English April 29

Assignment Sheet for Final Paper
*Times New Roman ONLY
*Double-Spaced
*12 Point Font
*850-1,250 Words (not including the Works Cited page)
*A minimum of four reliable sources
*A compelling title
*For this paper, you will write a Cause and organize your paper accordingly.
A cause paper seeks to find out why and how a problem happened. You are investigating the problem. You are not addressing your feelings about the subject . Example, if you’re attempting to discover the reason why Americans voted for Donald Trump as its president, you are not revealing your feelings about Trump.
Use this structure:
A. Present the problem. What is happening right now? Who is involved? Where is the problem occurring? (2-3 paragraphs)
B. Single sentence paragraph: Ask a question that will guide the paper.
Example: “What caused the recent drop in teenage pregnancy?”
Example: “What caused the decline in Major League Baseball’s popularity?”
C. Present your evidence/theory as to what caused the problem. Assemble the evidence. (2-3 paragraphs)
D. Present objections: The counter-argument. (1 paragraph; must include research to show the opposing perspective)
E. Provide your rebuttal and concession to the counter-argument (1 paragraph).
F. End with the answer to your question in Part B. Consider referring to the question, e.g., “To answer the original question – what caused the budget crisis for the MBTA – it appears that….” (1 paragraph)
REMINDERS:
*No first-person language. I, us, we, our, me – this language is forbidden.
*Do no evaluate the problem or try to fix it. Your job is to simply provide your theory as to what caused it.
*Use transitions to signal any change in direction that you intend to make from one idea to the next.
*Open each paragraph with the topic sentence.
* A successful paper avoids vague generalizations and supports its claims exhaustively by providing ample evidence: direct examples, expert analysis, eyewitness testimony, and credible statistics and raw data.
* Quotes: Does the quote support your claim? Is the quote reliable? How does the reader know this? Does the quote make sense? Is the quote too long? How does the quote illustrate, clarify, or intensify the sentence that came prior to the quote?
*Read and reread your work before handing in. If you have issues with grammar and syntax, make an appointment with the academic tutors on campus prior to turning in your work.
*Avoid passive voice, faulty sentence structure, informal tone, and repetitive language. Count each word in your sentences. Do you have consecutive sentences that are roughly the same word count? If so, vary your structure and recast your sentences.
* Opening. Is your opening interesting? Make sure that the first line is compelling, that it reveals new information so that the reader feels fascinated to enter the cultural conversation.
*The first line should contain at least two concrete fixed references: Provide specific nouns.
Openings to avoid:
* Vague history lessons: “The Civil Rights movement was important to achieving equality for the races. Today, however, police brutality is tearing apart that equality.”
* Dictionary definition openings. These are a cliché. Also, exactly who needs this definition? You? The reader? Why would your reader need this? GET TO THE POINT.
*Generalized statements: “Teens have problems with body image because of the media.” Relies on vague and absolutist language: All teens? Every single teen on earth? And all media? Every single piece of media affects the way in which teens consider themselves physically? No. GET TO THE POINT.
* The “I know everything and no one knows anything” opening: “What no one is talking about is____________.” Or: “What no one realizes is ________________.” This is condescending and untrue.
* Obvious statements I: “Twitter is a popular form of social media for athletes to express their political worldview.” We know this already. GET TO THE POINT.
* Obvious statements II: Don’t tell readers that something is an “ongoing debate” or “one of the most controversial issues in America.” GET TO THE POINT.
Be sure that every sentence in your opening is free of grammatical error. Read and reread your opening – aloud, alone, with care and deliberation. Your reader will quit your work if it is riddled with grammar errors. How can the writer be trusted to make a convincing case for his or her argument if the opening comes across as rushed and sloppy?

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