The Assignment: Write a causal analysis, a type of essay in which you either: a) identify a particular phenomenon and discuss the resulting effects, or b) identify a particular phenomenon and discuss the underlying causes. In other words, you can discuss a cause that leads to several effects or an effect that has several causes. In either case, be sure to address the stakes of your analysis, answering the question, “Why should I care?”
Topic Selection: Work to narrow down your topic to a specific phenomenon or problem whose causes or effects can be addressed in approximately three pages. For example, attempting to discuss the possible causes of domestic violence would be way too broad for this assignment. Instead of focusing on domestic violence as a whole, you might narrow down your topic to examining the reasons why women in violent relationships stay in them after being hit or harmed.
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