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://lucapps.luc.edu/eportfolio/login.htm

  • A paper from a history class (any level) that interprets one or more primary sources. This paper does not need to use secondary sources.

    Primary sources are the writings, art and material artifacts of the period one is studying, while secondary sources are the books and articles that later historians have written about that period.
  • A copy of the best bibliography that you have put together for a paper in your History major. 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.
  • A book review or an essay which summarizes and evaluates a historian's principle arguments.

    Both elements are critical to a competent review or review essay of secondary materials.
  • A 300-level research paper. This means a paper that 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 evidence.

The 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:

  • In order to graduate, you must submit a portfolio via using the University’s Taskstream software.
  • Yes, this is a graduation requirement for all History majors.
  • The papers do NOT need to be the original copies with your instructor's comments on them. We would actually 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.
  • All graduating History majors are required to submit a portfolio.
  • 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.
  • Your "best bibliography" can be the same bibliography that you created for your research paper.
  • We hope that we have clarified that all History majors must submit an electronic portfolio.
  • The "book review" can be an analysis of the argument of an article instead of a book. The review fulfills the requirement by analyzing a secondary source (see the definition above).
  • The portfolio that you submit is a great help to all of us who teach in the History Department. We use it to assess whether 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. For example, the Senior Capstone Seminar provides you the ideal opportunity to write a research paper based upon primary sources. If you have questions, please e-mail Dr. Chris Manning at cmannin@luc.edu.