Casual Analysis Essay?
What is a Casual Analysis Essay and what are somethings that would help me go about writing one?
CAUSAL-ANALYSIS WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Assignment: Explain the causes of a situation (an event, a phenomenon, or a trend) that concerns you.
Narrow your topic enough to treat it in some detail, and provide more than a mere list of causes. When
seeking causes, you will have to decide carefully how far back to go in your search for remote causes.
Moreover, you must be sure to distinguish between the immediate causes and the remote causes of the
situation you are analyzing. For this assignment, you have complete control of the subject matter of your
essay, but your topic must first be approved by me .
Additionally, you must include exactly one outside source and incorporate one quotation from that
source into your essay. (The SF Writer will help you in using the MLA parenthetical documentation method
and in formatting the bibliographic information for your source.) You can use that source in a couple ways.
For example, you could use a quotation to begin your essay as a point of departure because you may
disagree with the idea, or you want to quote a source and then clarify what the statement means.
Another use of a quotation is to lend support to an idea you have. This use of a quotation lends credibility
to your own writing.
Finally, you must add a Works Cited page at the end of your essay. You can find an example of this in the
SF Writer. (Since you will have only one source, you must title this page Work Cited. Note the singular
form of it.)
Below are some sample topics in case you have trouble thinking of one:
· Why relationships start or break up
· What causes friction between two
roommates, or two friends
· Sources of pressure on students to get good
· The steady increase in college costs
· The fact that more couples are choosing to
have only one child, or none
· The fact that most Americans can
communicate in no language other than
Preparing the Essay:
· Brainstorm for a while until you come up with at least 10 different topics you could write on.
· Once you have chosen a subject, create two columns: one for remote causes and one for immediate
causes. These causes should be somewhat broad so that you can elaborate on them in your essay.
You should have 3 to 4 immediate causes and about 2 to 3 remote causes. Depending on your
topic, the amount will vary, but be sure you have more than just 2 or 3 causes altogether.
· Next, create an outline. The simplest method is to start with the immediate causes. Take each
immediate cause and write some notes about it. Then repeat this process for the remote causes.
Be aware of any causal chains in which one event causes another event, which causes another, and
so forth. Never assume your reader knows as much as you do about your subject and explain your
causes fully to her.
· Start drafting your main body section of the essay and filling in the specific details.
· Your essay needs to be written in the third person point of view. Avoid using the second person
point of view.
Organizing and Structuring the Essay:
1. Introductory Paragraph:
· Begin your expository essay by arousing the audience’s interest in the introductory paragraph.
· This is the paragraph that must clearly establish the subject of your essay and that must identify
the purpose for writing the essay. In this assignment, your purpose is to explain what has given rise
to a particular phenomenon.
· Create a thesis that is one sentence long and that appears in the very last sentence of the
2. Main Body section:
· In the main body of your essay, create a paragraph for each of your causes, whether it is a remote
or an immediate cause. In the form of a topic sentence, be sure the reader knows what type of
cause you are writing about. (E.g. Probably the most common cause for the breakdown of
friendships is that the two people have a communication breakdown.) Notice that my main idea
in this paragraph will be to explain how communication breakdowns can ruin a friendship. I will have
to give at least a couple examples of real or hypothetical situations to illustrate the claim.
· Consider how to order the main body paragraphs. For example, within the immediate causes
section, you might arrange the 3-4 paragraphs by the most serious reasons to the least serious
causes. Alternatively, you could order the paragraphs according to what is the most common factor
in friendships breaking up. You will have several main body paragraphs, but the number will vary
depending on your subject. Each paragraph, though, should start off with a topic sentence that
indicates the next cause you will be explaining.
· Remember to add the analysis part to each of the paragraphs. You cannot merely write about what
causes X to happen; you have to explain why it happens.
· Don’t stray from your topic; stay focused.
· You must use transitions between paragraphs to signal that you are writing about a new cause,
whether it is a remote or