Causal Analysis Essay
EN130 English Composition
Directions: Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences, and be sure to use correct English spelling and grammar. Sources must be cited in APA format. Your response should be a minimum of one (1) single-spaced page to a maximum of two (2) pages in length; refer to the “Assignment Format” page for specific format requirements.
Using what you learned in Lessons 1 and 2 as well as in this lesson, write a well-developed Causal Analysis essay on one of the following topics:
> What are the reasons for the popularity of a product, musical genre, or game?
> Analyze the main causes of a major problem in our society.
> What are the effects of mobile phones?
> Choose a historical event that interests you and explore its causes
> Positive/Negative effects of quitting a job
> How your life would be different if you lived somewhere else
> The consequences of advertisement on young people
> Why you should/should not vote
Your essay, which must demonstrate your understanding of the causal analysis essay, will be graded using the following scale:
Essay clearly demonstrates the concept of causal analysis 15 points
Clear thesis statement/purpose for essay 10 points
Paragraph development (includes thesis support, topic sentences,
and paragraph unity and coherence) 35 points
Organization of essay (including transitions) 20 points
Use of language (includes grammar and punctuation) 20 points
You may use outside sources if you document them using APA format, or you may write this essay based entirely on your knowledge/experience.
THIS IS THE END OF ASSIGNMENT 03.
In Writing Today, read Chapters 1-5.
Your textbook does a great job of discussing the thesis statement in Chapter 3, but I wanted to reinforce it a little more. After all, the thesis statement is the most important line in your essay!
THE THESIS STATEMENT:
Clearly states the narrowed, limited topic or subject of your essay
Clearly makes an assertion, provides a focus, states an opinion regarding your topic; the assertion may be
A single word (frightening, challenged, childish, surpasses)
A phrase or clause (an atypical female character, a life-changing event, should not be banned)
Takes an original, as opposed to trite, common, or well-known, approach to a topic
Takes only one assertion
Controls the direction, the development of the essay
Is stated in only one sentence
Appears at the end of the introductory paragraph (within the last two sentences)
EXAMPLES: (The topic or subject is underlined and the assertion is in bold print.)
The near-tragic automobile accident resulted in several significant changes in my lifestyle.
Mr. Adkison uses some bizarre teaching techniques to help his students improve their writing.
The movie Cold Mountain deserves to “sweep” the Academy Awards this year.
My experience as a tutor has benefited me in a number of ways.
WHEN FORMULATING YOUR THESIS STATEMENT:
DO NOT announce the subject of your essay; such a statement usually does not contain the assertion required for a thesis statement.
Do NOT write:
I am going to write about my high school graduation.
My thesis will be the skiing trip I took during the Christmas holidays.
My paper will discuss and develop the differences between the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
DO NOT make more than one assertion.
Do NOT write:
My high school graduation was fun, exciting, and sad.
My ski trip to the Canadian Rockies provided many wonderful family memories, taught me a lesson about following rules, and allowed me to improve my skiing technique.
The 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most popular Sport Utility Vehicle on the market and is a better buy than the Ford Explorer.
DO NOT include words or phrases such as “I think,” “I believe,” “In my opinion.” If your thesis is properly stated (worded), the reader will know that the ideas expressed are yours.
DO NOT present a statement of fact as a thesis. A thesis should provoke argument or disagreement, and it should be proven with examples, facts, and concrete evidence. A statement of fact does not have to be proven; we already know it to be true. FACTS may be used as support for a thesis but should not make up the thesis. In writing your thesis, ask yourself, “Can I prove this statement with specific examples, facts, and/or personal experiences?”
Do NOT write:
Teenagers like to spend time with their friends.
John F. Kennedy served as President of the United States in the early 1960s.
The Weather Channel provides up-to-the-minute weather conditions for all major regions of the country.
DO NOT be vague, or too general.
Do NOT write:
Some people think the drug problem among teens is getting worse.
Having Friday Chat discussions at Ashworth University has disadvantages and advantages for both students and faculty.
I learned many things about college last semester.
Professional athletes are admired for the many things they do.
DO NOT make unreasonable and/or unsubstantiated claims, insulting or derogatory remarks, or oversimplified statements.
Do NOT write:
Sexual misconduct among immature, underage teenagers has increased sharply in recent years.
Radical animal-rights fanatics have made hunting nearly impossible for serious, law-abiding hunters.
These masochists who insist on puncturing and piercing every available body part are crazy.
In Writing Today, read Chapters 20, 21, and then 18. You will notice that your textbook discusses MLA guidelines and then APA guidelines; focus on the APA guidelines as you read since you will use APA format in all of your courses at Ashworth University.
Evaluating Online Research Options
Most students now turn to online research tools as their initial reference base. However, as the Internet, and particularly the World Wide Web, is still a wholly-unregulated publication tool; proper documentation and evaluation of online sources is necessary. Evaluate your online research methods using these five tips.
Judge the quality of online material with a critical eye. Reputable sites, such as The New York Times, Consumer Reports, and other sites associated with major publications, are generally valid and accurate with their information. However, these sources should be scrutinized as any other source. Government sites associated with specific departments, i.e., Department of Labor (dol.gov), provide very good sources of primary information. However, any individual can post a site, so be aware of the entity — person or organization — presenting the information.
Consider when the information was posted. Many sites have “Last Updated _____” notices. This information is critical when determining the validity and accuracy of a current statistic or comment. While you may obtain employment information from the Department of Labor, if the information is from 1995 and you are researching current trends, the information is not helpful for anything more than a comparison statement. You still need valid statistics from more recent years.
Check for bias or perspective in a document. While most articles and journals are expected to establish an objective viewpoint, many publications present a slanted perspective to serve their greater purpose. This is extremely important when reviewing newsletters from organizations with a specific agenda (e.g., the Sierra Club’s newsletter will read very differently than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce publication concerning environmental legislation. Which would you trust ¡X a group that values profit or one that values the planet? Why? Think about the big picture. Even articles from reputable sources often cater to a particular viewpoint (e.g., The Wall Street Journal). For another look at bias, look at the FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) Web site http://www.fair.org/activism/detect.html.
Remember, different search engines/directories will lead you to different information. The online world is so vast that no one search engine or online directory can contain all the updated information. Thus, utilize a variety of search engines. While you will find overlap, you may also obtain several pearls of information you would have missed otherwise. Some major engines to consider:
MSN Search: www.msn.com
Note: Yahoo is a directory, not a search engine; it categorizes sites by topic.
Note: Dogpile will search databases, catalogs, and multiple search engines for you using your key words.
Use e-mail and postings to discussion groups to lead you to additional information. Rarely use them as a direct source. Unless you are interviewing a verifiable source via e-mail, comments made in a discussion group should not be included as a major reference in a research or documented paper. Rather, join discussion groups or request e-mail to glean suggestions, opinions, and ideas about where to search for accountable information.