First, you need to figure out what the theme is. You can have the most amazing project, but if it doesn't perfectly fit the theme, your project will not move on. Also, make sure you thoroughly understand what the theme means. THEMES
Picking a Topic - This has to be one of the hardest parts of making a good project. Not only do you have to find something that fits the theme perfectly, but it also has to be unique enough that there will not be 20 projects with your same topic. At the same time, you have to be able to get lots and lots of information on the topic, so it can not be too obscure.
Tips for Picking a Topic - I suggest looking through the newspaper for any noteworthy people. Also keep in mind if you want to do a project on a group of people, or on an individual. Ask around, from parents to grandparents, or other adults you know, if they remember something big from the news about a certain person, or group of people.
Choosing the Presentation - You have five options: an essay, exhibit, documentary, performance, and a website. Decide what your or your group’s strong points. If your topic is particularly dramatic, try going for a performance. If you or someone in your group is good with computers/video, try a documentary or website. If as an individual you are a good writer, try an essay.
Thesis - This is ridiculously important, no matter what type of project you are doing. Your thesis should be the center of your project, with you basing everything around it. Here is a tried and true way of making a smashing thesis.
History Day Thesis Wizard
What to do after your thesis - Now is the time to start really collecting information. This is also the time to start formatting your project, something as simple as the points you want to make, or as complex as a complete outline. Plus, figure out how to point out that your topic relates to the theme, as you do not want to leave any question in the judges’ minds.
Make sure you use good glue! Such as the spray on types, but NEVER the liquid stuff, as when it dries, it looks bad.
Annotated Bibliography - this is rather important. Seriously. If you do not have this, than you can not move on. Use easybib.com or another formatting website if you are unsure how to do an MLA bibliography. Annotations should include type of source, (newspaper article, website etc.), how you used it, and a brief summary (very brief).
Sources Primary Sources: INCREIDEBLY IMPORTANT!!! Not only because it looks good on your bibliography (you can be marked down if you do not have very many primary sources), but because they give you such a better understanding and connection to what you are creating. Secondary Sources: These are also important as they give basic facts and gave give you a nice summary and foundation for you to start your project. Remember, if it wasn't written by someone who was there, or was in that time period, it is a secondary source.
Sources Continued... Please do not have all of your sources be from the internet. I mean, come on, really. Not only do I think that it is silly, the judges will point this out to you, and points may be subtracted. If you do not have the time to go to the library and search for books, just go online to mplib.org and request books. The site will send you an email when they are ready to be picked up, and you can go and be out within 10 minutes.
Process Paper - No matter what type of project you do, you need to write one of these. If you are doing a performance, or a documentary, you can not start your presentation until the judges have finished reading this paper. It is the first thing they see of your project, so make it good. This is a fairly simple paper. All that is needed is why you picked this topic, how you have conducted research/your process, and how it relates to the theme. This should also be no more than 500 words, so about a page and a half double spaced.
Time Management - If you listen to any of this, pay attention to this last bit: DO NOT START THE NIGHT BEFORE! Not only will your grade reflect the amount of work you put in, but why settle for less when you can get extra credit for moving on? By going to Nationals I was able to get out of Finals, so you see, it pays off. The earlier you start, the less you have to do in the end, and the less stressful it is overall.
Good Luck - So now it is time to start cracking on your project. Go ahead, work it out, and grab a group. Now is the time to mention, don't work with best friends or significant others. By the end of this project, you will be ready to kill the other person. Seriously.