Guidelines for Judges

Priority Links

E Komo Mai,

Thank you for being part of our Hawaiʻi History Day community! HIHumanities is committed to the practice of telling, re-telling, and listening to all our stories. Hawaiʻi History Day helps our young people engage with history on a deeper and richer level and as judges you are promoting these connections that will shape their lives into the future. Here you can find links to guides and videos that help explain the judging process. Our videos are delivered by Honolulu Community College Professor Cynthia Smith, a long time Hawaiʻi History Day consultant.

These links give you a good overview the History Day process:

Advice to Hawaiʻi History Day Judges
Instructions for Judging Essays
Instructions for Judging Websites
Instructions for Judging Exhibits
Instructions for Judging Documentaries
Instructions for Judging Performances
Hawaiʻi History Day Evaluation Help Guide
NHD Start Feedback Ideas

The following video gives a basic overview of Hawaiʻi History Day and your role in this program.


As mentioned in the above video, Hawaiʻi History Day has 5 categories: Essays, Websites, Exhibits, Documentary Videos, and Performance. Click on the category to download a pdf specifying judging criteria for each medium.

In part 2 of our video series, you can find out about your responsibilities as a judge.

Part 3 gets you ready for the day of the fair.

In Part 4, Professor Smith talks you through any problems you might encounter.

We all love feedback, right? Not really. Many of us have a really hard time hearing criticism, even when it is meant to be constructive and a number of our participants are as young as 9 years old. How can we give critique that is genuine, yet compassionate? Professor Smith gives you some criteria for feedback in part 5.

Everything has rules. Hawaiʻi History Day has them too. Watch part 6 to get a solid understanding or rule compliance.

Hawaiʻi History Day participants have to deal with a lot of different components as part of their projects. Part 7 gives an overview of how to approach some of those components, like bibliographies and process papers.

Because feedback is a critical aspect of the Hawaiʻi History Day program, you can find out more about this process in part 8.

Last, but certainly not least, find out more resources that are available to you as a Hawaiʻi History Day judge, in part 9 of our video series.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the important role you are playing in the HIHumanities’ Hawaiʻi History Day program!

*Thank you to Professor Smith for taking the time to script and narrate these videos and to Dorian Langi for editing them. Shout out to Windward Community College for lending their studio space for filming.