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Exhibit Rules

History fair projects in the exhibit categories, individual and group, must follow the general rules which apply to all history fair entries (see link at right).
In addition to the general rules, exhibits must conform to all of the following specific rules.

B1. 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 does include any stand that you create and any table drapes.
  • Circular or rotating exhibits or those meant to be viewed from all sides must be no more than 30 inches in diameter. See Figure 4 (in the rule book) for illustration.

B2. Word Limit

  • A 500-word limit applies to all student-composed text that appears on, or as part of, an exhibit entry.
  • This includes the text that you write for titles, subtitles, captions, graphs, timelines, media devices, or supplemental materials (e.g., albums, scrapbooks, etc.) where you use your own words.
  • Brief factual credits of the sources of illustrations or quotations included on the exhibit do not count toward the 500-word limit. A date (January 1, 1903) counts as one word. See Figure 5 (in the rule book) for additional explanation.

NOTE: Be careful that your message is clear on the exhibit itself. Extensive supplemental material is inappropriate. Oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires, and other primary or secondary material used as sources for your exhibit should be cited in your bibliography, but not included as attachments to your bibliography or exhibit.

B3. Media Devices

  • Media devices (e.g., DVD players, tablets, mp3 players, video monitors, computers, etc.) used in an exhibit must not run for more than a total of three minutes.
  • Quotes from another source (e.g., clip from a documentary, primary source music, etc.) are considered quotes. Any student-composed questions, narration, or graphics incorporated within a media are subject to the 500-word limit (Rule B2).
  • Viewers and judges must be able to control media devices. Any media devices must fit within the size limits of the exhibit.
  • Any media devices used should be integral to the exhibit-not a method to bypass the prohibition against live student involvement.

B4. Crediting Sources

  • All quotes from written sources must be credited on the exhibit.
  • All visual sources (e.g., photographs, paintings, charts, and graphs, etc.) must be credited on the exhibit and fully cited in the annotated bibliography.
  • Brief, factual credits do not count toward the word total. See Figure 6 (in the rule book) for an example of the difference between a credit and a caption.

B5. Required Written Materials

  • Three copies of your title page, process paper, and bibliography should be presented to the judges for review. Be sure to bring an additional copy for your own reference. Refer to Part III (General Rules), Rules 16-18, for citation and style information.

HOTRHF REGIONAL RULE: ALL Junior Exhibits MUST be brought to the Bill Daniel Student Center/Barfield Room and set up on THURSDAY afternoon, February 19. Junior Exhibits ONLY have a Preliminary judging round, WITHOUT the students present, on Thursday evening. Students check in between 3:00 through 5:30 on Thursday afternoon. Set up their exhibits, lay out their four copies of their Process Paper and Bibliography, and LEAVE until Friday. FINAL JUDGING is held for all Exhibits on Friday according to the regional history fair schedule.

HOTRHF Note: Rules listed on this website have been updated for 2015.


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