Quick Write

What monster or category of monster are you thinking about researching for your Causal Analysis?

Understanding Causal Relationships

Causality: the relationship of cause and effect

You should identify the types of causal relationships on your charts (you might use different types of arrows, different colors, or simply labels to show what kind of cause is being mapped).

  • Necessary Cause: any factor that must be in place for something to occur.
  • Sufficient Cause: is a condition that always produces the effect in question.
  • Precipitating Cause: the proverbial straw that breaks a camel’s back.
  • Proximate Cause: nearby and often easy to spot.
  • Remote Cause: may act at some distance from an event but be closely tied to it.
  • Reciprocal Cause: you have a reciprocal situation when a cause leads to an effect that, in turn, strengthens the cause.
  • Contributing Factors: add to the causes to bring about the effect.

Why is society so fascinated with serial killers?

The Survival Of The Slasher Film

1. Emphasizing Causes

Cause asks:

  • Why did X happen?
  • Why does X happen?
  • Why will X happen?

Example: Why did Ed Gein kill those women?

  • Cause 1 – ____________________________
  • Cause 2 – ____________________________
  • Cause 3 – ____________________________


  • Event – ______________________________


2. Emphasizing Effects

Effect asks:

  • What did X produce?
  • What does X produce?
  • What will X produce?

Example: What impact did Ed Gein have in pop culture? or What is the lasting impact of Ed Gein?

  • Event – _______________________________


  • Effect 1 – ______________________________
  • Effect 2 – ______________________________
  • Effect 3 – ______________________________


3. Causal Chain

Cause > Effect 1 > Effect 2 > Effect 3

Example: Ed Gein > Psycho novel > Psycho movie > Slasher Films > Silence of the Lambs

Developing your Essay

  1. Present a reasonable thesis statement.
    • Make it logical
    • Make it supportable
    • Don’t use absolutes, instead use
      • may be
      • a contributing factor
      • main reason
  2. Limit your discussion to recent and major causes or effects.
  3. Organize your essay clearly.
    • Use one of the formats above
  4. Convince your reader that a causal relationship exists by showing how the relationship works.
    • Use specific details and examples to show the relationship.

Phrasing the Questions

All good research begins with a purpose and a question. For this next assignment, your question has to be clear and your topic needs to be clear. Once you have decided on a monster or monster category to study, it is time to come up with an appropriate question to help guide you.

Monsters are a very popular topic in our society, what we are doing in this class is thinking of them in context with the culture that produces them. A clear research question will help guide your research and analysis.

  1. What monster are you going to research and study?
  2. Decide if you want to investigate the cause or the effect.
  3. Write your research question.


  1. Vampires
  2. Causes
  3. What led to the development of the vampire myth?

If you remember, we previously saw a TED educational video that addressed this question.

Pick a monster we have not done at length in the class. DO NOT pick Dracula, or Ed Gein.

Causal Analysis video