Arguing Cause Project Plan

Your task is to develop a sophisticated causal (not casual) argument about one of the societal problems you discovered while researching and reading the materials for your annotated bibliography. This is the first part of the semester project. For this section we are only building a case for what we think are the root causes of a problem. At this point, do not solve the problem. If you want someone to invest time, money, or other resources in a plan of action you must first establish that you understand the problem, and that you have effectively analyzed the cause of it, as well as the constraints that hold back action. Such arguments take inventive thinking and well developed claims and support.

Questions to consider

  • What are the most direct causes of the problem about which you are writing?
  • What economic or business conditions may play a role in this situation?
  • What societal attitudes, fears, or values may have initiated it or indirectly supported it?

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


  • You are to develop a causal argument for an issue related to the topic you investigated for your annotated bibliography.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • For organizational tips, check out Organizing a Causal Argument

Due Dates

A working draft of this project is due for workshop by noon on Thursday, March 19.

Self Analysis questions due by noon on Thursday, March 26.

This project in its entirety is due by 2:00 on Tuesday, March 24. Saturday, March 28 at midnight.

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