NHD Research: Historical Context & Timeline
Research Guidelines: Primary and Secondary Sources
***Every Source you use in your project MUST be cited in your bibliography***
You must use at least 10 different sources of information, of which 5 sources must be Primary sources.
Primary and Secondary Sources will guide your research.
Like professional historians, National History Day students must ask questions about their topic's significance in history, do background research using secondary sources to understand the context of their topic, and they must interpret primary sources to answer questions about their research topics.
An annotated bibliography is required. It should contain all sources that provided usable information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. You will look at many more sources than you actually use. You should list only those sources that contributed to the development of your project. Sources of visual materials/ pictures and oral interviews must be included. The annotations for each source must explain how the source is used and how it helped you understand your topic.
Remember, you will be asked to:
1. Explain how each source was used in your project
2. Defend your reasons for naming a source as primary or secondary
“Sources are separated into primary and secondary.”
Primary Sources*-- A primary source is one that was written or produced in the time period of the topic that you are investigating. Primary sources are materials directly related to a topic by time or participation. Primary sources are firsthand historical materials. Example: pictures of an event, description made by a person participating or witnessing an event, diaries, census records, birth certificates, etc.
Secondary Sources*--are usually published books or articles by authors who were not eyewitnesses or participants in the historical event and who base their interpretation on primary sources, research, and study. Examples: textbooks, encyclopedia entries, history books and magazines, graphs and charts, etc.
Websites: You must use different materials for source documentation: Books, Interviews, Newspaper & Magazine Articles, Journals, Speeches, etc.
You may NOT use only websites for your sources. However, take note that electronic versions of newspapers, magazine articles, etc are not considered “websites.”
Do not cite search engines. Google is not primary or secondary sources. It is a search engines used to find information online.
Websites dedicated to the NHD project with sample topics and primary source research:
Examples of Past Projects: http://www.nhd.org/StudentProjectExamples.htm
Historical Context & Timeline
Due Monday, December 3, 2018.
(One per group.) You do not need to use this form, just make sure that all your information is on your paper.
Ask yourself these questions as you look at sources:
1) Is this source primary or secondary? Is this source giving you enough information to use in your project? Does this source support your thesis?
2) How are you going to use this source in your project? Does the source support your thesis? Does the source challenge you to think about the impact of your topic?
3) How are you going to annotate your source? Is it a primary and secondary source documents? Can you identify your source as an interview, article or book? Can you explain what you learned from your source? Can you clearly state how you used the source’s information in your project?