Research Paper


The Research Paper is the most academically traditional form of presenting History. For NHD, Research Papers are done by one individual, and must adhere to the following rules:

  • 2500 word maximum (this does not include citations and annotated bibliography)
  • In-text citations giving proper attribution of the source of the information (these can be done in a variety of styles—endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical citations, etc).
  • An Annotated Bibliography, with Primary Sources and Secondary Sources listed separately
  • Further information on rules can be found in the National History Day Rule Book

Papers are due in to contest organizers three weeks before the contest so that copies can be distributed to judges for evaluation. At the contest, authors of Research Papers will have an interview with judges, discussing topic selection, the research process, and specifics about the paper.

Samples of Past Research Papers for Shanghai History Day:

Stanley Milgram: Electrifying Our Past and Present” for the 2009 Theme The Individual in History: Actions & Legacies

Testing the ‘Special Relationship:’ Skybolt, Nassau, and Anglo-American Diplomacy” for the 2011 Theme Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences

For a  description of how your work will be judged, and to find another exemplar, visit the NHD Asia Judge’s Corner for Research Papers. Password is nhdasia2015.