History Portfolios

One of the most important objectives for any historian is to identify and to reflect on the long-term developments that have shaped our world. Individual courses provide valuable insights into specific regions, periods, and themes in the past, but it is important to connect those insights in order to build up a larger understanding of history’s meaning. Putting all your coursework in a portfolio and taking time to think about connections and parallels between the various topics that you have studied will help you to keep your eyes on the big picture, and to make the most out of your history major. You can access below the documents that you should include on your portfolio:

Requirements for HST Portfolio

Major Requirement Checklist (This keeps track of all the history courses you’ve taken, and records your progress towards meeting all specific requirements for the major.)

Declaration Exercise
(This consists of two questions that you answered soon after declaring your major.  It identifies how you were thinking about history when you started off as a major.)

Reflection Exercise
(You will be asked to answer these questions during your Senior Seminar.  The Reflection Exercise identifies your thinking about history towards the end of your studies.)

Portfolio Worksheet
(You should fill one of these in each semester, in preparation for your portfolio discussion with your advisor.  The worksheet asks you to make connections between your various history courses and to think about how history improves your understanding of today’s world.)

Of course, you should also include copies of your syllabi, research papers, and any other work that you feel has significantly contributed to the development of your historical thinking.

You can also access the following documents that may provide useful guidance as you compile your portfolio:

Portfolio Checklist
(This simply lists everything that should be on the portfolio.)

Historical Skills and Concepts
(This lists many of the methodologies and ideas that you will encounter in many of your history courses.  This sheet may serve as a useful prompt when you are reflecting on what you have learned in your various courses.)

Rubric for Assessing Portfolios
(The history professors use this rubric to determine the quality of each portfolio they look at.  It may help you, too: we would love to see all portfolios scoring a 4!)

Remember: the History Department awards cash prizes each spring for the three or four best portfolios. There is a model portfolio (by a past prize winner) available in the Department for you to look at.

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