White Rose Student Research Contest

White Rose Student Research Contest

Appalachian State University's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies (CJHPS) is pleased to announce its first annual White Rose Research Contest for 8th through 12th grade students.

About The Contest

The 2024 contest theme is Americans and the Holocaust.

Holocaust history raises important questions about what the international community and the United States could have done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and its assault on Europe’s Jews. Once war began, Allied governments prioritized the military defeat of Germany over humanitarian efforts. Yet during this time some action was taken by individuals and, limitedly, by the U.S. government in response to the increasingly dire situation of European Jews.

Submit Your Entry

Details TBA

Contest Prompt

A successful essay or documentary entry will address both portions of the following prompt. At minimum, one-fourth of the finished work must be devoted to the reflection.

  • Research: Describe the motivations and outcomes of a non-military action or policy taken by the U.S. government or American citizens to address the persecution of European Jews between 1933 and 1945. Discuss how these actions impacted the European Jewish community or Jewish individuals, citing specific examples.
  • Reflection: Based on your research, what responsibility do you believe the U.S. has toward refugees and immigrants in today’s world?

General Guidance

CJHPS urges students to tour USHMM’s online exhibition “Americans and the Holocaust” to gain essential background information about this contest topic. USHMM estimates that it will take one hour to explore the online exhibit. Specific documents, photographs, videos, maps and artifacts from this exhibit will be used as primary sources for the White Rose Research Contest. Touring the online exhibit will help students understand how these individual pieces of evidence fit into the whole. We also recommend that students explore the Personal Stories portion of the online exhibition. An interesting research topic may be found in these stories!

Students - the following contest rules govern the use of sources:

  • Contestants must base their entry on at least three of the provided contest documents (sources).
  • In addition, contestants must use at least two additional sources of information obtained through research.
  • A Works Cited page should be included that credits all and only the sources of information used in your essay or documentary.
  • No matter what style manual you use, bibliographies are not allowed for the White Rose Research Contest. (Please make sure you understand the difference between a Works Cited and a Bibliography.)
  • All information beyond common knowledge must be cited.
  • Citations must follow Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) or Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) format and be consistent within the paper or documentary and Works Cited page. The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue is a good source of information about these style manuals.
Approved Websites for Student Research

Approved Websites for Student Research

Here is a list of approved websites for student research published by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Primary Source Documents for Student Research

Primary Source Documents for Student Research

Here is a list of primary source documents for student research published by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Additional Information & Resources

Contest Eligibility

The White Rose Research Contest is open to students in 8th through 12th grades.

Entries are accepted in two categories: Essay or Documentary.

Entrants compete in two age divisions: Lower (8th and 9th Grade) and Upper (10th, 11th, and 12th Grade).

Students may submit one entry in one contest category per year. Students may enter the contest every year they are eligible. Previous winners may enter gain.

Sponsoring teachers may enter the ten best essays and the ten best documentaries created by their assigned students during a contest year.

Contest Rules

General Contest Rules

  • All information beyond common knowledge must be cited–following MLA, APA or CMS format.
  • Contestants must base their entries on at least three of the provided contest documents (sources).
  • In addition, contestants must use at least two additional sources of information obtained through research.
  • Entries must be submitted through the CJHPS website by the contest deadline.
  • Entries will not be returned. Entrants give CJHPS permission to publish entries. Decisions of the judges are final.
  • Sponsoring teachers may instruct, guide and review, but may not rewrite or extensively edit student work.
  • No portion of the work may be plagiarized–a problem most often caused when sources are not properly credited.

Contest Rules for Written Work

  • 1,600 words maximum allowed for an essay. At minimum, one-fourth  of the total length of the essay (400 of 1,600 words) must be reserved for the reflection portion of the contest prompt. The maximum word count need not include the Works Cited.
  • 800 words maximum allowed for a process paper; this word count need not include the Works Cited.
  • The Works Cited is the last page of the essay or Process Paper. It lists—in alphabetical order—all and only the sources cited within the essay or used in the documentary. Bibliographies are not allowed. All citations—in the text and Works Cited—must be consistently formatted in MLA, APA or CMS style.
  • Essays and process papers must be the original work of the entrant.

Contest Rules for Audio-Visual Work

  • Documentaries should be at least seven minutes but no longer than ten minutes in length. At minimum, one-fourth of the total length of the documentary (2.5 of 10 minutes) must be reserved for the reflection portion of the contest prompt.
  • The last portion of the documentary must be a list of acknowledgments and credits for sources of still images, moving images, interviews, music, and narration that comprise the documentary. These source credits must be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated. Full credits, in MLA, APA or CMS style, must be given in your Works Cited.
  • Documentaries should be in mp4 format, submitted as a YouTube link. Finalists may be asked to submit the mp4 files of their documentaries to CJHPS.
  • Documentaries must be original productions of the contest entrants.

About the Documentary Category

A documentary is an audio/visual presentation that uses many types of sources such as still images, video, and sound to communicate a historical argument, supported by research and a reflection on this year’s contest prompt.

Entrants submitting a documentary must also submit a Process Paper that answers the following questions:

  • How did you choose your topic, and how does it relate to this year’s contest prompt?
  • What is the thesis (historical argument) of the documentary?
  • How did you conduct your research?
  • How did you create the documentary?

The end of the documentary must show a list of credits that acknowledges the sources of still images, moving images, interviews, information used in narration and music used within the film/video. These source credits must be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated. However, these credits should match the citations on the Works Cited page that must accompany the Process Paper.

Documentaries should be saved in mp4 format, submitted as a YouTube link. Finalists may be asked to submit the mp4 files of their documentaries to CJHPS.

Questions?

Contact Amy Hudnall, interim director of CJHPS, via email at hudnallac@appstate.edu or via phone at (828) 262-6025.