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STL 226: Social Studies for Elementary Majors: Process Paper & Annotated Bibliography

Writing the paper

The process paper has a title page and four sections. The sections allow judges to get insights into your specific topic and processes.

Length: No more than 500 words


  • The process paper can be written in a narrative style, incorporating all of the sections.
  • Or it can be in question and answer format, with a descriptive paragraph answer for each question. 

Title Page

Your title page must include 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.

Section 1 - How I chose my topic

The first section should explain how you selected your topic.

Section 2 - How I conducted my research

The second section should explain how you conducted your research. For example, was it difficult to find primary sources for your topic? Where did you go to find your sources?

Section 3 - How I selected my presentation category and created my project

The third section should explain how you selected your presentation category and created your project.

Section 4 - How my project relates to this year’s theme

The fourth section should explain how your project relates to the NHD theme and why is your topic significant in history. How did you develop the ideas of your thesis to make it fit the theme? Make sure that your theme connection and thesis are clear in your project itself, as well as in your process paper. This paragraph is often the most important part of your process paper.

See Sample Process Papers

You'll find sample process papers on the National NHD Website.

Sample Annotated Bibliographies of Historical Sources

Creating an annotated bibliography lets your reader know what sources you
used in the creation of your project. First, an annotated bibliography tells
the reader how many sources you used and the quality and range of
sources used in your research. It provides evidence of the many
hours that you spent doing research in libraries, archives, classrooms,
and on the internet. Second, the annotation informs the reader how you
used your sources and why they were valuable to understanding your topic.

See further information and NHD rules.