Cause and Effect.
Cause and Effect Cause and Effect This term we have discussed several patterns of development”that is, several methods of demonstrating a thesis”each of which represents a different way of making sense of the world around us. When we use narration, the most ancient form of writing, we tell stories that give meaning to the seemingly meaningless events of our lives. When we use examples, we provide concrete illustrations by which others can understand the abstract ideas we wish to discuss. When we compare and contrast, we refine our understanding of circumstances by enumerating and explaining their similarities and differences. Another method of understanding the world is by answering that perennial question of childhood: Why? As we analyze the causes and effects of the complex issues and events we experience, we find another means of making sense out of confusion and finding order in chaos. Cause-and-effect reasoning involves some logical perils. First we must avoid the fallacy known by the Latin phrase post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this); that is, we must not œgive credit to the rooster for the rising of the sun. Similarly, we must not confuse correlation with causation; people eat more ice cream in the summer than in the winter, and they also have more heat strokes, but we must not assume that ice cream causes heat strokes. The so-calledthird cause fallacy reasons something like this: œIt seems that every time empty beer cans are piled up in a car, an accident occurs. The excess weight and shape of the cans must cause other cars to want to crash into the victim’s car. You may find these arguments ridiculous, but think again”and consider the following actual headlines, which imply causal links that are spurious at best: ¢ Link between over-indebtedness and obesity identified ¢ Recession causes increase in teen dating violence ¢ Facebook users get worse grades in college ¢ Breast implants lower cancer risk but boost suicides ¢ Breast-fed children found smarter Clearly, we are entering perilous waters when we begin to look for causes and effects. However, you will have the assistance of experts in your investigation. This assignment is a research project, and your evidence will be materials you have gathered from books, newspapers, scholarly journals, and materials available on the Internet. The Assignment For this assignment, you will prepare an essay of 1,700-1,800 words (not including the title page or works cited) on the causes OR effects of a contemporary social, political, or military problem. The essay must be based on research. You must use MLA citation style, which includes in-text citation and a list of works cited after the last page of the text. Information on MLA citation style is included in the required readings from Module 5. The research process is also covered fully in the readings.The Purdue Online Writing Lab is another resource that you might find helpful as you plan, research, and write your essay: . Sources Required You will be required to cite at least five sources, including three from scholarly journalsand one from a newspaper. Because of the brief time you will have for research, I ask that you locate your sources using the FTCC Discovery Service exclusively (see instructions below); there, you will find hundreds of scholarly journals and newspapers from across the United States that should be sufficient to research any topic you choose. Your fifth source may be another academic journal (recommended), or you may use websites or books. If you use a website, you may use only websites that are listed as .eduor .gov. Credible news websites, such cnn.com, nytimes.com, or bbc.com, will be acceptable as the newspaper source.DO NOT use editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews, or other opinion pieces. Topic Choices Please choose from the following topics, or get my approval for a different topic of your choice: ¢ The effects of terrorism on the American psyche ¢ The causes of suicide in the military ¢ The causes of math anxiety ¢ The effects of gender stereotyping on choice of college majors ¢ The effects of cheating in college classes ¢ The effects of speech codes on student and faculty rights ¢ The effects of social media on high school students ¢ The effects of PTSD on the families of combat veterans ¢ The effects of negative campaigning on the political process ¢ The effects of 9/11 on individual rights ¢ The causes of illiteracy in the United States today ¢ The effects of social media on the political process ¢ The effects of doping in sports (be specific: Olympics, professional sports, college sports) Note: DO NOT attempt to write a paper about the effects of something that has not yet occurred (allowing women in combat or federal restrictions on gun ownership, for example).Any paper on such a topic would be pure speculation. You must select a topic in which cause or effect can be demonstrated with statistical information and case studies. The Research Question Having a well-formulated research question is an essential first step in the research process. Asking the right question forces you to narrow your topic to something manageable in an essay of 1,800 words. It will also assist you in articulating search terms to use when you begin the research process. As you dive into the research process, answers to the research question will begin to emerge. The answer to the research question will be the thesis of the essay. Right away,you will need to formulate a research question and a tentative thesis statement (due according to the schedule below). To get to that point, select a topic that interests you, and do some preliminary research by scanning abstracts and getting a rough idea what ideas are going to emerge from your thorough research. From those preliminary steps, write a tentative thesis statement that answers the research question; it must be a complete sentence, and because of the nature of the assignment, it must relate to causes or effects. Of course, as the project matures, both the question and the thesis statement will change, but starting in this manner will ensure that your research is both efficient and oriented toward the final project. Getting Started To get started with your research, go to the FTCC home page, click on Academics, and then on Library Services. Type in your search term(s) and click Search. At that point, you will be directed to the results list. If you are accessing the site remotely, you will see a pale yellow box near the top right of the page that indicates, œHello, Guest. Log in for full access. Click that box and enter your FTCC username and password (the same ones you use to log in in the computer lab). You will be greeted with a HUGE number of sources. I typed œmilitary suicide cause as my search and received 442,698 results. Clearly, something must be done! Under Limit to, select full-text, scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals published since 2000.After refining my search, I still ended up with 19,883 sources. I unchecked the œexpanders box and came up with 155 articles on the subject”a large but manageable number of articles to winnow through. The Research Process The section on research in The Norton Field Guide, as well as the guidelines on the Purdue OWL, will guide you through the steps required in the process of doing research. Here is a quick summary of the steps: ¢ We have already discussed above the importance of having a research question to guide you in asking the right questions of your sources. ¢ Once you begin your research in earnest, make responsible choices about which sources to read thoroughly by making a cursory examination of the abstracts to discover how well they answer the question you are asking. Evaluate the available sources and choose the ones that are reliable, authoritative, and revelant to your research question. ¢ When you have decided that a source is worth the effort of reading and taking notes, make a bibliographic reference in MLA style. Keep these references in alphabetical order; you will thus have a head start on your works cited page from the moment you begin your research! ¢ Take notes in a purposeful and organized manner. Do not simply copy and paste information from your sources. When you do so, you are not synthesizing the information (using it to form an argument of your own). When you take purposeful notes that answer research questions and fit within a pre-planned argument, you will be much better prepared to use your sources in crafting your own argument. The Annotated Bibliography An annotated bibliography is much more than a list of sources on your topic. An annotation begins with a MLA-formatted citation to a work you have researched. It also includes a summary of the work (thesis and primary types of evidence) along with your assessment or evaluation of the source. Ask yourself some of the following questions: Is the source useful for my project? Is the source reliable? What are the author’s biases? Does the author succeed in demonstrating his or her thesis? Why or why not? How might this source be valuable for someone else researching a similar topic? The answers to these questions are not a matter of opinion, but of careful evaluation using the critical reading skills we have focused on throughout the class. A research project traditionally requires the preparation of an annotated bibliography including ALL the sources researched for the assignment. However, for this project you will be required to prepare only TWO annotations of 200-250 words each (use articles from scholarly journals). Please see the sample annotation included at the end of this handout for guidance. Your submission must be in the same format and include the same degree of summary and evaluation as in the sample. ORDER THIS ESSAY HERE NOW AND GET A DISCOUNT !!!