Please note, the Modern by Design exhibition is temporarily closed for repairs and will reopen on April 27 More

Anthony Williams & Alexis Owens


Welcome to the Chicago Metro History Fair where you are the historian.  Use this page as a guide to help you through this challenging and rewarding project. If you want additional help, come out to our RESEARCH PALOOZAS on January 12, 2019 at the Harold Washington Library, January 19 at NEIU Ronald Williams Library, and February 9 at the UIC Library.

Start your History Fair journey by reviewing our “Students Become Historians” PowerPoint, which gives a detailed explanation of what is involved in participating in History Fair and provides helpful advice for each of the five major steps.

Students who are at non-participating schools may submit a History Fair project as an Independent Scholar. In order to participate as an Independent Scholar, submit this form.

Find Your Topic

Choosing a History Fair topic that you are passionate about is an important foundation for a successful project. Check out the topic selection worksheet to understand what makes a good topic. This History Fair Topics list is long, but it has a lot of great ideas for projects. Use the Encyclopedia of Chicago to learn more! The National History Day 2019 theme essay provides further insights into “Triumph and Tragedy (in Chicago/Illinois History).”

Do Your Research

History Fair strengthens your research skills as you seek out historical sources. Learn more about how to find and use primary and secondary sources that are crucial to the process. Seek out libraries and archives to help you in your search. Use our resources to help you keep track of your sources, avoid plagiarism, and create a great annotated bibliography.

Analyze and Argue

Now it is time to make sense of the evidence you gathered. Spend time analyzing your sources and discovering how they might answer your historical question. Your thesis statement is the answer you are trying to prove. Consider how the evidence relates to other sources and how you might use them to develop an argument.

Make History

History Fair allows you to choose the way you present your findings to the world through five project categories. Click through to review the rules for the different types of projects: Documentary, Exhibit, Research Paper, Performance, and Website.

Click here to see examples of each type of History Fair project.

Be sure to complete your Summary Statement form before the competition.

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