The Process Paper
Instructions from NHD’s website & Doc’s requirements
A process paper is a description of no more than 500 words explaining how you conducted your research and created and developed your entry. You must conclude your description with an explanation of the relationship of your topic to the contest theme.
A title page is required as the first page of written material in every category. Your title page must include only the title of your entry, your name(s) and the contest division and category in which you are entered. Do not include your age, grade or school name.
The first section should explain how you chose your topic.
Doc requires: What is your personal connection to the topic? Why did YOU choose THIS topic?
In the first few sentences, be sure to mention “National History Day” (spelled out, not NHD) and the theme. You might start your paper with something like (not word for word – this is just an example!), “When I discovered the theme of this year’s National History Day project is… I decided I wanted to explore…”
The second section should explain how you conducted your research.
Doc requires: Discuss what sets your research apart — what you did that other competitors did not do. Focus on contact and interaction with experts, trips to important locations, particularly difficult and savvy research, and use of primary sources.
The third section should explain how you selected your presentation category and created your project.
Doc requires: Why is this category best for your topic? Why is this category best for you?
The fourth section should explain how your project relates to the NHD theme.
Doc requires: Include your thesis. Relate your project to the theme, using the wording of the theme.
Sample process papers: