Length: 5 pages double spaced text plus reference page
What: Select an issue, occurrence, problem, or condition and write about it in a way that deepens a reader’s understanding of how/why specific forces or causes work to create the condition/issue. Support cause and effect claims with relevant evidence, demonstrate critical thinking skills, and apply effective writing strategies and appeals. Focus on a specific purpose, subject, and audience as you compose revisions prior to editing for grammar, punctuation, and clarity of delivery.
Why: This assignment asks you to demonstrate form, organization, syntax, diction, style, and tone appropriate for a given audience and subject. It also expands your understanding of cause/effect relationships while reinforcing your appreciation of writing as a process requiring substantive revision.
Writing a Cause/Effect Essay is beneficial in other ways, too.
- Critical thinking and skillful writing used in development of this project teach valuable skills for everyday life and for the workplace. This project guides you to explore forces that result in outcomes and to explain your findings with clear reasoning, supporting details, and logical analyses of information.
- Companies rely on accurate assessments of business decisions in order to make wise choices for the future. Strengthening your ability to provide detailed information about a topic, and the forces operating upon it, can enhance your company’s potential for success.
- This type of essay is also a great way for your instructor to assess your skills of organization, critical thinking, and grammar/punctuation in a way that will empower your work on research papers later in the term.
How: For this paper FOCUS on the CAUSES of a SINGLE issue or condition. DO NOT try to solve or remedy the problem/issue. Instead examine three or more causes contributing to the issue. ALSO in selecting your topic you may NOT use any aspect of the following: abortion, capital punishment, bulling, obesity or eating disorders, decriminalization of any drug including medicinal marijuana. Most 'settled history' topics should also be avoided (check with Instructor before proceeding).
Here are some steps to guide the development of this project:
1) Think of a specific event or situation and brainstorm details related to its causes.
2) Narrow the scope of your essay. A five-page paper won’t be enough space to describe all causes of a particular event or situation; an excellent paper will detail three MAJOR things in depth instead of several things superficially.
3) Develop a working thesis statement that represents your strategy for the presentation of the topic.
4) Use reliable 2-4 academic sources (e.g. academic database, book, organization website, interview with expert, etc.) to support your paper.
5) Decide which research materials will be useful to include in the essay in the form of quotation, paraphrase, or summary (with proper APA citation, as needed).
6) Properly format APA in-text citations and a References page.
7) Use tools discussed in class lectures, readings, and in your textbooks to craft this paper--the parts of an essay, writing strategies, and grammar/punctuation skills; follow instructor feedback on your prewriting for developing your paper.
8) Revise the entire document several times to ensure your thoughts are clearly conveyed and paragraphs are logically developed.
9) Do NOT use 1st or 2nd person point-of-view words (I, we, me, my, mine, our, us, you, your, etc.) in your final draft. Only use 3rd person point-of-view words: it, he, she, his, her, they, their, the reader, one, etc.
10) The final draft of your essay must be 5 pages in length, typed and double-spaced with 1-inch margins. Use Times New Roman style and 12 point font. Include a separate title page with a thoughtful title that does more than simply restates the assignment type.
11) Edit for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.