History Fair Research Paper Rules PDF Print E-mail

The research paper allows students to develop a historical argument in a lengthy written form.

STUDENTS -- DOWNLOAD OUR INSPIRING AND INFORMATIVE RESEARCH PAPERS GUIDE.  YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

RULE 1: Individuals only.

RULE 2: Papers may be 1500-2500 words in length (refers to the body of the text only--not the additional components).

RULE 3: The paper is preceded by a cover page (title and student name only), thesis statement, and outline. It concludes with an annotated bibliography which is divided by primary and secondary sources. These pages are not included in the word count. Students do not submit Summary Statement Forms.

RULE 4: In addition to the annotated bibliography, citations must be included as either endnotes, footnotes, or in-line notes.  Either Turabian (CMS) or MLA styles are acceptable so long as the style is consistently followed.

RULE 5: Project topics must be connected to the Chicago region--even if the national theme is being used. Non-Chicago topics will be evaluated but will not be eligible to advance. Junior HF allows topics in Illinois history.

RULE 6: Plagiarism is not accepted, and constitutes grounds for disqualification.

PENALTY POINTS (High School only)
Exceeds word/page limitations: Minus 2 points for each full page over 11 pages (11 pages is the approximately length of a 2500-page paper) 
No Outline: Minus 5 points
No Thesis Statement: Minus 5 points
Bibliography not annotated: Minus 5 points
No citations: Minus 5 points
No bibliography: 0 points in sources category

Research Paper Guidelines

See "Communicating Your Story" in the Making History section for further guidance or download the category guide..

  • Appendices are not required. Only maps, charts, photographs, transcribed oral histories or other types of evidence directly addressed in the text may be included in the appendix. Extraneous or supplemental material will not be credited. Do not send original sources-CMHEC cannot be held responsible for any loss of originals.

  • A Summary Statement Form is not submitted for research papers. Instead, students must submit a thesis statement, outline, and footnotes. (See Rules above.)

  • Submit two copies of the paper to the History Fair. Each copy should have a cover sheet containing the title and student name only (no images). Only one cover sheet should give the name of the school.

  • The judging process for research papers follows a different evaluation schedule than other History Fair projects. Students will attend a Papers Forum on the regional contest and the superior Finalists will be interviewed at the Metro Finals.  Papers are eligible for all awards and scholarships.

Review Award-Winning Papers and Annotated Bibliographies

 

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