Houghton Mifflin HarcourtHistory Channel

NHBBlog

Beginning with NHBB Nationals 2015-16, some NHBB tossups began to appear with a pre-tossup notice of “Description acceptable.” While the notice only began to appear at Nationals in April 2016, tossups that functioned in a similar manner have been part of NHBB and general quizbowl for many years. As head  [ Read More ]

In this lesson, we begin discussing what makes a clue good or bad. This lesson can only serve to start the discussion; it takes an immense amount of experience and writing practice to internalize this lesson. If you’ve only played quizbowl for a year or so, you will struggle with  [ Read More ]

The goal of a tossup is to provide as many helpful clues as possible; the easiest way to make room for more clues is by cutting down on excessive wording that isn’t providing clues! In this lesson, we discuss how wording can be condensed, using two example tossups that were  [ Read More ]

The following is a guide to how NHBB writes its cultural history questions. It’s presented to NHBB writers as a means of explaining the job, and is presented to players more for “how to prepare for NHBB competition” purposes than any sort of real writing lesson. Somewhere between 15 and  [ Read More ]

This lesson discusses what it means for a tossup to be pyramidal and dissects an example tossup.   The word pyramidal is used to invoke the mental image of a pyramid to represent the number of people who can buzz in during the tossup. The lead-in is compared to the  [ Read More ]

Quizbowl questions are meant to be both playable and educational; a player should be able to decide whether to buzz during the tossup and able to learn from the clues presented in the tossup afterwards. Therefore, we don’t want a tossup to just string together a random collection of facts;  [ Read More ]

This beginning lesson introduces how tossups are structured and explains some basic quizbowl terminology used in the later lessons on question writing. It’s a great general introduction to the game of quizbowl, not just for beginning writers!   A tossup question is meant to determine which player knows the most  [ Read More ]

By Brad Fischer, NHBB, Director of Question Production Writing questions serves as an excellent way to improve as a player, as a writer in general, and as a scholar. It exercises all the mental muscles involved in scholarship, especially some that don’t get used in other forms of quizbowl study.  [ Read More ]

(Rockford, IL – March 31, 2016) Hello! I’m Brad Fischer, NHBB’s Director of Question Production. My playing days preceded NHBB, but I’ve played and coached in all-subject quizbowl for over a decade, in addition to teaching math in Rockford, Illinois. To me, the best part about academic competitions like quizbowl  [ Read More ]

(Vancouver – 18 September, 2015) With the dawn of the new school year, NHBB’s outreach team kicks into high gear! This year, our new Regional Coordinators will be handling much of the outreach for their respective regions. Meanwhile, this post is being written in Vancouver in the midst of a  [ Read More ]