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History Day

History Day Resources

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliographies 




Citations and bibliographic references must follow the most recent edition of one of the two permitted style guides below. Regardless of which manual you use, the style must be consistent throughout all written material.

1. The Chicago Manual of Style by the University of Chicago Press

2. MLA Handbook by the Modern Languages Association of America


Additional requirements from the National History Day Contest Rule Book on p.19 state:

  • "List all sources that you consulted in developing your entry."
  • "Combine photos or other materials from the same collection into a single citation. See"
  • "Separate your bibliography into two sections: one for primary sources and one for secondary sources."
  • "Do not attach primary or secondary materials to your annotated bibliography."
  • "Do not include your annotated bibliography in the word count."



Page 20 of the National History Day Contest Rule Book further states: 

"Each citation must include a brief annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to provide information about your research process, not to provide analysis to circumvent the word count. Each annotation must be no more than two or three sentences. The annotation should explain the following:

  • How you used the source
  • How the source helped you to understand the topic

Use annotations to explain your reasoning for classifying any sources that are not clearly primary or secondary. Classifying a source as both primary and secondary is inappropriate."

What Can Citation Management Software Do?

Citation management software can help style and organize citations.

With a citation manager, you can:

  • Keep track of references
  • Organize research using folders and tags
  • Annotate .pdfs and access across devices
  • Share resources 
  • Use word processor integration to make in-text citations 

The video below from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries offers an introduction.