NHD evaluation guidelines

In Spotlight on April 16, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,


Have you seen the evaluation guidelines that the National History Day judges use? How do these guidelines relate to what you are doing in your classrooms? With your assignments’ guidelines? How do these evaluation guidelines for projects produced by students from 4th grade through 12th grade relate to guidelines used in assignments in postsecondary classes?

Historical Quality 60%
Research, analysis, and interpretation of the topic

 Thesis or Argument: The thesis is clear, and the entire entry is related to the thesis. The student didn’t add any information that is not related to the theme or thesis/argument.

Entry is historically accurate: The historical facts are accurate as demonstrated by sources and research.

Shows analysis and interpretation: The entry didn’t just state the facts and order of events. It explained how and why this information is related to the thesis.

Places topic in historical context: The entry describes the setting of the events. It discusses what was happening culturally at the time in society and how that is related to the topic.

Research is balanced: The entry examines the topic from more than one of the groups or people involved. It discussed sources that may disagree with the thesis, and responds to these arguments. The entry explains how the events affected more than one group, sometimes on opposing sides of the issue.

Uses available primary sources and shows wide research: The bibliography lists different kinds of primary and secondary sources. It demonstrates research beyond the most well known sources.

Theme and Significance 20%

Clearly relates topic to the theme: The entry clearly demonstrates a clear connection to the theme.

Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions: The entry demonstrates why and how the topic had a lasting impact. This can include people, culture, education, politics, art, etc. related to the topic.

Clarity of Presentation and Production Quality 20%

Presentation and written material are original, clear, appropriate, and articulate: The presentation is interesting and original. The tone is appropriate to the topic.

Entry is organized; visual impact/presentation category is appropriate to the topic. The order of the information presented is organized and makes sense. The process paper and bibliography are clear, organized, and thorough. The references are listed using the correct format.


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