THECAUSALANALYSISESSAYCausal analysis links actions or events along a time line and tells us why something happens, is happening, or will probably happen. Therefore, a causal analysis can serve one or more of four main purposes: to entertain, to inform, to speculate, and to argue. Whether we’re enrolling in a fitness program, appearing in traffic court, diagnosing a child’s illness, or assessing an investment, we’re analyzing causes, often for a specific audience. Because purpose and audience are nearly inseparable, it’s often impossible to decide which to think about first. But if you can determine the exigence for your writing, you can quickly determine your purpose and then invoke the audiencethat will best be served by your purpose. Therefore, before you begin drafting or writing, you’ll want to consider all the features of the rhetorical situation. Your thesis statement will introduce your subject to that audience, suggest the reason you're analyzing it, and state the ideas about the causes or consequences you want your readers to accept. Unless you're
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