Judging Orientation PDF Print E-mail

The Judging Orientation page helps new judges evaluate scores and leave good comments on projects by providing a quick overview of the methodology.

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judge orientation

Watch History Fair Judging Guide video

by Maryhelen Matijevic (Mt. Carmel High School)

Instructions: Click anywhere in the center of the slideshow featured below to advance to the next slide. To go back one slide, click anywhere in the area of the left side of the slideshow. The presentation is about 37 slides long.

 

Procedures for Judging and Tabulating History Fair Score

  1. You will judge with a partner.  EACH of you will write an evaluation for the projects you are assigned.

  2. Start with the worksheet: be sure to complete the project information so there is no confusion, score all four categories, and take good notes—they will make final evaluations much easier. 

  3. NO SHOWS-write project # and “no show” on one of the worksheets.

  4. Take one copy of each project’s Summary Statement Form and Annotated Bibliography for further review (please jot down the project #). 

  5. Interview the students and then give them their Student Historian ribbon.

    • Exhibit judges will interview students after all projects have been evaluated.
    • Performance and documentary judges will spend a minute or two completing notes then interview the students before moving on to the next presentation.
    • Interviews do not count in the scoring of the project.

  6. Compare your evaluations with your partner.  Your scores must be within 8 points of each other.  Verify penalty points, if any.

  7. Transfer worksheet scores and penalties to the final evaluations.  Each judge writes an evaluation for each project (see below).  Please write legibly since they will be sent to the students after the event.  Be sure to sign your evaluations.

  8. Please complete your evaluation of US.

  9. Once completed, submit to History Fair staff the evaluations, Summary Statement Forms and Annotated Bibliographies for each project in the folder provided.  Only one worksheet needs to be included for the “no show.”   It helps us if you partner the evaluations.

  10. If you are available to judge again, please give us that form as well.

Prompts for Writing Comments on the Final Evaluation

  1. Introduction:  Always start with a positive comment that relates to their project.

    • Very interesting topic—I didn’t know much about …
    • A sharp analytical approach to x
    • This project takes on a very important issue—
    • What a beautiful and well-produced presentation about….

  2. Body:  Focus on the strengths—every project has something positive.  Then turn to areas for improvement / positive suggestions. Students are looking for substance —they want to know you considered their work seriously, no matter what score you give them. Samples:

    • You might consider…
    • Additional primary sources would strengthen your project. You might look at…
    • Great depth of knowledge—what do you think the impact was on society… or, why did that happen….
    • Are there books or articles that would give you deeper understanding of… Check out x or y…
    • Organizing the material logically would help the viewer understand….

  3. Conclusion:  Always end with a positive comment that acknowledges and shows appreciation for their achievement.
    • Keep up the good work!  Thanks, I learned a lot!  Congratulations—really impressive project.

HISTORY FAIR SCORING RATIONALE
HIGH SCHOOL PROJECTS—AT A GLANCE

SUPERIOR HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS:

Superior
Knowledge
30-29

Great depth of factual knowledge; masterly selection of relevant information from sources; solid understanding of context and background, facts well organized to support theme.

Superior
Analysis
30-29

Strong, clear thesis is tightly focused; evidence is fully analyzed to support the argument and conclusions; highly skillful connection of topic to a greater historical context; and fully understands the impact and significance of theme.

Superior
Sources
20-19

In depth research demonstrate by blend of available secondary and primary sources.  Internet used for primary sources almost exclusively or journal articles/scholarship essays available online.  Material from special collections and archives used and quality secondary sources brought into the analysis.  Shows proficiency in the evaluation of sources.

Superior
Presentation
20-19

Compelling, engaging, well-organized project that makes the best use of sources and medium to reinforce the underlying argument.  Excellent writing--well chosen words.  Lively, appropriate blend of visual and audio sources (documentaries), visuals and text (museums).  Effective delivery, high attention to detail.  Makes history “come alive.”

EXCELLENT HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS:

Excellent
Knowledge
28-25

Thorough factual knowledge; relevant facts selected; some context and background apparent; facts clearly support theme of project.

Excellent
Analysis
28-25

Tells a story of change over time or has some other principle of organization; theme is clearly linked to conclusion; skillful attempt to place project in a larger context.  Uses evidence to illustrate story.  Some understanding of historical significance. More exposition than argument.

Excellent
Sources
18-17

Numerous and varied primary sources, some quality secondary sources.  Some analysis of sources.   Internet sources are credible.

Excellent
Presentation
18-17

Organized, creative, and interesting project. Descriptive narrative, solid writing, attention to detail.

GOOD HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS

Good
Knowledge
24-23

Some depth of knowledge; theme clearly stated but too general; information used is appropriate and relevant.

Good
Analysis
24-23

Some attempt to tell a story or organize information; some attempt at showing change over time or cause and effect; some attempt to summarize research.  All exposition.

Good
Sources
16-15

Limited to secondary sources; some variety.  Heavy and unnecessary use of general websites for sources.

Good
Presentation
16-15

Show and tell type of display, some organization and attempt at creativity, some captions and subtitles of their own.

FAIR HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS

Fair
Knowledge
22-21

Limited, factual description: only surface knowledge; theme is unfocused; facts reported are not always relevant.

Fair
Analysis
22-21

Lacks a story-line or clear line of reasoning; theme is unclear; no real conclusion.

Fair
Sources
14-13

Sources are limited to general reference works and websites.

Fair
Presentation
14-13

Little of own thought apparent in the project, disorganized, sloppy.

OVERALL PROJECT SCORES:

Superior: 99 - 89 total points; Excellent (high to low): 88.5 – 80.5 total points; Good: 80-70.5.

Example:

HISTORY FAIR SCORING RATIONALE
JUNIOR PROJECTS—AT A GLANCE

SUPERIOR HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS:

Superior
Knowledge
35-32

Great depth of factual knowledge; masterly selection of relevant information from sources; solid understanding of context and background, facts well organized to support theme.

Superior
Analysis
25-23

Strong, clear thesis is tightly focused; evidence is fully analyzed to support the argument and conclusions; highly skillful connection of topic to a greater historical context; and fully understands the impact and significance of theme.

Superior
Sources
20-19

In depth research demonstrate by blend of available secondary and primary sources.  Internet used for primary sources almost exclusively or journal articles/scholarship essays available online.  Material from special collections and archives used and quality secondary sources brought into the analysis.  Shows proficiency in the evaluation of sources.

Superior
Presentation
20-19

Compelling, engaging, well-organized project that makes the best use of sources and medium to reinforce the underlying argument.  Excellent writing--well chosen words.  Lively, appropriate blend of visual and audio sources (documentaries), visuals and text (museums).  Effective delivery, high attention to detail.  Makes history “come alive.”

EXCELLENT HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS:

Excellent
Knowledge
31-28

Thorough factual knowledge; relevant facts selected; some context and background apparent; facts clearly support theme of project.

Excellent
Analysis
22-20

Tells a story of change over time or has some other principle of organization; theme is clearly linked to conclusion; skillful attempt to place project in a larger context.  Uses evidence to illustrate story.  Some understanding of historical significance. More exposition than argument.

Excellent
Sources
18-17

Numerous and varied primary sources, some quality secondary sources.  Some analysis of sources.   Internet sources are credible.

Excellent
Presentation
18-17

Organized, creative, and interesting project. Descriptive narrative, solid writing, attention to detail.

GOOD HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS

Good
Knowledge
27-25

Some depth of knowledge; theme clearly stated but too general; information used is appropriate and relevant.

Good
Analysis
19-18

Some attempt to tell a story or organize information; some attempt at showing change over time or cause and effect; some attempt to summarize research.  All exposition.

Good
Sources
16-15

Limited to secondary sources; some variety.  Heavy and unnecessary use of general websites for sources.

Good
Presentation
16-15

Show and tell type of display, some organization and attempt at creativity, some captions and subtitles of their own.

FAIR HISTORY FAIR PROJECTS

Fair
Knowledge
24-21

Limited, factual description: only surface knowledge; theme is unfocused; facts reported are not always relevant.

Fair
Analysis
17-15

Lacks a story-line or clear line of reasoning; theme is unclear; no real conclusion.

Fair
Sources
14-13

Sources are limited to general reference works and websites.

Fair
Presentation
14-13

Little of own thought apparent in the project, disorganized, sloppy.

OVERALL PROJECT SCORES:

Superior: 99 - 89 total points; Excellent (high to low): 88.5 – 80.5 total points; Good: 80-70.5.

Example:

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