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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.

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 does include any stand that you create and any table drapes.
- Circular or rotating projects must be no more than 30 inches in diameter.
- For more information and diagrams of size requirements, see Exhibit.

Rule 2: Media Devices - Media devices (e.g. tape recorders, projectors, video monitors, or computers) used in an exhibit must not run for more than a total of 3 minutes and is subject to the 500 word limit (see Rule 3). 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 must fit within the size limits of the exhibit.Any media devises used should be integral to the exhibit - not a method to bypass the prohibition against live student involvement.

Note: For example, a brief excerpt from a recorded student-conducted oral interview or a dramatic reading might be appropriate, but recorded commentary or analysis is inappropriate.

Rule 3: Word Limit - Include the exhibit board student-composed word limit at the bottom of the TITLE PAGE of the Process Paper. A 500-word limit that applies to all text created by the student that appears on or is part of an exhibit entry. This includes the text you write for titles, subtitles, captions, graphs, time lines, media devices (e.g., video, slides, computer files) or supplemental materials (e.g., photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.) where you use your own words.

  • A date counts as one word, while each word in a name is individually counted. For example, January 1, 1900 counts as one word, but John Quincy Adams counts as three.
  • Words such as "a," "the" and "of" are counted as one word each.

  • Brief citations crediting the sources of illustrations or quotations included on the exhibit do not count toward the 500-word limit.

Note: Be careful that your message is clear and contained on the exhibit itself; judges have little time to review supplemental material. Extensive supplemental material is inappropriate. For example, oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires, and other primary or secondary materials used as sources for your exhibit should be cited in your bibliography but not included as attachments to your bibliography or exhibit.

Rule 4 - HOTRHF REGIONAL RULE: ALL Junior Exhibits MUST be brought to the Bill Daniel Student Center/Barfield Room and set up on THURSDAY afternoon, February 20. Junior Exhibits ONLY have a Preliminary judging round, WITHOUT the students present, on Thursday evening. Students check in between 3:00 & 5:30 on Thursday afternoon. Set up their exhibits, lay out their four copies of their Process Paper & Bibliography, and LEAVE until Friday. FINAL JUDGING is held for all Exhibits on Friday according to the regional history fair schedule.

RULE CHANGE continued for Texas history fairs - add exhibit board student composed word count on the front/bottom of your title page. The past two years the state of Texas has been asked by National History Day to do this pilot program.

HOTRHF Note: Rules listed on this web site are now confirmed for 2014 by National History Day.


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