Since its passing, the New Deal has remained a topic of substantial controversy and debate among historians and the general public alike. For this assignment, you will read two different perspectives on the New Deal by major U.S. historians David M. Kennedy and Burton Folsom. Using both articles, the textbook, and any other readings, discussions, or lecture materials in the course, explain which view of President F.D.R. and the New Deal you find more compelling.
Assume that you are writing this paper for an undergraduate conference on the New Deal. Assume that your audience has NOT read this assignment and will attend your talk because you hooked them with an interesting title. Your paper should be approximately 1,250 words. This is approximately 5 double-spaced pages.
Which argument do you find more compelling and why? The answer to this question will provide you with a thesis statement on which to build out your analysis and argument. You will have space in this paper to write a proper introduction paragraph. Start broadly by introducing the topic and the problem at hand. Then narrow down your focus to the crux of each author’s viewpoint. End your introduction with your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should contain a topic sentence and examples from the article. Avoid quoting at length and make sure to engage in proper paraphrasing when necessary – do not simply change words around. End with a conclusion paragraph that succinctly restates your thesis and main points.
While you will be presenting your own argument on this topic, you will nonetheless want to practice speaking in an authoritative tone that allows your written arguments to do the job of persuading your readers. This means that you should avoid writing in first person. Do not use “I think” or “I believe” statements, as these tend to weaken your case by making it sound opinionated and subjective.