Change in the way you understood your country or your citizenship due to a political scandal.

Your essay will be graded on its ability to adhere to the cause-and-effect essay conventions. Does your essay follow one of the formats on pages 225-227 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers?

You will be graded using the following categories: content, organization, grammar and style conventions, and resources and references. Your essay will also be graded on its development. See the flow chart on page 239 in Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers for guidance. Be sure that you revise, proofread, and format your essay according to APA standards. See The APA Style of Documentation: A Pocket Guide.

If you use outside sources, you need to use quotation marks for lifted language, as well as in-text and reference list citations. The most reliable sources for appropriate information on the Internet will come from .gov, .edu, and .org sites or sites specifically devoted to scholarly writing, such as websites of scientific journals. Unacceptable sources are blogs, unreferenced articles, or general information from .com sites. General encyclopedias are prohibited sources and include, but are not limited to, Wikipedia, Encarta, Britannica, and World Book.

Please utilize the CSU Online Library for credible and reliable electronic sources. If your essay is less than 500 words, you will not receive full credit, and depending on the word count, your grade may be severely impacted.


The cause-and-effect essay is a mode of writing, but because of the way that it is dependent upon causality, it can also be considered a genre. As a genre, the cause-and-effect essay structure can be applied to an entire research paper for successful results. As such, the cause-and-effect essay is a somewhat more complicated form that may draw upon the skills of definition and illustration. The cause-and-effect essay is an argumentative form as well. While it can be construed as purely informational, one must recall that the writer is arguing for a particular causalitya indeed, the argument is the connection between the cause and the effect.

Play close attention to the patterns of causal analysis (cause-and-effect essays) on pages 149-151 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers. Note the variety of ways that the cause-and-effect essay can be structured. Each structure evokes a different response because each one delivers the argument to the reader in a different way and in a different order. Is there one in particular that makes the most sense to you? Sometimes, the subject matter itself will dictate the way that the essay is structured; other times, the writer himself or herself will make that decision based on the desired effect. No matter how you structure your essay, it will have an effect on the reader. To be a good writer means that you are able to control that effect by understanding the writing situation and the most appropriate structure for that writing situation.