Short (3 page ) Paper Assignment

In this assignment, you will use the WPA "Life Histories"at the Library of Congress to describe the difference between the 1930s and the modern era. You will explore a specific subject as three people described it, and see how their views and opinions differ from our own.

As part of the New Deal the WPA (Works Progress Administration) compiled "life histories" of ordinary Americans. These interviews have been put on-line in a searchable database, which you can connect to by clicking on the link above.

This link will take you to a page called "Life History Manuscripts." Scroll down this page, and you will see "search by keywords." Click on this, and then enter your search term or terms.

You can pick any subject word you like--use your imagination. For example, entering the subject word "exam" turned up eight different people's life stories. Entering the subject "baseball" turned up eighty eight. Your job in this paper is to:

  • A: identify a subject you're interested in;
  • B: find at least three life histories that make extensive mention of the subject; and
  • C: write a three page paper describing the difference between the way people in the thirties thought about the subject and the way we do today.

Your paper can make use of any other material--the other readings for the course, other Web sites, other books you may have read. But it should be mainly based on the "life history manuscripts."

Papers are due Thursday, October 9, in class