casual agreement

The objective of this module is to understand the features of the Causal Argument by reading this assignment description and chapter 11 and then to write and revise a successful causal argument of about 1,200 words.

Chapter 11 does a good job explaining various examples of causal arguments. Pay special attention to the “Guide to Writing a Causal Argument” near the end of the chapter. The trick to writing a strong causal argument is making sure that something is at stake in your claim. You would not write, “The attacks of September 11, 2001 caused our country to focus much more on terrorism.” This would lack exigence because your readers would say, “Yes, we know that.” Furthermore, nothing really competes with that cause as the probable cause for the effect of focusing more on terrorism. If, however, you write that advertising to children is the primary cause of America’s increasing rates of obesity, that will establish exigence. Some of your readers will say, “No, it is the rise of the computer.” Others will say, “No, it is the reliance on our automobile that is the primary cause.” So in this example you will have to convince them that while their proposed reasons should not be ignored, your reason is the primary cause.

One example of a causal argument is addressing a cause or effect that is not obvious. For example, you write this thesis, “The United States saw a significant decline in crime in the 1990’s and again in the last four years. The primary cause of this drop is immigration.” Some readers will react with , “Wait! I’ve never heard that before.” Others might say, “What? I though immigration caused crime to spike.” So your essay has a good reason to be read.

Note that some students mistake a causal argument for a straightforward cause and effect essay. For example, they create this thesis: Rates of obesity in the United States have climbed more than 30 % in the last twenty years. The main causes of obesity in America are reduced rates of exercise, increased marketing of foods to children, and the ubiquity of junk food.”
************* That is NOT a causal argument. We all know some of the causes of obesity. There is no debate that diet and exercise and part of the puzzle. So this attempt at an essay would be no more than listing what we already know. To take another example: we know that economic panic and reactions to slavery were contributing causes to the Civil War. No one disputes that.

To reiterate, your readers are interested in causes and or effects which are up for debate. In some textbooks, we see the authors use the example of causes and effects of global warming. These serve as good examples for learning about the rhetorical mode called causal argument; however, I am not sure these work as good topics because most of us (you, CSM students, and certainly I) know very little of global warming. Instead, let’s write about something of which we have knowledge and are experiencing right now. This way if you want you can use some (not more than ¼ of the essay, though) experience as evidence to support your claims. The other evidence will come from your research, of course. Please think about that word : research. It’s not enough to just grab what a journalist writes because most of the time journalists are reporting what experts (those who research) write. The claims should be YOURS but the evidence should come from your own observations and the work of OTHERS. It can be tricky to know if your essay is making this distinction, so it’s that much more important to have your early draft reviewed by your instructor.
As always, in your essay, refer to at least three credible sources and include a Works Cited page. You may (not required) also use your own experience for some (@ ¼) of your evidence. As in previous essays, please consider using Proquest to access magazine and professional journals.
Causal Argument Here I am giving a students a choice of two thesis statements. Topic #1 will have you explore cause or causes, and topic #2 will explore effect or effects. Choose either one.
Topic #1: According to an article by Giovanni Russonello, citing a Quinnipiac University poll, “How much [coronavirus] worries you depends heavily on your personal politics—to a degree that’s not typical for a national crisis.” The article continues: “. . . roughly six in 10 Republican voters nationwide said they were not especially concerned that the coronavirus would disrupt their lives. Two-thirds of Democratic voters said the opposite.” >>>> Your essay will explore the cause(s) of this disparity. We all have potential access to the same information, but we are drawing very different conclusions, often associated with political orientation. WHY?
Topic #2: What will be one or two long-term significant effects of the Covid 19 experience in America? Be sure that you are choosing something that is up for debate. For example, ” We will be much more aware of viruses” is too obvious to mention. I urge you to do your own thinking and avoid asking Google what it thinks. Use sources to support your claims. For example, if I write “The Covid 19 experience will have this effect on education: …………………” I will use research about learning and education in general to support my point. I won’t look for someone who agrees with my prediction, but for someone who can give me the hard evidence UNDERLYING my prediction.


As always, you must use sentence templates 3 times in your final draft:


Use at least 3 of the following 8 sentence templates. If possible, highlight these sentence starters in your essay :

(Insert author’s name here)……..asserts that……….
One expert on this issue is ………., who says this: ……….
I agree with/ disagree with (insert author’s name) when he says………….because……….
Though I concede………, I must insist that ……………….
Some readers may challenge my view by asserting that……….My response is this: ………
This issue is important because…………….
I agree with…………. and will make the additional point that….
The future of this issue is this: …………