The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light.
This contest is open to students in public, private, and parochial schools, and registered home-study programs. Students in grades five through eight are encouraged to participate. Each year, a selected topic for use during the academic year is announced, and contest instructions are published online and sent to schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.
Participating chapters send one winning essay from each of the four grades for judging on the state level. The state will send one winning essay from each of the four grades to be judged on a divisional level. The winning essay from each of the four grades will then be judged on the national level and the winners are announced.
Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter and the chapter winners receive bronze medals and certificates. State winners receive certificates and silver medals. National winners receive special certificates, medals, and a monetary award.