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New Deal Essay Guide


You have studied photographs and read the life histories of Americans who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s, and have learned about the New Deal agencies created to help these people.

You have researched some of these New Deal agencies that might have offered help to the person/family whose life history you read.

With this collection of information on the person/family and the New Deal agencies that could help them, it is now your job to pull this information together. Write an essay that is both creative and informed to demonstrate your understanding of the effect of the New Deal on private citizens.

The Task:

Imagine that you have found that person/family after the Great Depression ended. Conduct a second, imaginary, interview with them asking which New Deal agencies were the most helpful and how the agencies helped them.



  1. Review the information regarding the person or family. Discuss their problems, concerns, and crises, based on the reading of the first American Life History interview. Reflect on the kind of help they seemed to need.
  2. Consider the New Deal agencies which were available to help people with such problems.


Using an interview format, provide both questions and answers that reveal the following:

  • What experiences and problems occurred to you during the Great Depression?
  • Explain at least two New Deal agencies and/or organizations which could have provided help to your person or family. Be very specific about how those agencies could have helped this particular family.
  • Include an explanation of what your person/family has been doing since the Great Depression and since the last interview?


  • Reflect on the family's problems.
  • Review and summarize the New Deal agencies mentioned and how the agencies helped this particular person/family.