Causal Essay

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It's Just My Luck

The following letter was left on my car windshield at a mall parking lot. See if you can find the cause/effect relationship--is there a problem in the logic here?

Kiss someone you love when you get this letter

Don't throw this letter away-it will bring you luck! You need to pass this letter to ten other people within the next 36 hours-if you do, you will receive luck! This is not a joke-it really works! This chain comes from Venezuela and was written by Saul Menthony DeGroup, a missinoary from South America. Since the letter must tour the world, you must make ten copies and give them to friends and associates. After a few days you will get a surprise. Susan Hanson received the letter from a friend at work, two days later she won the lottery! In 1965, this letter was given to a business man. He put it on his desk and forgot that it needed to leave his hands within 36 hours. He later died. John Rutsenger got the letter, and he mailed his copies out. The next day, he got a letter with a check for $7,645. His wife did not send any copies right away. She was plagued with problems until she sent out the letter and then she got a new car.

This is not a joke! Send your copies today!

With love

The fallacy is Post Hoc ergo Propter Hoc--"After therefore because." There IS a cause/effect paper here--but it is buried in logic that does not prove the relationship. Also notice the language and the structure of the ideas means that it is left up to the reader to supply the cause/effect relationship (not actually using the word "because" for example).

If you have any concerns about your topic or the cause/effect relationship you are trying to prove, please be sure to ask! See the "Contact Me" page for ways to get to me, or see me during classes.