Cause-Effect: A short cause-effect essay may examine one cause with multiple effects or multiple causes resulting in a single effect. More complex papers may examine multiple causes resulting in multiple effects. Remember that you are writing a relatively short paper of three-four pages not including the Works Cited page. This essay assignment looks at cause and effect factors in problems associated with nature, agriculture and the environment.
Approach this essay as a problem-solving situation. Identify a problem related to nature, agriculture or the environment with causes and effects. (for topics, see the Overview and Topic Development handout in Content) Then run that problem through the problem-solving steps:
Define the problem by writing a clear thesis statement and then expanding on that thesis as needed to fully explain the issue and explore causes and effects. In other words, “show” the reader of your paper that the problem really does exist. This document, your “problem statement,” should be placed in the Definition of Problem Dropbox (see Schedule Overview for due date).
Design a solution by:
Identifying and analyzing several possible ways to solve the problem through research.
Proposing solutions based on your research, being sure to consider and articulate the possible positive and/negative effect(s) (yes, solutions have effects, too) of each solution.
Selecting the solution or solutions you think most likely to solve or alleviate the problem and propose a plan of action. Your research should support the solution you have chosen.
Submit an outline of your essay with a works Cited page listing three sources you will use in the Outline Dropbox (see Schedule Overview for due dates)
Complete the research and write the essay. Place it in the Essay 4 Dropbox (see Schedule Overview for due dates).
To the best of your ability, explain or describe how you think the solution or solutions chosen might be put into action (implemented). If the problem is one that you have some control over, actually implement (or begin implementing the plan and evaluate your progress).
Compose a Reflection Piece of at least one page based on your evaluation and include a review the steps taken in the problem-solving method, especially noting the surprises and/or difficulties encountered in the research process. Place the Reflection Piece in the Reflection Dropbox (See Schedule Overview for due dates).
We will write this essay in at least two stages. The first stage will be clearly defining the problem, something you will do in the problem statement. You must receive a grade on this step before moving on to the “design” stage of problem solving. Also, I will expect a complete and correct outline.
A topic narrow enough to be treated in a short paper.
Topic that fits the problem-solving model, as most cause-effect topics do.
Three-four pages in length, not including the works cited page
A minimum of three sources and three types of in-text citations (see above for full information.) At least two of your sources must come from Thigpen Library databases.
A clear thesis supported by unified paragraphs with clear topic sentences.
Smooth transitions between and within paragraphs.
Correctly formatted MLA-style documentation of sources.
Evidence that you have proofread carefully and used spell check.
Evidence that you have carefully evaluated any general internet sources you have used.
Finally, do not attempt to write this paper until you have completed the IRIS tutorial and the IRIS quiz and the Plagiarism quiz within IRIS. Your IRIS score will be due in the IRIS Dropbox (see Schedule Overview for due dates). Do not attempt to write this paper without heavy reliance on the MLA sections of the Bedford Handbook. I also highly recommend the use of Noodle Bib for creating the “Works Cited” page of the paper. The NoodleBib tutorial is available at the Thigpen Library website.
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