Read What the
Michigan History Day
Program Means to Me

A Student’s Perspective

A Judge’s Perspective

A Parent’s Perspective

A Teacher’s Perspective


Resources for Documentaries

Do you find yourself watching the History Channel a lot on television? Do you like the idea of interviewing people? Are you familiar with and excited about using editing software? A documentary might be just the right mix of technology and creativity. It uses audiovisual equipment to explain your topic’s significance just like a professional documentary would set out to do. Documentaries typically use photographs, film, and audio recordings.

Things to Remember:

  • May not be longer than 10 minutes
  • Students must film and edit production
  • The documentary must have recorded narration, not live narration
  • Credits must be shown at the end of the documentary
  • A process paper and annotated bibliography is required
  • See the Contest Rulebook for more information

Bring 4 copies of your process paper and annotated bibliography!

Uploading Process
Students will upload their documentaries before the event.

  • IMPORTANT: Video file uploads are due Monday, April 15.  These files will be considered FINAL versions by the judge team.
  • Below are instructions for uploading your video files. ONLY ONE GROUP MEMBER NEEDS TO UPLOAD THE VIDEO FILE.
  • Name your video file the same name as your documentary TITLE
  1. Go to
  2. In the upper right hand corner, click on the blue “Sign In” button
  3. Create an account if needed
  4. Write down your username and password for reference
  5. In the upper right hand corner, click on the Apps box on the toolbar (it is made up of nine small boxes)
  6. Click on Drive
  7. Click on the Drop Down Menu “My Drive”
  8. Click “Upload files”
  9. Select the file you wish to upload and click open.  It will upload to your Google account.
  10. Share the file with
  11. To share, right click on the file and hit “share” OR click on the share button on the toolbar in the upper right hand corner
  12. In the “Share with others” box enter
  13. Select “Can Edit” next to where you enter the email address.  This is important to ensure that your documentary can be shared with the judges.
  14. Under “Add a note” write your name and exact entry title
  15. Click send
  16. You will receive a confirmation email when your file has been tested by HSM staff

Students will need to bring a backup version of their documentaries to the competition. This could be on an USB Drive or on their laptop. At the competition, you will be responsible for playing your video through your Google account, or, if necessary, your USB Drive or laptop.

The Judging Process
Please arrive at your room at least 20 minutes before your presentation begins (you may come early to watch previous projects if you would like). If the room is closed, wait quietly outside until the ongoing student interview is complete and the door is opened. The judges will take your process paper and bibliography as soon as the previous interview is finished. The judges will let you know when they are ready to view your documentary. When your documentary is finished, the judges will interview you.

Your Audience
Documentaries are open to the public, but the audience may enter and exit only during the set-up or after the interview time. No one may enter while a documentary is in progress, so make sure that family and friends arrive on time! Judges cannot delay your documentary to wait for audience members and may even begin early if they are ahead of schedule.

Review the Rules
Please review the rules for the competition and your category in the National History Day Contest Rulebook. The rulebook can be found online at You do not have to provide your own computer.

IMPORTANT: The old technology rules for the National competition are still in effect.



Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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