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The History Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of written materials that documents a student's individual progress through the history major.  It encourages students to reflect critically on their coursework and experiences as history majors as they get ready to take HIST J 495, the history proseminar. Click here for the rubric.

 I:  Contents of the Portfolio:

A formal job resume.

Five essays.  Please include the original copies with the course instructor's comments and grade.

Two research papers that include systematic documentation (footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations and a bibliography).

Three essay examinations.

Self-analysis essay:  What do the materials included in my portfolio say about my learning experience as a history major?

N.B.:  No more than three items in any portfolio may come from any one course.

II:  Analysis:

A portfolio is not simply a collection of papers.  The most important part of the portfolio is the essay of reflection or self-scrutiny.  Use the papers that you included as evidence of the learning process and refer to them in your narrative.  Use the questions below to help you write the self-assessment essay, which should be five pages in length:

Why did you decide to become a history major?  What were your learning goals when you declared the major?

What have you learned?  Include a list of the history courses that you have taken.  Focus especially on skills:  writing, public speaking, analysis and use of primary and secondary sources, etc.

When have you learned?  Compare your mastery of skills from the time you became a history major to now.

How have you learned?  What are my strengths and weaknesses as a learner in history courses?  What do the papers in the portfolio say about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

How have you changed as a person after taking history courses?  Consider intellectual, personal and ethical changes. To what extent have your courses contributed to your preparations for lifelong learning and civic-minded citizenship?

III.  Deadline:

Please submit the portfolio in a binder to the department chairperson at least 60 days before the seminar begins.

History faculty members use your reflective essay and your papers to asess the program and faculty teaching. The attached rubric includes the categories faculty consider the most important for history department goals and objectives. Please consider reviewing this rubric and reflecting on some of the department's goals as you write your self-anaylsis.

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