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A causal analysis asks you to examine either the causes of a problem, why the problem has happened, or what factors have led to a particular problem. To write an effective causal analysis essay the thesis and body paragraphs should focus on 2�4 specific causes (i.e., actions, events, thoughts, attitudes, conditions, or decisions) that have led to the problem you have identified. Writing about causes is an important skill in academic, professional, and real-world contexts, and the ability to identify the causes of a problem is essential in persuasive writing.


Identify a social, environmental, or political problem that is of local, national, or global concern.

Note: Be sure to focus only on the causes of the problem in this paper; do not consider effects or solutions.
A. Write a causal analysis essay (suggested length of 3�7 pages). In your essay, do the following:
1. Address an appropriate topic.
2. Provide an effective introduction.
3. Provide an appropriate thesis statement that previews two to four causes.
4. Explain the causes of the problem.
5. Provide evidence to support your claim.
6. Provide an effective conclusion.

B. Include at least two academically credible sources in the body of your essay.
1. For your sources, include all in-text citations and references in APA format.

Note: For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section.

Note: When using sources to support ideas and elements in an assessment, the submission MUST include APA formatted in-text citations with a corresponding reference list for any direct quotes or paraphrasing. It is not necessary to list sources that were consulted if they have not been quoted or paraphrased in the text of the assessment.

Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly.

Is your paper a causal analysis? In other words, does your essay examine the causes behind a problem?

Do you have an introduction? Does it grab the reader’s attention? Does it provide necessary background information?

Does your introduction have a thesis as its final sentence? Does it look something like the following statement?

___________________ is a growing problem in the U.S. today caused primarily by ______________, _____________, and ____________________.
Do your body paragraphs match your thesis?
Do they explain the causes of the problems in the order your thesis presents them?

A simple example: The thesis is, “The high school dropout rate is a problem in the United States caused by a lack of parental involvement, an inadequate curriculum, and peer pressure.”

You would structure the paper like this:
The first body paragraph(s) will address how the dropout rate is caused by a lack of parental involvement.
The next body paragraph(s) will be about how it’s caused by an inadequate curriculum.
The last body paragraph(s) will address how it’s caused by peer pressure.

Do you have a conclusion? Does it restate the thesis (word-for-word)? Does it summarize your body paragraphs? Is it free of any extra information?

Have you proofread the paper carefully? Did you read it aloud, paying attention to things like spelling, punctuation, and clarity?
Does your essay include two credible sources? Are they cited in-text following APA guidelines? Do they also appear on you reference page using APA guidelines?

Is the essay 3-7 pages? Do you avoid using personal pronouns like I, me, we, you, and our?

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