Use a causal argument to explain the causes or consequences (or both) of a trend, event, or other phenomenon.

ENG L 1302

Writing Assignment 2 – Causal Analysis

For this assignment, you will use a causal argument to explain the causes or consequences (or both) of a trend, event, or other phenomenon.

Write an argument that persuades an audience to accept your explanation of the causes (or consequences) of your chosen phenomenon. Within your essay, you should examine alternative hypotheses or opposing views and explain your reasons for rejecting them.

You may imagine your issue either as a puzzle or as a disagreement. If a puzzle, your task will be informational as well as persuasive because your role will be that of an analyst explaining causes and/ or consequences of an event to an audience that doesn’t have an answer already in mind. If you see your issue as a disagreement, your task will be more directly persuasive since your goal will be to change your audience’s views so as to align more closely with your own.

In the introduction to your essay, you should introduce your trend, event, or phenomenon; explain its significance; provide any necessary background; and state your thesis. Body paragraphs should focus on analyzing major and minor causes and/ or effects, presenting supporting evidence, and examining and refuting opposing viewpoints. The conclusion should reinforce the essay’s main points and include a strong concluding statement.

Papers should be a minimum of four pages long, typed, double-spaced and carefully proofread. Adhere to MLA guidelines for formatting and include both parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page. You must use a minimum of three secondary sources. Do not use a cover sheet. The heading is the same as used in the first paper and goes in the upper left corner:

Student Name
Course. Section
Instructor Name
Due Date

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Here are additional notes from the instructor:
X does/ does not cause Y
Attempts to find causes and/or consequences for any given phenomenon. May focus on causes, effects, or both

Causal Relationships
Main causes: The most important cause; usually used as a key argument supporting the thesis
Contributory causes: less important causes
Immediate causes: occurs right before the event, the most obvious cause
Remote cause: occurred further in the past
Causal chain: Event A  Event B  Event C  Event D…and so on

Post-Hoc Reasoning
Also known as Faulty Cause/Effect. Incorrectly assumes a causal relationship just because one event closely follows another.

Structure

Introduction: introduces topic (trend, event, or phenomenon),
explains topic’s significance,
provides any necessary background,
states thesis
Body: Focus on analyzing major and minor causes and/or effects
Presents supporting evidence
Examine and refute opposing viewpoints
Conclusion: Reinforce the essay’s main points; include a strong concluding statement.
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