Compare/contrast what, and how, the letters and the photos tell us about life during the Great Depression

The paper should compare/contrast what, and how, the letters and the photos tell us about life during the Great Depression. Students should choose preferably one theme, and at most two themes, (either from the list above or of their choosing) and assess areas of overlap and divergence in what these documents communicate about this theme(s). *Papers should NOT address all the letters and the photographs.* Rather, students should select from the samples provided and focus in on one to three letters and one to three photos in their analysis.

The paper should make a claim about what these sources communicate to us about life during the Great Depression. Textual support must be provided to support the paper’s central claim. This support should take the form not merely of summarizing what is in the texts, but interpreting what and how they convey about the paper’s theme.

Primary sources:
1). Letters sent to govt officials
2). Photos by FSA

Secondary Sources:
1). Chapter 22 of textbook: overview of Great Depression
2). Lecture

Themes:
1). People’s relationship to work/their capacity to find work
2). Economic security or lack
3). What people thought the govt should do to address the Depression
4). Myths/beliefs about life in the US v. the lived experience
5). How people understood their relationship/obligations towards others
6). Meaning of race, gender, age and religion during this period

Directions:
1). Create a thesis using the two sets of primary sources. The thesis should answer the following questions:
a). What do the two sets of primary sources tell us about life during the Great Depression?
b). How do they convey this information?
2). A thesis is an argument. Make an argument about life during the Great Depression. Use one (or two) of the themes in your argument.
3). The primary sources are your evidence to support your argument. Chose 1-3 specific letters and 1-3 specific photos to support your argument. You must use at least 1 letter and 1 photo.
4). Use the textbook and the lecture to add context to your essay.
5). Paper due in class at 1pm on Monday, April 20 AND uploaded on Turnitin.com

Hints:
1). Simplify. Don’t overwhelm yourself—don’t try to address all the themes or all of the primary sources. Select specific theme(s) and primary sources that make sense to you.
2). Create an outline. Your outline should have 5 sections. The first is your thesis/argument. The next three should be your evidence and how it supports your thesis. The fifth section is your conclusion. This is where you briefly summarize your argument and evidence…………….

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