of the assignment options listed on How To Write Anything page 159.
Please note that #2, the “Research Study” option, has been omitted because all options will require significant research, and the book’s explanation could apply to all other projects for this paper; however, the book’s explanation provides a good example of a paper you could do.
(1) Causal Analysis – examine a root cause of an event, phenomenon, trend, etc. Feel free to refute what you regard as some faulty analysis of cause and effect by offering a more plausible explanation. Sample Questions: what do credible experts and sources identify as root causes? What inconsistencies and contradictions do I see? How can I synthesize their ideas to form my own thesis and theories? See example: “Global Warming and the Sun” (132).
(3) Exploratory/Refutation Essay – find an article that seeks to explain a cause & effect relationship, then write a detailed response to the causal issues it raises. For example, you could discuss why you find it convincing or speculate about how society might respond to its conclusions (some topic examples listed on p. 159). See example: “Where Have All The Women Gone?” (147).
(4) Cultural Analysis – Identify a trend you have noticed or a change in society or culture that deserves scrutiny. It might relate to technology, entertainment, political preferences, fashion, popularity of careers, or other areas. Write an analysis of the phenomenon, considering either causes or potential consequences of this new mania. Then illustrate the trend with images that suggest its cultural reach or significance (note that images do not count toward the text page total but can contribute to your grade). Spend some time in the opening of your paper describing the trend and establishing that it is consequential. See example: “Why We Love Beautiful Things” (155) and the explanation of how to base an assignment on that style of article on page 159.
(5) Prediction Analysis – Politicians and pundits alike are fond of offering predictions, some hopeful, but many dire. The economy, they might suggest, is about to boom or slide into depression; sports dynasties are destined to blossom or collapse; printed books to disappear; American teens to grow fond of musicals. Identify one such prediction about which you have some doubts. Develop a cause-and-effect analysis to suggest why it is likely to go awry. Be sure to explain in detail what factors you expect will make the prediction go wrong. If you are brave, offer an alternative vision of the future.
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