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Thesis Statement Nhd 2016 Winners

The time is nearing.

Topics have been chosen, research is in full swing, students are starting to ponder color schemes and costume choices. That can only mean that the time for one of the most difficult steps in the process is at hand: the writing of the thesis statement.

The thesis statement, best written when students are in the middle of their research so the statement is based on knowledge but still has a chance to be flexible, helps direct students through their argument and, later, judges and teachers through the project’s ultimate point. It is so important, and for a lot of students, so daunting.

There are no hard and fast rules for thesis-statement writing, but here are a couple of guidelines to ease students’ path.

  • Keep it short. Thesis statements should hover between 40-60 words. Too short, and there’s not enough information to explain the argument. Too long, and too many details have been included. Plus, if the students are creating an exhibit, and they only have 500 student-composed words to use, it doesn’t make sense to use up 100 of those words on just the thesis.
  • Include all five W’s. The thesis is the first thing the viewer reads, so we should know immediately the who-what-where-when, and also the why-is-this-important.
  • Include the theme words. Judges and teachers need to know how the topic relates to the theme, especially if the topic is obscure, extremely narrow, or isn’t immediately clear in its connection to the theme words.
  • Leave facts out, put arguments in. We don’t need to see every detail of the topic in the thesis. Leave those for the project itself. What we need to see in the thesis is the student’s argument, or the point he/she is trying to make.
  • Write, revise, research, revise. Students should not use the first draft of their thesis statement, but instead should revise based on feedback, go back to their research or conduct new research to make sure the thesis is accurate, and then revise once more.

If you can, show students good examples of thesis statements, as well as bad examples. Here is a good resource to get you started. While a good thesis statement doesn’t automatically ensure a good project, it certainly makes the project better and helps the student find a focus.

 Bayshore Community Academy
2016 National Finalists and Winners: ​https://nhd.org/awards-category-winners?field_year_tid=25
This year’s theme, Conflict & Compromise in History, requires you to view history through multiple perspectives. Compromise can sometimes prevent a conflict, but what happens when it does not? If a conflict occurs, how can compromise help to end the conflict? What happens if a failed compromise leads to an even larger conflict? Throughout this academic year, you will need to ask yourself these questions and more. 

You can begin brainstorming for possible topics by thinking about subjects you are interested in, whether it is science, sports, art, travel, culture, or even specific people. Make note of any areas of interest, creating a list of possible subjects. Talking with your classmates, teachers, and parents about your list can help you narrow down your selection. Throughout this process, keep in mind that your topic must relate to "Conflict and Compromise" and must be historical, not a current event, meaning it should be at least 20 years old.

​A million ideas flood your mind when you think about conflict and compromise. The final products, which will include exhibits, web sites,dramatic performances, and documentaries, will cover a variety of exciting topics.(Fifth grade students will make an exhibit.)

Link to help identify topics to consider: http://pickingatopic.weebly.com/

Getting Started

Official National History Day Information

Finding a Topic

Wisconsin Topic Ideas
File Size: 1426 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Crafting Your Thesis Statement

Digging into the Research

Visit the sources below to better prepare National History Day

Other Important Information

Creating the Product
Check out this link of SAMPLE PROJECTS
ideo of Past Wisconsin Winners and Guidance for Selecting a Topic

Web Site Resources

Exhibits from the 2014 Theme - Rights and Responsibilities

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