How To Write A Thesis Statement For History Fair Chicago

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 at local libraries and universities.  During contest season, check back here for results from the fair.

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 2018 theme site will provide further resources about “Conflict and Compromise in 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.  To understand what types of information you need to be collecting use our Conflict and Compromise Guide for Research & Thesis.

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.

What is a "thesis statement"?

Your thesis statement is the foundation of your project. It will guide all the work that you will do on your project.

Basically, a thesis is an argument... YOUR ARGUMENT! It presents a point that YOU want to prove about your topic. It shows YOUR opinion or beliefs about a particular issue.

A good thesis statement...
  • Presents a clear, original, and interesting argument.
  • Can be proven or supported by research.
  • Introduces the arguments you will use to support your claim.

A good NHD thesis statement also...
  • Addresses a narrow topic that interests you.
  • Connects that topic with the theme.
  • Is easy to understand even for someone who knows nothing about your topic.

For this year's theme, your thesis will most likely involve a cause and effect relationship, showing how your topic changed history, but it does not have to. Here are some examples of potential thesis statements for this year's theme.


Get help writing your thesis statement!

If you're not sure where to start, try these helpful links:
"The advent of air conditioning caused the migration of many Northerners to Southern states such as Florida. This shift introduced elements of a more "Northern" lifestyle, including a variety of culinary traditions and more service-based jobs, significantly changing the culture and economy of the South." 

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