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: