Arguing Cause Assignment

“In any situation, those who can deliver the most sophisticated and engaging arguments tend to have the most influence. Of course, a sophisticated and engaging argument involves a great deal of strategy.”
—Mauk and Metz, the Composition of Everyday Life

Your task is to develop a sophisticated causal argument about one of the societal problems you discovered while researching and reading the materials for your annotated bibliography. The most valuable contributions in any discipline or organization often come from those who can look beyond the obvious causes and make the case for some lurking cause, some factor others may have overlooked. Such arguments take inventive thinking and well developed claims and support.

You need to investigate a problem, develop an argument, and then communicate your argument in writing.


  • You are to develop a causal argument for an issue related to food.
  • You must support this argument with at least four outside sources.
  • You must cite these sources appropriately within your writing (the text), and in a works cited page, using MLA documentation and formatting.
  • Your audience is intelligent and sophisticated. In formal academic argument blatant personal attacks or outright aggression are not valued, nor are empty phrases and mean-spiritedness. Avoid logical fallacies.
  • Use Standard Edited American English. Proofread!
  • The voice or register of your writing must be formal in tone. No yous, but you may use first person where appropriate and purposeful. Avoid contractions and idiomatic language in your writing.


Your writing should be:

  • On a new page linked to your name page titled Arguing Cause followed by your name
  • tagged with the word 'cause'
  • A minimum of 1500 words in length
  • Worthy of a title formatted in heading level 2
  • A works cited section, formatted using MLA guidelines, and linked to the source when possible.

Process Work

A portion of your grade will be dependent upon the process work you complete between now and March 7 (free writes, peer review workshop, etc.). You will also be asked to complete a Writer’s Memo in class the day this project is due.

Due Dates

A working draft of this project is due for workshop Wednesday, March 5 Friday, March 7.

This project in its entirety is due Friday, March 7 Monday, March 17.

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