Causal Analysis

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Causal Analysis

  1. 1. Aisha Brownlee, Avery Carmichael, Dejha Brown, Yetunde Amolegbe
  2. 2. Writing Causal Analysis with a Reader’s Eye  Causal analysis essays must have a logical, believable development  Otherwise they will not connect with their audience and will fail to accomplish their purpose.  This should be considered when engaging your desired audience with your writing  Think of audience throughout the writing process
  3. 3. Issues to Keep in Mind  The intended purpose of a causal analysis essay is to explain a situation to the reader  Including both causes and effects may be difficult  What is the best way to present each cause or effect  Consider the nature and importance of each cause or effect  Weigh the causes and effects  Determine major causes/effect to focus on
  4. 4. Issues to Keep in Mind (cont.)  Do not mistake correlation for causation  Understand the relationship between simultaneous event  Do not forget that all causes may have unintended consequences
  5. 5. Choosing Internal Strategies  Internal strategies refers to the focus of the essay: usually either on causes or effects  Good causal analysis essays avoid a narrow, formulaic approach to their subject matter  You will most likely apply more than one internal strategy to develop your essay thoroughly
  6. 6. Choosing a Topic  Keep in mind the scope of the assignment  Narrow down broad topics to make them manageable  Fully understand the topic, allowing for better analysis  Research may be necessary
  7. 7. Prewriting  Use an informal, idea-gathering strategy such as brainstorming, clustering, or free-writing to develop possible causes and effects  Revise results to include only Major causes and/or effects
  8. 8. Organizing  Essay should reflect its pattern  i.e. Multiple causes, one effect  Or one cause with multiple effects  Using an outline will help indentify minor causes or effects
  9. 9. Drafting  Introduction should supply both context and essay  Avoid being formulaic in analysis  Avoid summarizing in the conclusion  Instead give the significance of the topic  Evaluate the causes or effects and propose a solution
  10. 10. Revising  Questions  Is the purpose clear? Was enough background provided?  Is there a clear thesis, as well as clear topic sentences?  Is the conclusion effective?  Elements  False causes or effects  Correlation mistaken for causation  Structure
  11. 11. Examining a Causal Analysis Essay  “Black Men and Public Space”  By Brent Staples  Page 167
  12. 12. A Closer Look at Causal Analysis  Questions to Consider  Is there an effective introduction?  Is there a clear and effective thesis?  What are the causes discussed?  What are the effects discussed?  Which one does the writer focus on?  Is there a good conclusion?  Does the author propose a solution?
  13. 13. Introduction  “My first victim was a woman” 167  The author goes on to paint a vivid picture of a past experience  His topic becomes clear in the introduction
  14. 14. Thesis  “It was in the echo of that terrified woman’s footfalls that I first began to know the unwieldy inheritance I’d come into-the ability to alter public space in ugly ways” (167)  The author’s position on his chosen topic becomes clear in his thesis statement
  15. 15. Causes  “I understand of course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination” (168).  Vulnerability  Crime rate  Preconceived notions  All out of his control
  16. 16. Effects  The author briefly discusses he has become used to in his time in Chicago and New York  Passengers locking the car doors  Regardless of the passenger’s gender or race  Pedestrians crossing to the other side of the street
  17. 17. Focus  The author chose to focus on the causes of these reactions  Possible patterns:  Multiple causes, one effect  Why an event happen  Discusses different causes that warrant similar responses at the end of paragraph two
  18. 18. Conclusion  The author proposes a solution  “I now take precautions to make myself less threatening” (168)  Also learned how not to become angry  Does not offer a solution to end the problem
  19. 19. How Does Causal Analysis Work?  The writer examines the causes and effects of a particular situation  3 different types
  20. 20. Three Types of Causal Analysis  Hypothetical  Effects of past event  Why past events happened  Writer must decide whether to focus on causes or effects depending on the chosen topic
  21. 21. Hypothetical  Writer is asked to predict the effects of something happening  Businesses use this type before making decisions  i.e. What would happen if we raise prices 5%? Also called feasibility study
  22. 22. Effects of Past Events  Focuses on factual events that can be both studied and understood  September 11th  Tighter airport security  Negative feelings towards those of Middle Eastern decent
  23. 23. Why Events Happened  Focuses on the causes that contributed to an event taking place  Why is it so hard to find parking on campus?  Limited space  High demand  Unorganized administration
  24. 24. Four Basic Patterns  Multiple causes leading to one effect  Here the writer how the outcome of a particular situation is the combinations of multiple causes  One major cause with multiple effects  This type of essay focuses on a single event that has a wide array of consequences
  25. 25. Four Basic Patters (cont.)  Hypothetical effects  Writer tries to rationally predict the effects of a proposed change  Explore both possible positive and negative effects  Causal chains  Here the writer explains the chain of events that led to an outcomes  Causes are caused by the preceding event
  26. 26. Exercise  “A Bad Move Gentleman”  Page 304
  27. 27. A Bad Move Gentleman Our college has a new policy, it’s a horrible policy: any student that misses more than 3 ‘contact hours’ will be dropped from their class. The effects are going to hurt badly individual students: they will be punished unfairly. First in a three-day a week class over 16 weeks has 45 class meetings, therefore, at least 42 classes must be attended orelse the student is dropped. Thats too much. What if you get sick. What if your car wont start. And besides everyone gets a day off every once in a while, dont they? Students with too absenses could find themselves living in fear because they know their on the edge. Moreover students, we, pay the tuition that runs this school, who is the school to cancel us after we’ve paid are money? The whole thing sucks if you ask me. We putup with alot with this school anyway; bad parking , old classrooms. What are they thinking? In conclusion, as I have clearly pointed out, the new rules is too hard on students and unfair toboot. Think it over gentleman.
  28. 28. Revisions- 1st Paragraph  Our college has a new policy, < Grammatical Error: Comma Splice. it’s a horrible policy: any student that misses more than 3 ‘contact hours’ will be dropped from their class. The effects are going to hurt badly individual students: they will be punished unfairly. < Organization of words, Not clear.
  29. 29. 2nd Paragraph  First, < Grammatical Error: Comma needed. in a three-day a week class over 16 weeks has 45 class meetings, therefore, at least 42 classes must be attended orelse < Spelling the student is dropped. That’s too much.< Spelling What if you get sick. What if your car wont start. And besides everyone gets a day off every once in a while, don’t < Grammatical Errors: Punctuation errors. they?
  30. 30. Revisions (cont.)  Moreover students, we, < Organization of words. pay the tuition that runs this school, who is the school to cancel us after we’ve paid are money? The whole thing sucks if you ask me. We putup with alot < Spelling with this school anyway; bad parking, old classrooms. What are they thinking?  In conclusion, as I have clearly pointed out, the new rules is too hard on students and unfair toboot < Spelling. Think it over gentleman. < Sexist language
  31. 31. Works Cited  “Causal Analysis”. Howard Univesity Student Handbook for Writers. Eds. Elaine P. Maimon, Janice H. Peritz, Kathleen Blake Yancey. USA: The McGraw-Hill Companies 2010. 272-307. Print.  Staples, Brent. “Black Men and Public Space”. Revelations. Ed. Teresa M. Redd, Carolyn E. Shuttlesworth. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2010. 167-168. Print.

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