New Haven Contest gather for a group picture.
Torrington, March 10th at Torrington High School
Students perform the story of the Smith Sisters with connections to the world today.
Students enjoyed a performance by the Band of Steady Habits that features Connecticut's State Historian, Walt Woodward (center).
The winners from the Torrington contest gather in the Little Theater for a picture.
Fairfield, March 17 at Sacred Heart University
Students discuss their website with judges.
The winners from the Fairfield Contest with State Senator Tony Hwang.
Hartford, March 24th at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School
Judges take a close look at projects before students come in to talk about their hard work and research.
Winners from the Hartford contest gather in the Great Hall of Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.
Congratulations to all who placed at the regional contests and who participated. To those who placed, we'll see you at the State Contest on April 28th!
Two of the biggest questions that we hear during contest season have to do with papers and websites. Why are they due early and why do students have to attend the contests if they are pre-submitted? Today, we’ll answer those questions.
Why are papers and websites due early?
Students who choose to write a paper or create a website may wonder why their projects are due early but no other projects are. Because both categories are “word-heavy” judges receive the projects ahead of time to allow time for careful review[A1] . For papers, the judges get two weeks to read through all of the submitted papers. This gives them the chance to develop questions to ask in the group setting of the paper seminar and to the individual who wrote the paper. Giving the judges time ahead of the contest to read the papers also eliminates waiting around time for contestants.
Website judges also get two weeks to review projects. This time gives them the chance to explore the project on their own. They can take notes on the organization, historical accuracy, visual impact and more of your project in their own time. No one has to feel rushed. Just like with the paper judges, this pre-contest evaluation time means that they can give you more time to talk about your project and to ask you questions (although remember: the interviews are not weighed!).
Why do I have to attend the contest if my project has already been submitted?
Connecticut History Day is an academic program that helps students to build skills. Speaking with judges helps students build confidence and public speaking skills. Additionally, at contests, students can interact with other students participating in the contest. You can go and watch performances, documentaries, and explore the exhibit halls. You can make new friends and find out how other students interpreted this year’s theme. Part of History Day is experiencing the contest itself.
Along with the social aspects of the contest, participants get the chance to speak with judges about your project. At Connecticut History Day, those who write papers will have the opportunity to participate in a paper seminar. Instead of being individually interviewed, you’ll be able to sit with a group of other students in your division and talk about your process, your topic, and your research. Maybe you’ll be inspired by what you hear!
Website creators will be given the chance to discuss their projects to their judges as well. There, you can explain your choices and show off the highlights of your project. Be proud of the work that you’ve put into your project!
Why should I stay after my project has been judged?
This answer is for all participants of Connecticut History Day: the experience. For starters, staying until the end of the day means that you’ll be there to collect your medal if your project wins at the contest! It also means that you’ll get feedback from the judges that day. Make sure you stop by the registration table before you leave after the awards ceremony to collect your certificate and judges’ feedback forms. Aside from that, you don’t want to cut your experience short. Use that extra time between the end of your judging time and the awards ceremony to meet new people. Look at the other projects if you can. Enjoy being at the contest!
After four weeks of contests, the regionals portion of Connecticut History Day concluded on March 24th with the Hartford and Manchester contests. From here, it is time to start preparing for the State Contests for those who placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at their regional contests. Between now and the week of the State Contests, we’ll be sharing ways to prepare students for the State Contest on April 28th. This week, we’ll be focusing on editing and taking judges’ comments to improve projects for their next steps.
Having made it through one round of contests, students may feel that they do not need to do anything to their projects. There is nothing wrong with taking a look and seeing if anything can be changed in all projects. Here at the state office, we greatly encourage editing and making necessary changes to improve your projects. Whether that is through furthering your research, fixing typos, redesigning your exhibit board, changing your paper title or whatever else students feel they need to do: make those changes.
When leaving the regional contests, students were given a packet with their certificates and judging feedback. That feedback should be the first place a student looks for what changes should be considered during this phase of their History Day project. Below, you’ll find way to make possible improvements and edits to your History Day projects.
Typos, Grammar, and Formatting
For students who submitted exhibits, papers, and websites, feedback and review on the text of your project is the first step in this editing process. Students should first review the feedback from judges to see if the judges caught any issues regarding misspellings, grammar issues, or formatting. Once students have gone of those comments, they should read over their work to see if they notice anything that maybe the judges didn’t. For further review, students should ask their classmates, a teacher, or parent to look over their work.
Some edits to look for:
When reviewing judging feedback and the images, media, and quotes used in a project, students may now need to make sure to update crediting. This could be because of lack of credit given or because the citation given is incorrect. For how to properly credit sources, please refer to the National History Day Contest Rule Book.
Some students may have noticed judging comments about rule infractions. These could be anything from an exhibit board being too large, length requirement issues, lack of credit for images or quotes, or other infractions specific to the category. If a student has notes about a rule infraction, they can take a look at the contest rule book to see what they need to do to revise their project. The contest rule book can be found here.
Possible Category by Category Editing Options
Once students have reviewed judging feedback and peer reviews, they may decide to make further improvements to their projects. Below is a list of possible category specific revisions students could consider.
Sound Quality: Judges may have noticed that music, voice over, or other sounds used in the documentary were too loud, too fast, or of poor quality. This revision period gives students the opportunities to rerecord voice over and to find a volume level that works better for presentation.
Size: Students may need to make their exhibits smaller in order to meet size limit requirements. On the other side, students who have not maxed out the size of their projects could enlarge their exhibit (within the size requirements) in order to give themselves more space to work with or to enlarge the text to make it easier to read.
Refocus: Students who write papers may choose to use judging feedback or peer reviews in order to refocus their paper topic. This could be by focusing more on the conflict or compromise of their subject if it only fit into one part of the 2018 theme. The topic of the over paper should not be changed though.
Words, Sets, and Costumes: After their regionals performance, students may notice that certain aspect of their script or blocking do not work for the actual performance. There may have been historical inaccuracies in the dialogue used or with the costumes or set pieces that could have hurt their initial judging. This is the time to go back and make changes.
Visuals: Websites can get out of hand easily—ask anyone who has ever had to design one! The revision period before states gives students the opportunity the clean up their websites and to make them visually organized and clear. Students should follow judges’ comments and click through their website on their own. Can they clearly find everything? Is their information organized? Does the website have a visual impact?
The revision possibilities throughout this post are just a selection of what students may choose to do with their projects between now and the state contest. Whatever they choose to do, students should make sure to take the judges’ comments seriously and make sure to review them. Those suggestions being followed up are an important part of the editing process. If possible, students should try to work together to help each other to catch errors, needed improvements, or anything else that could better their projects.
Good luck with the editing process!
Upcoming Important Dates for the State Contest: