Your Objective: To examine the causes or consequences of your chosen topic.
When we write a causal argument, we try to account for changes from before to after a certain event. We do this to be able to repeat, prevent or change this event in the future. Cause-and-effect writing gives reasons and explanations for events, conditions, or behaviors. It answers the need most of us have to understand the world around us. When planning a cause-and-effect essay, begin by listing the event or condition you want to address. Then brainstorm to generate ideas about either its causes or its effects. Here is how you might address the issue of cause:
• Immediate causes: those responsible for creating the problem;
• Remote or background causes: those from the a more distant past;
• Perpetuating causes: those that may have contributed to the problem;
• Obvious causes; and
• Hidden causes. (repeat similarly with effects)
Think carefully about the causes and effects you have listed. As part of prewriting you may find it helpful to diagram or demonstrate these relationships graphically. Check to be sure you have not drawn any faulty conclusions. Your conclusions are faulty if the cause-and-effect relationship does not exist or if it is unreasonable or not clearly established.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have I assumed a cause-effect relationship when there is none?
2. Have I assumed only one cause when many causes may be appropriate?
3. Have I incorrectly assumed a causal relationship between two events that immediately follow each other?
4. Did I distinguish between long-term and short-term causes and effects? A short-term cause or effect is a single, immediately identifiable event; a long-term cause or effect may be less easy to pinpoint but in the long run more important
5. Did I distinguish between primary (most important) and secondary (ancillary) effects?
Next review your notes and identify the most significant causes or effects. It may help to ask yourself the following questions: Who was responsible? Who was affected? Did the event have economic or social ramifications? Compose a thesis statement that clearly states your topic. Because cause-and-effect essays need a readily identifiable structure, you will almost always write the essay in chronological order. Sometimes, however, you will use reverse chronological order. For example, you might begin with an effect or a series of effects and trace them back to their original cause. Whatever organization you use, write paragraphs with strong, clear topic sentences and relevant supporting details.
The Causal Essay Should Include:
• An interesting and significant causal claim.
• An effective exposition of your claim’s significance and rhetorical context.
• Well balanced and thought out evidence for every part of the argument.
• A consideration of alternative views and counter arguments from the audience most likely to be interested in your claim.
• An effective essay structure.
• Proper use, citation, and documentation of source material in MLA with a Works Cited.
• Avoid informal language and the use of first and second person.
• Avoid fallacious reasoning.
This paper should be a minimum of 1650-1800 words in length. You need to include approximately 9-12 well-researched sources. Due Dates are posted on Blackboard.