Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

History Major Portfolio Requirement

Using the University’s Taskstream software, every history major must build a portfolio over the course of his/her undergraduate studies. The student must upload the FOUR required documents listed below by Friday of the last week of classes prior to graduation.

History majors are strongly encouraged to save history papers to Taskstream every semester. Taskstream may be accessed via https://eportfolio.luc.edu/eportfolio/login.htm.

Required Documents

1. Primary Source Paper: This paper - from any level history class, including 2-3 page papers written for Core - should interpret or analyze one or more primary sources. This paper does not need to use secondary sources. Reminder: primary sources are the writings, art and material artifacts of the period one is studying;  secondary sources are the books and articles that later historians have written about that period.
2. Bibliography: This paper is the best bibliography that you have put together for any paper in your History major --- note that it can be the bibliography for the research paper submitted in #3 above. The bibliography should be comprehensive (containing articles, books, web sites, etc.) and it should be formatted correctly (according to the norms in the Chicago Manual of Style /Turabian). In our age of storing data electronically, a solid bibliography should include materials available on the Internet as well as those in traditional published formats.
3. Book Review: This paper can be the analysis of a book (i.e., a book review) or of an article. This paper must both summarize and evaluate a historian's principle arguments in a secondary source. Both elements (summary and analysis) are critical to a competent review or review essay of secondary materials.
4. A 300-level Research Paper: This paper --- usually from a 300-level course --- makes use of both primary and secondary sources to prove a historical thesis. All good historical writing has a thesis that the author seeks to establish through interpretation of the primary source evidence.

The Taskstream software will assist you in dating the paper, specifying the course for which you wrote the paper, and indicating the specific requirement that each of the four papers fulfills. For each paper, please include all of this basic information.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  • YES: All graduating History majors are required to submit a portfolio via using the University’s Taskstream software.
  • NO: The papers do NOT need to be the original copies with your instructor's comments on them. In fact, we prefer that you submit a clean copy. Be sure to indicate the course for which you wrote the paper and the semester in which you wrote it.
  • NO: The portfolio is NOT graded. As long as you make your best effort to turn in the required items, you will meet the portfolio requirement.

The portfolio you submit both showcases your best work and helps those of us who teach in the History Department. We use it to assess how well we are achieving the goals that we have set for the History major.

Do your best to submit items that meet the requirements of the portfolio. Start on this process early in your History career. Ask your professors if a given paper, in which you take pride, fulfills one of the requirements. We do realize that you might not have a certain type of paper. Again, by keeping your eye on the requirements throughout your undergraduate years of study, you can think about ways to fill a given gap.

If you have questions, please e-mail Dr. Mark Allee at mallee@luc.edu.