Causal Argument Topics for a Research Paper

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A causal argument is one that states "x causes y." It focuses on why a particular event led to a result. Topics for a causal argument are easy to select. The best research papers will select topics and support views that are not obvious and do allow for an opposing view.

Current Events

  • Use events that are currently being discussed in the news as sources for causal arguments. These can be environmental issues, political news, social issues, crime and other news stories of the day. Current events will offer plenty of view points and many different resources to choose from. The downside of current events arguments is they do not offer a historical perspective that demonstrates which view point was correct.

Past Events

  • Focus on a past event that can be clearly linked. For example, "The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand caused WWI," is a causal statement. While this would be easy to argue, it is fairly boring. Discussing the rise of nationalism and how it set the stage for a world conflict is more interesting. Find a topic in which you can present a causal argument from a less than obvious perspective.

Fictional topics

  • Causal arguments do not have to come from real life. Choose a popular novel and find a causal argument to use. For example, "Smoking during his mother vigil led to the death penalty for the main character Meursault in Albert Camus' novel The Stranger." Be careful choosing this approach as your instructor may not have read the novel you choose. Run the topic past the instructor before diving in.

Something Unusual

  • Focus on topics that have not been used over and over again. Using obvious selects will lead to boring, obvious arguments. Select something unusual that has happened. This could be trends, natural disasters, even something in your life that is a one-time event. It needs to be an event out of the ordinary. Find a possible cause for the event and have that be the basis for your argument.

References

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