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Utah History Day Step by Step

We are excited that you’ve decided to do a project for Utah History Day! Thousands of Utah students just like you participate in History Day every year. The best advance to compete at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C.! Will it be you this year? We hope so! But before you can win, you’ve got to get started! Here’s how:

  1. Learn about the NHD Annual Theme.
  2. Choose your topic. You must choose a new topic each year. You cannot reuse research from a previous project. You cannot share or borrow research from another group or prior year’s project. 
  3. Decide which competition category you will enter. Learn more about them at our online Gallery.
  4. Research your topic. Start with 3-5 books and articles written by experts (secondary sources). Then begin searching for historical documents, newspaper articles, letters, etc. (primary sources). Find as many primary and secondary sources as you can. Research resources here.
  5. Create Your Project. 
    • Think about what your sources show. 
    • Explain how your topic relates to the theme. 
    • Place your topic in historical context. 
    • Show what happened. 
    • Tell why it’s important. 
    • Download Qualities of a Good NHD Project.
  6. Read the NHD Rule Book. More than a list of rules, this is your essential guide in creating your entry and will answer most of your questions.
  7. Complete your Process Paper and Annotated Bibliography. Learn more about these in the NHD Rule Book.  Students should bring 4 copies of each to the competition.
  8. Register for your local competition. Your first competition may be at your school or district. Registration for Utah’s ten regional contests opens January 1. Look for your contest dates and deadlines here



  • What does it cost?  IT’S FREE!  There is no registration fee for regional or state competitions in Utah.
  • Who can participate? Any Utah student in grades 4-12. Utah History Day is open to children who attend public, private, parochial, charter, online, or home schools.
  • Can I participate if my school does not?  YES!  Students may complete a project and enter their local regional competition on their own.