Tip Sheet

Essay #4: Speculating on Causes and Effects

Your Writing Task:

Select and explain another reason or closely related set of reasons that might cause a student to cheat.

Suggestions for Success:

You may be tempted to get very defensive about football players, about inner-city students, or about black students. Your defense misses the point of the assignment. Here it is again:

Select and explain another reason or closely related set of reasons that might cause a student to cheat.

This means that your discussion of football, NCAA rules, and the dilemmas faced by inner-city athletes looking for a path to success through sports—all are off-topic! What else might cause a student to cheat?

Things Get Complex

In the real world, the cause/effect relationship is often complex. It is rarely as simple as "the tire went flat because I hammered a nail into it." Young's discussion of Highsmith's plagiarism lists several causes, which all contributed:

Notice that Young does not place all the blame on Highsmith. It's not as simple as "Highsmith was an idiot." The point you should take away is that your paper might have some complexity too—and might not end up with one clear cause or one clear villain.

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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.
Revised 8/16/18 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: callen@ashland.edu.