Choose Your Topic
Hello History Day Fans! Maryland History Day 2008 was a great success! Over 16,000 Maryland students showcased projects! Topics were very wide ranging–women’s rights, the Cuban missile crisis, apartheid, the Armenian genocide, religious tolerance, Navajo code talkers, animal rights, nuclear disarmament, and more. Students and teachers, give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done!
But now it’s time to think about History Day 2009! Let’s get started!
GET READY: SELECT YOUR TOPIC:
- Review the 2009 theme “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies” and sample topics – found on the MHC website.
- (Hint, you are not limited just to the topics on this list – there are many subjects related to your family or community history that can also provide excellent topics for research.)
- Choose a topic that interests you and that you want to learn more about. (Example , if you are into science or sports or politics, choose someone from one of those fields to find out how that individual influenced or changed history.)
- See what you can find in the way of primary and secondary sources of information with your topic, including sources that provide different points of view.
- (Example: Use a variety of types of sources – not just the internet. Search for books, newspaper articles, diaries, oral history interviews, and other records to demonstrate wide research)
- (Hint: look for a museum, library, community institution, or person that can help you identify resources)
- (Hint: you will need a variety of sources to find lots of information about your topic .)
IMPORTANT: THE KEY TO A WINNING HISTORY DAY ENTRY IS TOP NOTCH RESEARCH!!!
- Narrow your topic to focus on one aspect in depth rather than to try to cover a broad range of issues superficially.
- (Example, it is impossible to research and analyze all of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. Instead, choose a particular angle about Lincoln’s legacy and dig deeply into the impact it made to the present day.)
- Discuss your ideas with your teacher and ask for feedback.
IMPORTANT: CHOOSING A TOPIC TAKES TIME; IT SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL ENJOY EXPLORING IN DEPTH.
Check back in two weeks for tips on step one– starting your research!
We want to hear from you! Teachers, students, and parents are welcome to leave questions or make comments about picking a History Day topic.