Whether you have been creating NHDI projects for a while or are looking at creating your very first project, we have all the tools you need for success. We will guide you through the steps of creating a project, from learning about the annual theme, to research, to designing your project and presenting at a regional contest.
You can also take a look at some example projects from previous contest years. See what Indiana students have created in exhibits, performances, documentaries, websites and papers. Use them for inspiration, explore your interests, then begin your own project!
Each year, the National History Day offices select a theme to guide project creation. The annual theme is broad enough for you to pick a topic from any time period of place. The theme helps guide you to look for the impact and significance of your topic in history.
The 2020-2021 theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding. As you look at topics, consider ways in which people communicate and have communicated throughout history.
Speeches, protests, important meetings and coups
Newspapers, literature, letters
Advertisements, television, political cartoons, maps
Why is communication so important?
Just as the theme states, communication is the key to understanding. Communication builds relationships, delivers vital information, and bridges gaps among most living creatures.
As you explore this theme and possible topics, consider how situations might have turned out differently had there been no form of communication. The sky is the limit as you look at selecting a topic. Don’t forget to look at topics that are at least 20 years old; you want to have a topic where there is enough time to gain some historical context. You also want to choose a topic where you can find enough information through primary and secondary sources to adequately explore your topic.
Brainstorming and exploring your interestsLearn More
Suggestions and strategies on research and analyzing your researchLearn More
Piecing it all TogetherLearn More
How to make an argumentLearn More
Figuring out what's right for youLearn More
How to tell your storyLearn More
What do NHDI projects look like?Learn More