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Section II: Awards and Recognition

          The Junior Historian Writing Contests

          The Adopt a Building Preservation Program

          History Fair and Contest Guidelines

          Chapter Achievement Awards

          Sponsor Awards

THE JUNIOR HISTORIAN WRITING CONTESTS

A $200 award heads the list of nearly $2,000 in prizes awarded to winners in the Junior Historian writing contests. For over seven decades thousands of young Texans have participated in these contests, writing the history of Texas from the perspective of their home communities. Many of these writings have been recorded through publication in the Texas Historian magazine.

The $200 award--part of the Kate Harding Bates Parker Awards--is given to the student writing the best paper in the senior division general category. While this may be on any history subject, Texas and local topics are preferred. Other prizes in the senior division general category are: second place, $100; and third place, $75. Prizes in the junior division general category are: first place, $150; second place, $100; and third place, $75. Several other awards are designed to encourage young Texans to research and write the history of minorities in Texas. For the most up-to-date list of these special awards, see the Writing Awards page.

Elementary division members are eligible to participate in the Photographic Essay Contest designed to encourage young people to research and photograph places of historic significance. This contest is an extension of the Buildings in Time activity found in the Save Our History Educators Manual from the Resource Section. Members research and photograph a building or location in their community, write a no more than 500 word description of the location based on the questions found on pages 15-17 in the Save Our History Educators Manual, and include a collection of photographs that adequately show the building. A completed entry must include four copies of the following:

  • A title page with only the name of the building, its address, and the student's name.
  • The no more than 500 essay, using endnotes.
  • An annotated bibliography with sources separated between primary and secondary.
  • The collection of photographs of the building with captions.
  • All entries should be typed on 8 by 11 inch white paper with 1 inch margins on all sides and stapled in the upper left hand corner.
  • Photos should be printed on photographic paper from either a standard 35 mm camera or be high resolution (300 dpi or greater) digital images.

Winning entries will receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place, $50 for third place, and may be selected for publication on the Junior Historian website.

From time to time the Association and other historical groups and organizations in Texas have offered special one year writing awards. For a listing of these special awards, see the Junior Historian Writing Contest webpage at www.tshaonline.org/education/students/writing-contest.

The guidelines for the Junior Historian writing contests are nearly identical to those of the National History Day historical paper category except:

  • The contest is open topic, which means there is no theme that the topic must relate to. Topics on Texas and local history are preferred though not mandatory. Special Awards do require the writer to address specific areas of history through their chosen topic.
  • Both internal documentation and endnotes are allowed, though ENDNOTES ARE PREFERRED. You may be asked to convert the paper to endnotes if the paper is selected for publication.
  • You must be a member of a Junior Historian chapter or a Member-at-Large to enter the contest. For a list of schools with chapters or instructions for becoming a member-at-large click on the appropriate link in the previous sentence.
  • A paper may compete for any combination of awards, but the same paper is not eligible for more than one Special Award.
  • Awards are given at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting. You do NOT have to be present to win, though participation is strongly encouraged.

Paper Guidelines

Development Requirements

Papers submitted for competition must be researched and developed during the current contest year that begins following the Annual Meeting each Spring. Revising or reusing an entry from a previous year--whether your own or another student's--is unacceptable and will result in disqualification.

Production of Entry

You are responsible for the research, design, and creation of your entry. You may receive help and advice from teachers and parents on the mechanical aspects of creating your entry:

  1. You may have help typing your paper and other written materials.
  2. You may seek guidance from your teachers as you research and analyze your material, but your conclusions must be your own.

Required Materials

Entries must include four copies of the following written materials in the following order:

  1. A title page as described below.
  2. A properly documented paper as described below.
  3. An annotated bibliography as described below.

Materials must be typed, computer printed, or legibly handwritten in ink on plain, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper with 1-inch margins on all sides. Pages must be numbered consecutively and double-spaced with writing on one side and with no more than 12 characters per inch or no less than 10-point type. Materials must be stapled in the top left corner and should not be enclosed in any cover or binder.

Title Page

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. The title page should have no illustrations.

Paper Length Requirements

The text of historical papers must be no less than 1,500 and no more than 2,500 words in length. Each word or number in the text of the paper counts as one word.

The paper category 2,500 word limit does not apply to: notes, annotated bibliography, illustration captions, and supplemental/appendix material. Appendix material must be directly referred to in the text of the paper. Extensive supplemental materials are inappropriate. Use of appendices should be very limited and may include photographs, maps, charts, graphs, but we strongly suggest no other supplemental materials.

Paper Citations

Citations--endnotes or internal documentation--are required. Citations are used to credit the sources of specific ideas as well as direct quotations. Refer to the Style Guides section below for citation styles. Please note that an extensively annotated footnote should not be used to get around the word limit.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. It should contain all sources that provided usable information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. You will look at many more sources than you actually use. You should list only those sources that contributed to the development of your entry. Sources of visual materials and oral interviews must be included. The annotations for each source must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic.

For example: Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962.

Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This first hand account was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved.

The Separation of Primary and Secondary Sources

You are required to separate your annotated bibliography into primary and secondary sources.

Style Guides

Style for citations and bibliographic references must follow the principles in one of the following style guides:

1. Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

A Guide to Turabian's Manual for Writers

2. Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th Edition

A Guide to MLA Documentation

Regardless of which manual you use, the style must be consistent throughout the paper.

Plagiarism

You must acknowledge in your paper and annotated bibliography all sources used in your entry. Failure to credit sources is plagiarism and will result in disqualification.

Entry Submission

Four copies of the required materials must be submitted with the appropriate entry form by the deadline established for the contest. Entry materials will be sent to chapter sponsors and members-at-large in January. Members-at-large who join later but before February 15th will have entry materials sent to them upon joining.

Winning papers are often published by contest officials in the Texas Historian; you must be prepared to give permission for such publication. Photographs, maps, and illustrations are encouraged with each paper. It is often difficult for the Texas Historian staff to locate photographs to illustrate an article on local history being considered for publication. The lack of suitable photographs has prevented publication of some excellent manuscripts. Black and white glossy prints are preferred. Color prints of good quality are acceptable. Student authors should never submit copies of illustrations from books or pamphlets unless written permission from the publisher has been granted. Xerox copies of illustrations are acceptable, providing the originals are available to the Texas Historian, if the manuscript is chosen for publication.

THE ADOPT-A-BUILDING PRESERVATION PROGRAM

Since 1985 Junior Historian chapters have had an opportunity to participate in this exciting preservation education program whereby chapters academically adopt a building* which has not been previously researched. Through media presentations, displays, and outreach programs, Junior Historians spend an academic school year uncovering information about their building's (or site's) architectural and social history. In the process chapters often develop a new interest in the role buildings play in their history of communities. Many have also helped increase preservation awareness in their neighborhoods and communities.

Over the years a number of chapters have adopted historic homes while others have selected to study schools in their towns. Several others have adopted landmarks rather than buildings per se. These adoptions include the Corpus Christi Bluff Improvement Project (Baker Junior High); an abandoned railroad depot (Crockett Junior High); and an old major-league-size baseball stadium (Alpine Junior High).

While completing the four phases of the program, chapters are required to do extensive primary research on their site's history. In fact, in at least one instance, the research was sufficient to qualify the site for a Texas historical marker. Such was the case with the chapter from Kilgore High School, which adopted their 1930s mission-revival style high school building.

This unit outlines the four phases of the Adopt-a-Building Program:

  1. Declaration of Adoption by November 1st
  2. Adopt-a-Building Survey by January 30th
  3. Sight and Sound Program by March 1st
  4. Declaration of Outreach by March 1st

A Junior Historian chapter might consider dividing into committees which would be responsible for different phases of the program. Students with special interests, talents, and skills can work on an aspect of "adoption" which particularly appeals to them.

*In addition to a building, chapters may also adopt a bridge, cemetery, or other landmark of historical significance.

PHASE I - DECLARATION OF ADOPTION

Junior Historians should choose a structure for adoption which is interesting to chapter members in some way. The structure you choose may have fascinating architecture, it may be a place where many members of your community worked or played, or the building may tell the story of an interesting local family or organization.

Chapters should not choose a building or site whose history has been widely publicized before or one which everyone already knows is historic. Rather, Junior Historians should "adopt" a building which is relatively unknown and make fellow citizens aware of its history, importance, and place in the life of their community.

Buildings and landmarks of all types should be considered including:
Residential Commercial Agricultural Public/Institutional Industrial
Residences of all types should be considered, including homes of low, middle and upper income levels. Stores Farmhouses Schools Factories
Warehouses Barns Churches Mills
Offices Outbuildings Synagogues Workshops
Restaurants   Libraries  
Hotels   Clubs  
Inns   Organizations  
Airports   City Halls  
Depots   Courthouses  
    Bandstands  
    Bridges  
    Cemeteries  

Community Input

Once you have selected the building, consult with the owner (and/or occupants) and explain the program. Be sure to explain that you are only academically "adopting" the building for study and will be doing research about the structure. The owner's cooperation will be helpful in providing access to the building for drawings and photographs, and information about your "adoption," which will give you important leads when investigating its history. You will need to submit two slides and a photograph of the building with the Declaration of Adoption.

We encourage you to work with your local historical commission, historical society, museum, and library during the Adopt-A-Building program. These agencies contain important collections of documents and photographs and are staffed by knowledgeable people familiar with local history and historic preservation.

Fill out the Declaration of Adoption and send it to the TSHA to register your "adoption." This will record your intention to complete the program. You will be listed by the Association as a Provisional Adopt-a-Building Group. Upon receipt of the Declaration of Adoption form, the Association will send your chapter a "Certificate of Adoption."

PHASE II - Adopt-a-Building SURVEY

Once your chapter has selected a building and contacted the owner, your Junior Historian chapter should visit the structure. On your initial visit to the building, spend a good deal of time investigating its exterior. The owner may be willing to allow the group inside, and you can make notes and sketches of what you see.

The Survey

The Survey Form, which you fill out and send back to the Association, will help you to organize your research. The history and architecture of the building should be clearly stated since it will become part of the permanent record in the archives of the TSHA. Your completed survey form will be an invaluable resource for others in their investigation of local history in your community. Extra copies of the survey form may also be presented by your chapter to the local preservation organization, historical commission, and library as a record of your project and research.

Architectural Guides

There are at least three works that will be helpful in preparing the Adopt-a-Building Survey Forms on building styles and physical descriptions. John Blumenson's Identifying American Architecture: A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, 1600-1945 is the best guide to use when you are in the field looking at your building. It is available from the American Association for State and Local History, 172 Second Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37201. Another guide by Marcus Wiffen, American Architecture Since 1780: A Guide to the Styles (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992) is a more scholarly work, and has an excellent bibliography. These works may be borrowed from your library or ordered from your local bookstore.

Sources

Complete the survey form using information gathered from the sources suggested in the following section. Researching your building will be very much like detective work. People will give you leads which you will verify with documentary sources as much as possible. Begin with the following list of standard sources for information. Do not be discouraged if the materials you expect to find at a particular location are not available. You may need to look in another location so ask the clerk or librarian for assistance. After members verify and uncover basic information, Junior Historians can expand the story of the building by using the additional sources listed below.

STANDARD SOURCES LOCATION WHAT YOU WILL FIND

STANDARD SOURCES LOCATION WHAT YOU WILL FIND
Building department records and permits Local municipal building or city hall Date of construction, construction materials, plans, block and lot, name of architect/builder
Tax assessment records City Hall Owner's name, assessment value of house, building name
Land deeds and Conveyances Owner, local county courthouse Former owner's name, amount paid for property, mortgage company name
Wills and probate records County courthouse Former owner's name, sometimes inventories of household affects
Fire insurance maps, atlases and plat books Local historical society or library Building location, shape of building to determine changes, construction materials, owner's name, and development of neighborhood
City directories and telephone books Local library Name of owner and occupation, neighborhood transition based on changing ownership Name of owner and occupation, neighborhood transition based on changing ownership
Census Records Local library; Federal Archives Branch, Fort Worth General information about individual and property
Church and synagogue records Congregation offices Varied information about congregation and building
Business records Business location; local historical society Varied information about products, services, and incorporation
Organizational, including charters and incorporation papers Secretary of State Information about records, organizational goals, and information
Photographs Local historical society; library; owner Visual documentation of he structure, neighborhood changes, and building alterations
ADDITIONAL SOURCES LOCATION WHAT YOU WILL FIND
Oral History Owner, long time residents Anecdotal materials and background about the building which is usually not available elsewhere
Newspapers
bird's eye views/portraits
scrapbooks
correspondence
diaries
biographies
autobiographies
account books
receipts
contracts
genealogical studies
interviews
social registers
local histories
building histories
Local historical society, library Information about bird's eye view, specific individuals, and buildings; note that these sources are often less reliable, but can provide a wealth of information.

PHASE II - Adopt-a-Building SURVEY FORM INSTRUCTIONS

Sources for information requested in sections 1-15 should be listed as simplified footnotes within your responses. For example:

Burnet County Jail was built in 1884
(Texas Public Buildings of the 19th Century, page 210)
Complete Bibliographic information of sources is required in section 16.

  1. Buildings original and current names. Note the earliest known name of the structure and list it on the form in the space provided. This can be obtained from atlases, wills, deeds, or other sources. A descriptive name (Smithville Mansion), name of the current owner (Smith House) or street address (92 Mountain Way, Smithville) may be listed as the present name. Some sites are known by compound names (Smith-Hilby House) and should be listed as such. Individually footnote sources of information.
  2. Full Address. Give the full address of the building, including zip code. If there is no particular name or number on the building, list the nearest road or other landmark to identify the building (500 feet west of intersection of Rural Road and Taylor Lane in Belton, TX). Include the city and county names on the form (Plainview, Hale County).
  3. Block and Lot. Each building has a block and lot number to distinguish it from other buildings in town. All building department records are filed by this system. All you need to know is the exact address of the building to obtain this information, which is available in your city hall.
  4. Present Owner's Name and Address. Indicate the present owner's name and address if they are different from your adopted building's address. Check the tax assessment records in the municipal building or city hall for this information. The last deed for the property will also record the present owner's name. These deeds can be found in your county courthouse.
  5. Construction Date. Use the exact date, if found in your research, and the source. If you have not been able to locate the date, use an approximate date (c. 1886) or a quarter century (last quarter of the 19th century). Note the source of your estimated date (architectural style, maps, deeds, dated historic photos, local building tradition, etc.). Many times the date will have to be inferred from this information.
  6. Architect/Builder's Name. List the architect's or builder's name if known.
  7. Building Usage. Indicate the original, past, and present uses of the building, if known. Provide a list with footnotes of all the uses and dates you have uncovered in your research. The type of use (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or institutional) might be the same or could have changed over the years.
  8. Building Plan. Draw the first floor plan of the building. Usually the shape will be square, rectangular, T shaped, L shaped, or irregular. You don't have to be perfectly accurate, but give a general idea of the building's shape. If there is more than one building on the lot, draw a plan of the lot, including the location of other buildings and their uses. Include a compass arrow pointing north somewhere in the sketch plan.
  9. Description of Physical Condition. Based on the club's examination of the exterior of the building, describe the condition of the building using the following guidelines. Excellent--no visible need for repairs; Good--need for general maintenance, such as painting; Fair--need for more than general maintenance; Poor--need for major repairs (indicate type of repairs needed). Include a brief reason for your choice.
  10. Description of the Building's Setting. Note the relation of the structure to the street, size of the lot, and its relation to other buildings on the property. Indicate whether the building is free standing or connected to another building. Include information about landscaping, types of trees, fences, outbuildings, or any other distinguishing features about the property.
  11. Surrounding Environment. Circle all that apply.
  12. Architectural Style. Identify the style of the building by using John Blumenson Identifying American Architecture. A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, 1600-1945 or Marcus Wiffen American Architecture Since 1760, A Guide to the Styles. Buildings that have elements of more than one style should be listed as such (Queen Ann/Shingle Style or Vernacular with Greek Revival Details).
  13. Architectural Features. Itemize and describe as many architectural features of the building as possible. Use Blumenson and Wiffen for the names of building parts. Make comments on your form about materials used, style, type, and location of the following elements: entrance, windows, siding, walls, roofs, chimney, porch, wings, and other notable features. Include any interior features if possible. Describe everything in such a way that a person without a photo could clearly visualize the building. Synthesize this information into paragraph form. Use additional sheets if needed.
  14. Additions and Alterations. Discuss the major changes in the exterior of the building such as new siding or porch posts. Evaluate if they have added to or detracted from the character of the building. How do the additions and alterations mirror the history of the building? Date the alterations, if possible.
  15. Significance. Discuss the historical and architectural reasons for choosing the building for research. Focus on the building's owners, history and changes throughout its existence.

    Indicate if the structure is rare or representative of the neighborhood. Is the building a good example of its style or type? Does it have special features? Is it well preserved? Most importantly, what was the building's role in the community's development? This section is the most significant part of the form and should be completed in a narrative style. Include in your narrative information from other parts of the form, if needed. Use additional sheets, if needed.

  16. Building's Future. Is the building undergoing renovation, has it been abandoned, is it being used for a new purpose, or is it threatened with demolition? What does the group feel is the future of the building?
  17. List Sources and Bibliography. List all sources in alphabetical order in the correct bibliographic form. For style, consult Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers. Theses and Dissertations, Fourth Edition, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1973.

These sample citations show you the correct format for some out-of-the-ordinary records.

Municipal Records:

Val Verde County Surrogate's Office, Will of Samuel Hayes, Book A 303.

Atlases/Maps:

Kiser, Ellis. Atlas of Harris County, Texas. Houston, TX; 1906, Vol. 3, page 2.

Census:

Texas Census, 1910, p. 35.

Organizational Records:

Austin Board of Trade Bulletin, January, 1913, Vol. 1, No. 6.

Photographs:

Main Street, Waxahachie, Photo Collection, Texas State Historical Association. Austin.

Newspapers:

"Otto Lange: Dean of Texas Architects," Dallas Times-Herald, October 17, 1984, page 18.

PHASE III - SIGHT AND SOUND PROJECTS

When the Adopt-a-Building Survey is completed, organize your research into an audio-visual presentation, which through both sight and sound will tell a story about the structure. You may present your media program in the form of a slide show, video tape, or film. The presentation should be clear and concise with a definite focus or theme. Your chapter's presentation must be sent to the Association by March 1st and the best programs will be shown at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting in April. Your chapter can also use this as part of your community outreach for Phase IV.

Theme

When developing the idea for your media program you should focus in on a definite, specific theme about the building. The theme should incorporate the 4 "I's" of any successful presentation:

  1. You should say something important about the building.
  2. It should be told in an informative way.
  3. It should be imaginative.
  4. Make it interesting.
Start out with a general subject and keep narrowing that down until you arrive at your specific subject.
For example:
General SubjectsSpecific Subjects
ArchitectureThe unique architectural features of the original Dr. Pepper plant in Waco
Industry The soft drink industry and the Dr. Pepper Plant
ConstructionThe Dr. Pepper Plant: built by architects and immigrant labor

Remember, these are themes not titles--you can make your title as imaginative as you would like. Now that you have chosen the focus for your presentation, you should prepare the script.

Script

  1. The script for the presentation should be written first and the media program organized around the script. This will save you time and energy in putting together the final product. If you know what you are going to say ahead of time, you will know what pictures you will need.
  2. The program must not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  3. The script should be based on your documentary research from Phase II.
  4. You may want to make notes on the script itself to indicate slide changes, time segments, etc.
  5. The script should be well organized. Successful presentations have the following elements:

a) Introduction--Orient the audience to your subject and preview your main points in a planned, organized fashion.

b) Body--Elaborate on your main points. Cite documentation if you feel it is necessary. Use quotes and other interesting stories to bring your presentation to life.

c) Conclusion--Summarize your main points and close the presentation.

6. Once you have planned out your script, you are ready to begin to organize your slides, video tape, or film.

Slide shows

  1. For best results, use slide film in your camera. Digital photos and slide shows are fine; be sure to use a high resolution setting on the digital camera to ensure the best quality image.
  2. Take a walk around the outside of the building at different times of the day to see how the sun reflects on the four sides of the structure. Seek the permission of the owner to take photos.
  3. To completely document the building, take:
  4. a) wide-angle views showing the entire structure in its setting and its relationship to other buildings around it.

    b) exterior general views of the building.

    c) exterior details of doorways, porches, ornamental woodwork, dormers, windows. cupolas, etc.

    d) interior general views of rooms, halls, etc. (if permitted by owner).

    e) interior details of staircases, lighting and heating fixtures, fireplaces, wallpaper. etc. (if permitted by owner).

  5. Tape a narration with or without accompanying musical/sound effects in the background. Often this approach is more successful than having someone simply talking about each slide every time your presentation is given. If possible automate the narration so that it advances with the slides. Contact your Audio-Visual Department for help in this area if necessary.
  6. When taking your pictures, keep a record of exactly what each frame represents (For example: #11 "interior view--fireplace in main hall"). Mark your slides with the subject for easier organization.

Video Tape

  1. Decide whether your presentation will be a documentary or an acted performance. Your script should be very organized and precise so that you can make the most efficient use of your time.
  2. Organize a shooting schedule with explicit stage directions and camera angles.
  3. Always make sure that the lighting is adequate, whether or not the subject is indoors or outdoors. The sun should always be behind the camera, reflecting onto the subject.
  4. Edit your presentation carefully and thoughtfully.
  5. Consult with media specialists in your school, local library, or a nearby college to help you plan your video tape or film presentation. They can give you suggestions on lighting, staging, editing, etc.

PHASE IV - DECLARATION OF OUTREACH

Junior Historians should begin to think about the outreach phase of the program as soon as they have completed the media project. Many community groups (including your county historical commission), business associations, libraries, and area cultural institutions will be interested in your research on the building. Make contacts early so that the outreach project can be seen by as many people as possible. When you have completed the outreach part of your program, return the Declaration of Outreach form to the Association by March 1. If the chapter receives any publicity about their Adopt-a-Building project, we would appreciate receiving copies for our files.

Awards

The Association will verify records of your chapter's completion of the four phases of the Adopt-a-Building program. A plaque will be presented to each chapter which completes the program. Presentations will be made at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting, and History Fair, which is usually held in early April.

The National Register of Historic Places

The National Register is the official listing of all buildings, sites, and objects worthy of preservation in the United States. The Register was begun in 1966 to record and document all buildings of national, state, and local significance. Today the list is only half-complete.

Nomination to the National Register requires a well researched and documented narrative about the significance of the building or site as well as black and white photographs and slides. These documents are then reviewed by a committee of architects and historians in Austin called the State Review Committee.

The work that your chapter has prepared during the Adopt-a-Building year will not result in the nomination of the building to the National Register. The materials you have gathered during the Adopt-a-Building project, however, will be very useful in preparation for a National Register nomination. If your group is interested in taking the project further. contact the Texas Historical Commission, P. O. Box 12276, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 475-0392 for more information.

Researching the history of a building is the first step towards its preservation. We encourage you to work with your local historical society or preservation group if you decide to nominate your adoption to the National Register.

Phase IV completes your participation in the TSHA's Adopt-a-Building program. Those groups participating in the program will have increased their knowledge of Texas history and expanded their awareness of the importance of historic preservation.

HISTORY FAIR AND CONTEST GUIDELINES

The History Fair held at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting is an opportunity for students to share what they have discovered during the year and to be recognized for the quality of their research. This fair is different from National History Day fairs in that there is NO SPECIFIC THEME to which students should align their topic. This allows the student to do research on a topic that is wholly of interest to them. Of course, for maximum educational value the student should still show the impact of larger state, national, or world events on the their topic. There are three contest divisions; the Elementary Division (grades 4 & 5),the Junior Division (grades 6, 7, & 8) and the Senior Division (grades 9-12).; and a variety of monetary awards such as the Kenneth B. Ragsdale Awards for outstanding exhibits, Kate Harding Bates Parker Awards for outstanding writing, and a plethora of special topic writing awards.

The types or categories of projects which can be entered in the Junior Historian History Fair are identical to those of National History Day and include small group (2-5 students) and individual historical exhibits, documentaries, performances and web sites. The historical paper category available in the National History Day program is handled through the Junior Historian Writing Contest. The rules for these categories are identical to those of National History Day with the exception of the theme requirement. Judging is also handled in much the same way as National History Day.

This fair is an opportunity for Junior Historians to share what they have discovered and learned during the past year. Topics vary from local or family history to topics of state history and often include projects which Junior Historians have entered in their regional National History Day contest. This fair is a wonderful opportunity to have a student's work constructively evaluated and recognized for their effort. Each chapter is allowed to send the following number of entries to the Annual Meeting: Two Individual Exhibits, Two Group Exhibits, Two Individual Documentaries, Two Group Documentaries, Two Individual Performances, Two Group Performances, Two Individual Web Sites, Two Group Web Sites, and One Chapter Project in the form of an exhibit, documentary, performance, or web site.

The Chapter Project category is an excellent way for a chapter to share what they have discovered and can be both a team building exercise as well as a learning experience. The Chapter Project can take the form of the following project types: historical exhibit, documentary, performance or website. Chapters are subject to the same rules as group entries with one exception, Chapter websites will be judged at the fair and should not be sent in advance. Chapters have in the past used this as an opportunity to showcase their Adopt-a-Building projects or other activities such as archeological excavations, oral history collections, or history related community service projects. Others have taken the opportunity to investigate a topic of interest as a chapter and share their findings.

Below are the general rules and specific guidelines for each project category:

GENERAL RULES FOR ALL CATEGORIES

Rule 1: Contest Participation
You may participate in the research, preparation, and presentation of only one entry each year.

Rule 2: Individual or Group Entries
An individual exhibit, individual performance, or individual documentary must be the work of only one student. A group exhibit, group performance, or group documentary must be the work of 2 to 5 students. All students in a group entry must be involved in the research and interpretation of the group's topic.

Rule 3: Development Requirements
Entries submitted for competition must be researched and developed during the current contest year that begins following the Annual Meeting each spring. Revising or reusing an entry from a previous year--whether your own or another student's--is unacceptable and will result in disqualification.

Rule 4: Production of Entry
You are responsible for the research, design, and creation of your entry. You may receive help and advice from teachers and parents on the mechanical aspects of creating your entry:

  1. You may have help typing your paper and other written materials.
  2. You may seek guidance from your teachers as you research and analyze your material, but your conclusions must be your own.
  3. You may have photographs and slides commercially developed.
  4. You may have reasonable help cutting out your exhibit backboard or performance props (e.g. a parent using a cutting tool to cut the board that you designed).

Rule 5: Supplying Equipment

You are responsible for supplying all props and equipment for your entry. All entries should be constructed, keeping transportation, set up time, size, and weight in mind (e.g., foam core v. solid oak exhibit or antique desk v. folding table for a performance). Projection screens, VCRs, and monitors are provided for documentaries.

Rule 6: Discussion with Judges

You should be prepared to answer judges' questions about the content and development of your documentary or performance entry, but you may not give a formal, prepared introduction, narration, or conclusion. Let the judges' questions guide the interview. Ultimately, your entry should be able to stand on its own without any additional comments from you.

Rule 7: Costumes

You are not permitted to wear costumes that are related to the focus of your entry during judging, except in the performance category. If you are entering the performance category, you may rent or have reasonable help creating your own costumes (e.g., a parent helps you to use the sewing machine).

Rule 8: Prohibited Materials

Items potentially dangerous in any way--such as weapons, firearms, animals, organisms, plants, etc.--are strictly prohibited. Such items will be confiscated by security personnel or contest officials. Replicas of such items that are obviously not real are permissible. Please contact your teacher and contest coordinator to confirm guidelines before bringing the replica to the contest.

Rule 9: Title
Your entry must have a title that is clearly visible on all written materials.

Required Written Materials for All Entries

Rule 10: Written Materials

Entries in all categories must include three copies of the following written materials in the following order:

  • A title page as described in Rule 11.
  • A process paper as described in Rule 12.

Rule 11: Title Page

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.

Rule 12: Process Paper

A "process paper" is a description of no more than 500 words, explaining how you conducted your research and created and developed your entry. All categories except historical papers must include a "process paper" with their entry. The process paper should include the following four sections:

(1) explain how you chose your topic.
(2) explain how you conducted your research.
(3) explain how you selected your presentation category and created your project.
(4) explain the significance of your topic as it relates to other events in history.

Rule 13: Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. It should contain all sources that provided usable information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. You will look at many more sources than you actually use. You should list only those sources that contributed to the development of your entry. Sources of visual materials and oral interviews must be included. The annotations for each source must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic.

For example:
Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962.
Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This first hand account was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved

Rule 14: The Separation of Primary and Secondary Sources
You are required to separate your bibliography into primary and secondary sources.

Rule 15: Style Guides
Style for citations and bibliographic references must follow the principles in one of the following style guides:

1. Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
A Guide to Turabian's Manual for Writers

2. Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th Edition
A Guide to MLA Documentation

Regardless of which manual you use, the style must be consistent throughout the paper.

Rule 16: Plagiarism
You must acknowledge in your annotated bibliography all sources used in your entry.

Failure to credit sources is plagiarism and will result in disqualification.

HISTORICAL EXHIBITS

The preparation of interpretative historical exhibits adds an important dimension to the Junior Historian experience. In addition to involving a great number of students in annual meeting competition, these mobile exhibits enable the chapters to share their experiences--and achievements--with a larger audience. Local schools, museums, banks, libraries, and various public institutions have held showings of the contest exhibit units.

Rule 1: Size Requirements

The overall size of your exhibit when displayed for judging must be no larger than 40 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 6 feet high. Measurement of the exhibit does not include the table on which it rests; however, it would include any stand that you create and any table drapes. Circular or rotating exhibits must be no more than 30 inches in diameter.

Rule 2: Media Devices

Media devices (e.g., tape recorders, projectors, video monitors, computers) used in an exhibit must not run for more than a total of 3 minutes and are subject to the 500word limit. Viewers and judges must be able to control media devices. Any media devices used must fit within the size limits of the exhibit. Any media devices used should be integral to the exhibit--not just a device to bypass the prohibition against live student involvement.

Rule 3: Word Limit

There is a 500 word-limit that applies to all text created by the student that appears on or as part of an exhibit entry. This includes the text you write for titles, subtitles, captions, graphs, timelines, media devices (e.g., video, slides, computer files), or supplemental materials (e.g., photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.) where you use your own words. Examples of student produced words and how they are counted.

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARIES

Rule 1: Time Requirements

Documentaries may not exceed 10 minutes in length. You will be allowed an additional 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to remove equipment. Timing will begin when the first visual image of the presentation appears and/or the first sound is heard. Color bars and other visual leads in a video will be counted in the time limit. Timing will end when the last visual image or sound of the presentation concludes (this includes credits).

Rule 2: Introduction

You must announce only the title of your presentation and names of participants. Live narration or comments prior to or during the presentation are prohibited.

Rule 3: Student Involvement

You are responsible for running all equipment and carrying out any special lighting effects.

Rule 4: Student Production

All entries must be student-produced. You must operate all equipment. You must provide the narration, voice-overs, and dramatization. Only those students listed as entrants may participate in the production or appear on camera.

Rule 5: Entry Production

Your entry must be an original production. You may use professional photographs, film, slides, recorded music, etc. within your presentation. However, you must integrate such items into your presentation and give proper credit within the presentation as well as in your annotated bibliography. Slides may be professionally developed. You must operate all editing equipment used in the production of your presentation.

Rule 6: Credits

At the conclusion of the documentary, you should provide a general list of acknowledgments and credits for any featured music, images, film/media clips, interviews, or other sources. These credits should be a brief list and not full bibliographic citations. All sources (music, film/media clips, interviews, books, websites) used in the making of the documentary should be properly cited in the annotated bibliography.

Rule 7: Displays

Added exhibits of visual or written material are not allowed.

Rule 8: Computer Entries

A student-composed computer program is an acceptable entry. You must be able to run the program within the 10-minute time limit. Interactive computer programs and web pages in which the audience or judges are asked to participate are not acceptable; judges are not permitted to participate in your presentation by operating any equipment. Students must provide and be able to run their own computers and software. Internet access will not be available.

HISTORICAL PERFORMANCES

Rule 1: Time Requirements

Performances may not exceed 10 minutes in length. Timing starts at the beginning of the performance following the announcement of the title and student names. Any other introductory remarks will be considered part of the performance and will be counted as part of the overall time. You will be allowed an additional 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to remove any props needed for your performance.

Rule 2: Performance Introduction

The title of your entry and the names of the participants must be the first and only announcements prior to the start of the performance.

Rule 3: Media Devices

Use of slides, tape recorders, computers, or other media within your performance is permitted. You must run all equipment and carry out any special lighting effects.

Rule 4: Script

The script for the performance should not be included with the written material presented to the judges.

INTERPRETIVE WEB SITES

Rule 1: Size Requirements

Web site entries may contain no more than 1,200 visible, student-composed words. Citations, code used to build the site, and alternate text tags on images do not count toward the word limit. The word limit does not include words found in materials used for illustration such as documents, artifacts or graphs not created by the student, or quotations from primary sources such as oral history interviews, letters, or diaries, photos of artifacts with writing, or other illustrative materials that are used as an integral part of the web site. Brief citations crediting the sources of illustrations or quotations included on the web site do count toward the 1,200-word limit. The entire site, including all multimedia, may use up to 100MB of file space.

Rule 2: Navigation

One page of the web site must serve as the “home page.” This page must be saved in the root directory of the CD-R (not in any folder) with the name “index.” The home page must include the names of participants, entry title, division, and a main menu that directs viewers to the various sections of the site. All pages must be interconnected with hypertext links. Automatic redirects are not permitted.

Rule 3: Multimedia

A single multimedia clip may not last more than 45 seconds and may not include studentcomposed narration. If an entry uses any form of multimedia requiring a plug-in (for example, Flash, QuickTime or Real Player), you must provide on the same page a link to an Internet site where the plug-in is available as a free, secure, and legal download. Judges will make every effort to view all multimedia content, but
files that cannot be viewed cannot be evaluated as part of the entry.

Rule 4: Entry Production

All entries must be original productions. You may use professional photographs, graphics, video, recorded music, etc. within the site. Such items must be integrated into the web site, and proper credit must be given within the site as well as in the annotated bibliography. The student must operate all software and equipment in the development of the web site.

NOTE: Using objects created by others specifically for use in your entry violates this rule. However, using graphics, multimedia clips, etc. which already exist is acceptable.

Rule 5: Citations

Citations—footnotes, endnotes or internal documentation—are required. Citations are used to credit the sources of specific ideas as well as direct quotations.

Rule 6: Stable Content

The content and appearance of a page cannot change when the page is refreshed in the browser. Random text or image generators are not allowed.

Rule 7: Viewing Files

The pages that comprise the site must be viewable in a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Entries may not link to live or external sites, except to direct viewers to plug-ins.

Rule 8: File Safety

Entries that contain potentially harmful file contamination (e.g. a virus) are subject to disqualification.

Rule 9: Submitting Entry for Judging

You must submit projects on CD-R for advance viewing by judges. CD-Rs must be labeled with the names of participants, division, and entry title ONLY; decorations or illustrations are not appropriate. All CD-Rs must be accompanied by four hard copies of your process paper, annotated bibliography, and print-outs of the site.

JUDGING OF ALL WRITING CONTEST AND HISTORY FAIR ENTRIES

How does the Evaluation Process Work?

Each separate division and category is usually judged as a whole by a team of three judges. Time constraints, due to the number of entries, often require that some categories be evaluated initially by several teams of judges. Finals then become necessary. In such cases, the entries judged best by each team of initial judges are reevaluated by a new team of judges to determine the winning entries in the category. The number of entries in finals and procedures for judging vary by contest and category and are totally within the discretion of the contest officials. Papers for the Writing Contests and website category entries will be judged in advance of the fair and thus must be received in the TSHA offices by March 1st.

Consensus Judging

Judges will not assign a numerical score to each entry, rather, they will rank the entries in their group. Judges are required to consult with each other in determining individual rankings. Judges are allowed to review the results of their category upon completion of the judging in order to assure accuracy in the evaluation process. As a final step, the judges will assign each entry an overall rating.

The Subjective Nature of Judging

Remember: judges must evaluate certain aspects of your entry that are objective (e.g., were primary sources used; is the written material grammatical and correctly spelled). But judges must also evaluate interpretive aspects of your entry which are qualitative in nature (e.g., analysis and conclusions about the historical data). Historians often reach different opinions about the significance of the same data. It is therefore crucial for you to base your interpretations and conclusions on solid research. Judges will check to determine whether you used available primary sources and if you were careful to examine all sides of an issue and present a balanced account of your research and presentation. Your process paper and annotated bibliography are critical to this process.

The Decision of the Judges is Final

You, your parents, and your teachers should realize that inadvertent inequities may occur in judging and that contest officials do want to be informed of any problems. But the decisions of the judges are final.

Evaluation Criteria

Historical Quality (60%)

The most important aspect of your entry is its historical quality. You should ask yourself the following questions to help you focus on your historical analysis:

  • Is my entry historically accurate?
  • Does my entry provide analysis and interpretation of the historical data rather than just a description?
  • Does my entry demonstrate an understanding of the historical context?
  • Does my annotated bibliography demonstrate wide research?
  • Does my entry demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?
  • Does my entry demonstrate use of available primary sources?

Clarity of Presentation (40%)

Although historical quality is most important, your entry must be presented in an effective manner. You should ask yourself the following questions to help you focus on your presentation:

  • Is my entry original, creative, and imaginative in subject and presentation?
  • Is my written material written material clear, grammatical, and correctly spelled?
  • Is my entry well-organized?
  • Do I display stage presence in a performance?
  • Is the visual material I present clear?
  • Do I understand and properly use all my equipment?

CHAPTER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

The Chapter Achievement Awards, which recognize group effort in preserving our Texas heritage, fall within two categories in all three divisions: Outstanding Chapter of the Year and Outstanding First Year Chapter. Four awards will be given for the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Awards: outstanding chapter, 1st runner-up, 2nd runner-up, and honorable mention. One chapter will be selected for the Outstanding First Year Chapter Award.

The outstanding chapters are chosen on the basis of information contained in the annual Sponsor's Chapter Activities Report. Active sponsors will receive the location and passwords necessary to access the online reporting system early each spring. Reports should be entered no later than March 1st. Sponsors are encouraged to be explicit in describing projects and activities that are either complete, or in progress and will be completed at a later date. Copies of chapter scrapbooks containing programs in which chapter members participated, photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, or any documentation of a chapter's activities will be carefully evaluated in determining chapter placement in this contest division. Scrapbooksshould be received in the TSHA offices by March 1st in order to be considered. Scrapbook submission is not required though it does assist with the selection process. Scrapbooks turned in to TSHA will be returned at the Annual Meeting or by mail.

The Chapter Achievement Awards will be based on the following criteria:

1) the relative educational merit, of the chapter activities 25%;

2) the relative historical significance of the projects and activities 25%;

3) the depth of involvement in the school and community historical life 25%;

4) the scope and variety of each chapter's activity program 25%.

Sponsors are encouraged to check the "Chapter Spotlights" in the Texas Historian for examples of outstanding chapter achievement.

The announcement of Chapter Achievement Awards is made at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting. Please note: Chapters do not have to attend the Annual Meeting to be eligible for an award although attendance is strongly encouraged, as it is far more exciting for the students to be recognized in person than by mail. Prizes earned are sent to those chapters unable to attend the Annual Meeting.

SPONSOR AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

The Texas State Historical Association is proud to also recognize sponsors for their outstanding work and commitment to the program. The Association recognizes sponsors through the David C. De Boe Memorial Award and the Dorman and Ruth Carolyn Winfrey Award.

David C. De Boe Memorial Award

The David C. De Boe Award is given to sponsors for outstanding achievement with a Junior Historian chapter. The award honors the memory of longtime TSHA Director of Educational Services whose bequest makes possible a monetary award in addition to a handsome trophy in the shape of a five pointed star. Selection is made by the TSHA Education Committee, based on nominations received from the TSHA Director of Educational Services based on achievement. Awards are presented at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting.

Dorman and Ruth Carolyn Winfrey Sponsor's Award

The Dorman and Ruth Carolyn Winfrey Sponsor's Award is given to a sponsor for outstanding and dedicated service to the Junior Historians of Texas. The Winfrey Award is named in honor of Dorman Winfrey and his wife Ruth Carolyn who were Junior Historian members during the early 1940s. As JH members, both published articles in the Junior Historian magazine. Dorman later went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He became the State Librarian and was a past president of the Texas State Historical Association. Selection is made by the TSHA Education Committee based on nominations received from the TSHA Director of Educational Services based on years of service and achievement. Awards are presented at the Junior Historian Annual Meeting.

Mary Jon and J. P. Bryan Leadership in Education Award

Sponsors are also encouraged to nominate or be nominated for the Mary Jon and J. P. Bryan Leadership in Education Award, which is presented at the Association's Annual Meeting each March. This award is open to all 6th grade-university level history teachers. For more information about this award visit the TSHA website at http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/about/awards/bryan-award.html.

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