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English 125 - Kumarasamy  

This guide is intended to assist English 125 - Writing Across the Spectrum Students with their course assignments
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This guide is designed introduce the library to undergraduate students at The University of Michigan and to act as a basic guide for undergraduate research.



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Welcome to the Library

English 125

Instructor: Akil Kumarasamy
Librarian: Alex Rivera

Essay 4: Causal Analysis

Consider the causal relations of some aspect of pop culture. The topic might consider why a trend, event or movement in pop culture changed or took place—or what has happened because it changed. You will be required to cite three different scholarly sources in this paper, so while the topic should be something you care about, you need not have an encyclopedic knowledge of issue to begin with. It is perhaps best to stay away from excessively broad, complex issues. It is also advisable to stay away from topics that will not yield any solid information through research.

This paper should explain to the reader the chief causes for some effect, or the chief effects of some cause. While this is not a “research paper,” sources will be consulted, quoted and cited in a list of “works cited” to help support the thesis. The thesis must be precise and restricted. Keep your focus narrow; make your wording exact.

The thesis should try to show the readers something that they have never seen before, never considered before. Be thoughtful and creative, give yourself adequate time in the pre-writing phase, and spend time to take care with the exact wording of the thesis. The thesis could, for instance, posit, “While it is generally known that A causes B, it often goes unnoticed that A is also responsible for contributing to X.”

Papers must support the thesis statement by presenting an analysis of a causal relation, of the specific links in a chain of cause and effect. Specific, concrete examples are very helpful for supporting such relations, but with the research other forms of evidence, such as statistics and testimony, may also be employed. You may consider both cause and effect, but you may also choose to discuss one more heavily than the other. As with all analysis, the paper should be looking beneath the surface to examine the causal elements of your subject.


Getting Started/Topic Overview

CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. You can browse CQ Resercher by topic, track specific controversial topics by date or look up topics in their Pro/Con section. Pro/Con offers succinct articles by experts arguing for and against given topics. Click on the image below to go to this database.


Issues and Controversies offers accurate discussions of over 250 controversial topics in the news supplemented with chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, contact information, and bibliographies including primary source documents and news editorials. It has a subject index and a section featuring pro/con articles on a number of topics.


Try These Databases

•   ProQuest Research Library

•   PsycINFO  (Psychology)

•   Communication and Mass Media Complete (Communication and Media Studies)

•    Sociological Abstracts (Sociology)

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