English 2000, Section 38 Causal Argument Topic Proposal Due on Tuesday 4/5

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English 2000, Section 38

Causal Argument

  • Topic Proposal Due on Tuesday 4/5

  • First Draft Due on Tuesday 4/12

  • Final Draft Due Week of 4/26 (at your scheduled conference with me)


You are writing a 1200- to 1500-word causal argument that will be read by your classmates and me. In your essay, you will do one of two things:

  1. Examine the causes or consequences of an interesting, puzzling, or controversial event, action, trend or phenomenon (for example: “Why do Americans eat so much fast food?” or “How has the increased popularity of food-related television shows affected our cooking and eating habits?”).


  1. Speculate on the consequences of an event, action, or trend (for example: “What would happen if LSU required all of their food service retailers to serve only local, grass fed beef?” or “What would happen if we stopped subsidizing corn in the US?”)

*Your topic should fall somewhere under the large umbrella of your research group: food & culture, industrialized food, food, nutrition, & health, and local & organic food. However, you’ll need to focus your topic into a very specific, far more narrow argument. You should have a claim with reasons that argues about causes or effects. See Writing Arguments 237-263 for more details on causal arguments.


You must use three to four reliable sources in this paper. These may come from the annotated bibliography you completed with your group, or you may do additional research to help you specify your claim. Please note that in this paper, you’ll be graded on your capable use of sources. These should come from reliable outlets and suit the tenor of your argument. Most importantly, each use of a source should help you build your argument. This doesn’t mean that each source has to agree with your claim, but you should skillfully position outside work so that it compliments your project.
We’ll spend some time in class talking about how to incorporate outside sources into your own writing.
Remember: I’m looking for an argument – your argument – not a report on where other people stand on the issue!

Topic proposal

Due Tuesday 4/5

Please answer the following questions in a word processed document. Answer the questions thoroughly in a paragraph or two each.

  1. What is your umbrella issue (the one you focused on as part of a group)? How will you focus this into a more specific and manageable topic for your causal argument? (Be very specific here, and explain how it was that you came to this decision).

  2. Why, and in what ways, is your specific issue important to your readers?

  3. How might you best capture their interest about this topic? Provide an example or two, and explain why you think this might hook your audience.

  4. What is your causal claim? Explain the reasons you will use to support this causal claim. (In other words, what is your thesis statement?)

  5. How will you demonstrate the causal relationship (showing evidence of causes, showing evidence of consequences, showing evidence of speculative consequences)?

  6. What sources from your group AB will you use in your paper? Do you need to find other sources from the library to make this argument?

  7. What opposing viewpoints will you need to discuss in your essay? How will you handle these?

Directory: hss -> english -> files -> university writing files
university writing files -> Context: The essays below were randomly selected based on their scores, which range from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Scores were assigned by anonymous readers (not by the students’ instructor). Teaching note
university writing files -> Mia Farmer Due: Friday March 9th Minimum: 1000 words 15% of overall grade
university writing files -> Causal Argument Assignment Sheet Purpose/Description
university writing files -> Causal Argument Essay English 2000 – Wingenbach Rough Draft: March 15 Final Draft: March 29
university writing files -> Traffic Problems in Baton Rouge
university writing files -> Texts and supplies
university writing files -> English 2000 Syllabus Spring 2013
university writing files -> English 1001 Service-Learning: Violence Prevention
university writing files -> Texts and supplies

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