Tutoring is available and ending soon. Make sure you get the points.

For summer 2020, we tutor the following subjects:

  • Writing- Across the disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Math- All levels, including stats
  • ASL
  • Micro Biology
  • Computer Science

Tutors and chat help are available Sunday through Thursday, 10am to 6pm.

Here’s the link:


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. / The spark that sets the blaze.
  • 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.

causal relationships1

causal relationships2

Correlation vs. Causation

Here is a great video that helps you think about the difference between cause and effect or causation versus correlation, or things happening close together. Correlation is not causality.


Narratives and Causality

The Ed Gein documentary that we watched did a great job of providing lots of information about the case as well as interviews and multiple perspectives. Ultimately, what the documentary did was try to put together the bits and pieces into a comprehensive narrative. One that tries to explain why he did what he did. The narrative they tried to get across was that Gein killed those women because of the way his mother brought him up.

The people behind the documentary constructed the story so that the conclusion for why Ed did what he did was ultimately his mother’s fault. It is easy to believe it on the first watch of the Documentary. They did not highlight situations that would call this into question. Ultimately, they did a good job of telling us their perspective for why Ed Gein became a monster.

Your job in writing a causal analysis is to tell us the story as you see it. Convince us with evidence and explanation as to why you think the monster came to be, or the effects that are connected with the monster. Make sure we can follow the narrative and see the conclusions you come up with.

Causal Chain

Cause > Effect 1 > Effect 2 > Effect 3

Example: Mother’s Death > Ed Gein > Psycho novel > Psycho movie > Slasher Films > Silence of the Lambs

If we make small enough jumps with obvious causation, we can travel far and over time. By telling the story with enough evidence and connections we can reach new conclusions that others might not see. If you fail to do this, you seem illogical and your story fails.

Phrasing the Questions

All good research begins with a purpose and a question. For this next assignment, your question and 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.

Quick Write

  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 Ed Gein.