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2012 Beginning Your National History Day Research!

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Sarah Russo

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of 2012 Beginning Your National History Day Research!

CONTINUE RESEARCHING (even when you think you're done)

You may think you've found all of the information you could find on your topic, but there is always more. You never know what you could find when you least expect it. It could be the one source that takes your project over the top!

Visit local, state and collegiate libraries.
Visit archives, historic places, museums, and historical societies. What is National History Day? National History Day is a highly regarded academic program and competition held at the school, county, state, and national levels. http://www.nhd.org/images/logo.gif Students select a topic, research it using primary and secondary resources, interpret it, and present it creatively. National History Day was awarded the prestigious National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on Monday, February 13, 2011. Photo: UPI/Kevin Dietsch. Taken from http://nhd.org/media Brainstorming Ideas Select a topic based on something that interests you about history. Look at your family's history. Look at the Maryland Historical Society sample topic list. Do any of these sample topics spark your interest?
Read big around a topic - understand it's context! Look at the NHD theme list. Look in popular magazines - have there been any recent breakthroughs in historical research recently? Look through your history textbooks. Look at local history. for your topic MAXIMIZE YOUR
Start with secondary sources.
They will help you understand your topic and give you a feel for its context - where it fits in, what else was going on, and what its impact was.
A broad understanding of the subject will make it easier to locate primary sources. EVALUATE YOUR SOURCES CAREFULLY!
(especially Internet sources!)
What is convenient is not always accurate. Triangulate your information, and take into account the potential for bias in a source. A wide variety of sources will help counteract these potential difficulties. source 1 source 2 source 3 FACT SURF YOUR SOURCES Think about how that researcher found their information, and follow those sources to save time & triangulate information. Every rich, authoritative source will list footnotes, or works cited. EVERYTHING CAN BE A SOURCE (almost)
.....but NOT everything should be!
Good primary sources can be newspaper accounts, magazine articles, diaries, government documents, pamphlets, advertisements, commercials, historic sites, telegrams, paintings, sculptures, court case decisions, autobiographies, tickets/programs, editorial cartoons, television clips, photographs, and more. ASK PEOPLE Primary interviews with eyewitnesses to your event can give your project an edge as well as some unique perspectives on your topic. Interviewing an expert or a professor about your topic is also encouraged as a great secondary source, which can help you understand the importance, and context of your topic. RECORD YOUR SOURCES!

There is no magic number of sources for a History Day Project.
Continue researching until:
all of your questions have been answered.
you know just about everything about your topic.
you can prove your thesis convincingly, using a good selection of primary and secondary sources as your evidence.
If you can't do these things you need more information.

Make sure you utilize a paperwork management system so you can find your resources when you need them, and create your works cited list. HELP...KNOW WHERE TO ASK FOR IT

This is a complex project, and you will learn many things about research. If you feel overwhelmed, lost, or frustrated this is normal.
Do not hesitate to ask for help. Research specialists and educators are here to help you. Maryland Ask Us Now services are available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week.

The more questions you ask, the more you will learn and the better your chances of success will be! Images in Flash Slide Show :
Mary Magdalen announcing the resurrection to the apostles (St. Albans Psalter, St Godehard's Church, Hildesheim) illuminated manuscripts.

The United States Constitution. National Archives. http://www.digitalvaults.org/#/detail/105/?record=105

Buffalo Soldier Uniform Coat. Smithsonian Institute.

La Toilita Sculpture. Embassy of Ecuador.

Quileute Children, 1907, Sarah Endicott Ober, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections. http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/Behind-the-Scenes-The-Real-Story-of-Quileute-Wolves-4692

The first gymnacyclidium for ladies and gentlemen : opening exhibition and hop at the grand velocipede academy, or gymnacyclidium, containing over 8,000 square feet for riding, with gallery and seats for about 1,500 people / by the Pearsall Brothers.

A sympathetic northern cartoonist portrayed Senator Charles Sumner's May 1856 beating by South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks.
credit: New York Public Library. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/image/SumnerCaning.htm

Telegram from Commissioner Charles J. Rhodes to Mary McGair, February 1, 1932. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/documented-rights/exhibit/section3/detail/rhodes-telegram.html Sixth Graders Interview Dean Robert Hutchings for National History Day Project.
LBJ School of Public Affairs. University of Texas at Austin.
http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/sites/default/files/image/news/dean_sixthgraders_group.jpg Rusty Godfrey's World of History. Sample Note Cards. http://teacherweb.com/SC/SCGSAH/Godfrey/apt1.aspx Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / December 6, 2011. Howard County Historical Society 'discovered' at new Miller Branch Library.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/neighborhoods/western-howard/ph-ho-n-west-friendship-0112-20120107,0,7110188.story http://www.askusnow.info/ Don't forget to talk to research specialists who are there to help you find the resources you need. “The skills that students take from history education and the NHD program are ones they will carry with them throughout their lives.”

-Ken Burns, award-winning documentary filmmaker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kenburns.jpg Remember to thoroughly cite and annotate everything! Many topics from ancient history will be difficult to locate primary sources for, because so few primary sources survived that time frame. Ask a research specialist for help if you get stuck. http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4103/5045320233_49e54fa7fa_m.jpg
flickr user Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com License CC by 2.0 Old school knowledge. Image by fotopedia user Joi Ito. accessed at < http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-4059100968> 3.15.12 License CC by 2.0 The mission of National History Day is to provide students with opportunities to learn historical content and develop research, analysis, thinking and communication skills through the study of history in an authentic way. Over Half A Million Students Participate Each Year! Theme Tips: Turning Points In History Project should show before, during and after a point.
CONTEXT is very important
It should focus on a specific person, an event, or an idea.
Project must also show that the point was SIGNIFICANT in some way - 'the so what factor' Presentation Tips: Project can be a Paper, Exhibit, Documentary, Website, or Dramatic Performance
Keep what type of project you'd like to do in mind as you start your research (can you access pictures, interviews, multimedia, artifacts, costumes?)
Clarity is extremely important. More is not always better. "The true benefits from participating in National History Day go way past a certificate or medal. The program teaches kids the writing, analytical understanding, and reading comprehension skills that will make them a success in life, no matter what their career," states parent Susan Moose.
-via md.nhd.org Make your project
STAND OUT! CHOOSE WISELY Avoid topics that are:
not historical.
difficult or impossible to locate primary sources for.
unable to be separated from your personal or cultural bias. NHD projects should do more than just tell a story. Every exhibit, performance, documentary, paper and web site should make a point about its topic. To do this, you must develop your own argument of the historical impact of the person, event, pattern or idea you are studying. This is your THESIS! HISTORICAL QUALITY! Historical Quality
Connection to Theme
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