Cause/Effect Essay

Essay #4—Cause/Effect Essay with Research

Due Date: Monday, April 28

Length: 4 pages, double-spaced, 1,000 words minimum, PLUS Works Cited page, which should be the last page of your essay. 4 research sources minimum.

Points: 300 (30% of course grade)

Continued practice writing for an academic audience
To practice developing and supporting ideas using credible research sources
To practice synthesizing sources
To practice citing sources completely and correctly using MLA conventions

The Assignment:

The broad assignment is to explore in detail the effects of technology using credible information drawn from a variety of sources, such as newspapers, magazine articles and research studies. This gives you lots of room to explore an area of particular interest to you, and you should narrow the topic so you can sufficiently support each claim you make about an effect with convincing evidence drawn from credible research sources. As we discussed in class, there are various possibilities for narrowing the topic, the most obvious being:

Exploring effects of a certain kind of technology, like social media or healthcare technology
Exploring effects of technology (especially a certain kind) on a certain group of people—such as teens, patients, parents, women, business owners, etc.

You need not focus only on positive or negative effects, but you may if you like (see “Your Purpose” below).

Your exploration of effects should be supported by credible research sources, such as news articles about technological advancements, research studies by psychologists examining the effect of video games on our brains, lawyers discussing current privacy laws, etc. You will use a minimum of 4 credible sources; however, you should balance your use of research with sufficient explanation of your own to show this evidence supports your point. In other words, you must adequately explain your analysis, based on your research, with the research only used as support for your ideas. Do not simply summarize someone else’s research paper. This should be your own original analysis of the effects of technology.

You MUST completely and properly cite ALL your sources using MLA conventions in order to get a passing grade on this essay. Consult your textbook and/or the Guide to Citing Sources posted under Course Documents.

Your Purpose: Primarily to inform.

This essay is not meant to be argumentative, but it may be. Although there are some important distinctions between expository and argumentative writing, what you should understand for this paper is that argumentative writing emphasizes one point of view while minimizing opposing points of view, whereas expository writing sets out to explain—to give information—and will be more objective, or neutral, in tone.

I suggest not trying to argue for this; definitely avoid making sweeping judgments using the word “should” (“we should abolish this” or “we should pass a law”)—that is clearly argumentative/persuasive, and would require you to acknowledge and counter readers’ potential objections to your claims and (sometimes moral) judgments. Rather, let your writing reflect a purpose of educating readers, and if your “education” convinces readers to adopt your point of view (and even change their original point of view), then all the better!

No matter what, your introduction and thesis statement should accurately reflect your purpose, and your main points and supporting evidence should be consistent with that purpose. That is, I should know from your introduction whether you’re going to try to convince me of something I may not agree with (argumentative), or you’re trying to give me some information I may not be aware of (expository).

Your audience: You are writing for a knowledgeable, mature audience who is probably familiar with many forms of today’s technology, but who is not an expert at any of it, and who may not be familiar with some (especially specialized) forms. Don’t assume mature readers know all about social media! We’ve all likely heard of it and have some experience with it, but I had to get my daughter to explain Instagram to me!

Your style, including your diction and syntax, should be aimed at these same educated readers, who are reading to be informed.

What you must do:

· Give your paper an appropriate and eye-catching title.

· Include a minimum of 4 credible sources, which you use as support. A quotation from a “” web site does NOT count. Neither does a dictionary definition. Papers that use fewer than 4 credible sources for support will receive no higher than a 60 (D-), and will likely FAIL.

· Completely and correctly cite all your sources of information, both in-text (using parenthetical citations) and on the Works Cited page.

o Papers that do not contain a Works Cited page and/or that do not contain any in-text attribution of sources are considered plagiarized and will FAIL.

o Papers that use portions of text copied from outside sources, without using quotation marks (and citations) to indicate the text has been copied, are considered plagiarized and will FAIL.

o Papers that do not contain complete citations on the Works Cited page (that is, that contain only a hyperlink or an author and title but are missing the rest of the publication information) will lose at least one letter grade.

o Papers with wildly inaccurate citations will lose one letter grade.

o Papers that attempt to attribute sources in the text (attempt to avoid plagiarizing but are missing many of the required parenthetical citations) will lose at least one letter grade (in addition to the letter grade lost for an incomplete Works Cited page).

o Papers with wildly inaccurate parenthetical citations will lose one letter grade.


· Write at least 1,000 words, not including the Works Cited page and your heading. Papers that do not meet the minimum word requirement will receive no higher than a D and will likely FAIL.

· Properly format your paper: Times New Roman 12 pt., double-spaced, with proper heading, running header in upper right corner, and title. Each paragraph should have an indented first line and should be left-justified. The Works Cited page should be on its own separate page, which should be the last page of your essay; like all the other pages of your essay, it should have your last name and the page number in the upper right corner. Works Cited entries should ALL be double-spaced, alphabetized, and use a hanging indent, which is the opposite of a regular paragraph indent.

· Submit your paper to SafeAssign, print the report, and attach it to your paper to hand in. SafeAssign is a good tool for helping you learn how to adequately cite sources and avoid generic phrases; at the same time, understand that when you submit to SafeAssign, you are giving your word that you have not used any ideas or text from another source without properly citing that source.

· Attach a blank copy of the essay scoring rubric (posted under Course Documents).


***Remember that essays showing intentional plagiarism, in part or in whole, will receive a 0. If you receive a 0 on any essay, you cannot pass the course.***