Writing Instructions: The Cause-Effect Essay
The purpose of this essay is to identify and to analyze the effects of something. What are the effects of the prevailing confidence gap in the United States? What are the effects of gender inequity in leadership in specific institutions? What are the effects of unequal access to top-level positions for women (glass ceiling)? What are the effects of women’s attrition (paucity) from the race toward becoming executives? What is the “modest” or “backlash” effect? First, you will explore and consider this issue through the perspectives of the authors Katherine Seelye and Stephanie Thomson and by watching related videos. This exploration will also include your and your classmates’ textual analysis, spirited discussion, and partial research in addition to the authors’ perspectives and factual information.
Characteristics of the Cause-Effect Essay
A successful essay
provides an engaging introduction that offers the reader some background information on
the specific problem, issue, or event.
demonstrates an understanding of the significance or relevance of the problem, issue, or
briefly explores possible causes and probable effect of the problem, issue, or event.
thoroughly examines the consequences of the problem, issue, or event.
presents a specific thesis statement that offers a sophisticated and nuanced understanding
of the problem and its effects.
supports the thesis through well-developed paragraphs that includes specific details and
evidence and are organized strategically.
proposes and argues the best solution for the problem.
presents an objective stance by the use of third-person voice.
correctly integrates quotations and conforms to MLA documentation and format guidelines.
500 to 750 words (roughly 2 to 3 pages, double-spaced)
Minimum of two secondary sources, incorporating textual evidence from the articles.
MLA format for presentation (typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. Times New Roman font, 1”
margins) and source documentation (in-text citations and Works Cited page).
Seelye, Katharine Q. “School Vote Stirs Debate on Girls as Leaders.” New York Times, 12 Apr. 2013, p. A12 (L). Academic OneFile.
Thomson, Stephanie. “A Lack of Confidence Isn’t What’s Holding Back Working Women.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 20 Sep. 2018.
The Writing Process
You will write this essay in five stages: You will 1) do some reading and prewriting (freewriting, organizing ideas) to explore your initial feelings and views regarding a potential topic; 2) craft a working thesis regarding this issue (derived from your free writing and class discussion); 3) develop your body paragraphs (based on the controlling idea in your thesis); 4) write introductory and concluding paragraphs to complete the essay; and 5) seek feedback from yourself and others to engage in reflective and meaningful revision and complete the writing process.
Do not write in second person (e.g., you or your).
Include an original title for your essay
Type your essay in font Times New Roman, Size 12
Double Space the entire essay
Prepare a Works Cited section on the last page of the essay.
One Possible Method of Organization
Create a lead-in “hook” to engage your readers’ interest (e.g., a striking quotation gleaned
from your research, an anecdote or scenario, a related current event).
Provide a brief overview of the primary text for your reader.
Identify the problem or issue
Present a focus question to stimulate your readers’ thinking.
Clearly state your thesis statement
Provide a clear topic sentence for each paragraph.
Discuss the causes or effects of this problem.
Support all viewpoints with sufficient details and specific examples.
Develop each idea in a separate paragraph.
Include transitions between your discussions of each component.
Try to achieve a direct and decisive tone.
Restate your thesis and main support in slightly different terms.
Articulate a “call to action,” now that the readers understand this problem.
Consider referring to a related issue, if appropriate.
Questions to consider throughout your paper:
□ What is the assignment?
□ What’s my purpose in this essay?
□ Do I accomplish my goal?
□ How effective is my thesis?
□ Do I provide enough supporting details?
□ How effective is my wording and sentence structure?
□ How effective is my structure and organization?
□ How effective are my transitions throughout the paper?
□ How effective is my overall paper?
□ Am I summarizing too much and not offering enough
analysis of the topic?
□ Do I fulfill the requirements of the assignment?
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