Cause effectessay

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  • 1. The Cause and Effect Essay

2. 1. To understand the relationship of events that brought about an outcome, (Cause) 2. To understand the results that come out of an event (Effect) 3. To understand the chain of causes and effects between some events (Causal Chain)Why Cause-Effect Essay 3.

  • Cause and Effect analyzes why something happens.
  • Some effects are caused by multiple causes.
  • Some causes, in turn, can result in multiple effects.

4. Focus on Effects CAUSE EFFECT #1 EFFECT #2 EFFECT #3 5. Focus on Causes EFFECT CAUSE #1 CAUSE #2 CAUSE #3 6. Cause and Effect Chain EFFECT EFFECT CAUSE CAUSE 7. List Causes and Effects

  • First look for immediate causes/effects.
  • Then look for remote causes/effects underlying, more basic reasons/results.
  • Make separate lists of causes/effects.
  • List evidence next to each cause/effect.
  • Generate additional material for weak points.
  • Rate the items on the list by asking, How significant is this cause/effect?Would the situation exist or have arisen without it?


  • Main cause:the most important cause
  • Contributory Causes:less important
  • Immediate Cause:closely precedes the effect.
  • Remote cause:less obvious because it involves something in the past or far away.
  • Causal Chain:an effect can be the cause to another effect, on so on.


  • Causal Relation:
  • Necessary Cause - one that must be present for the effect to occur.
    • Ex. Combustion is necessary to drive a gasoline engine.
  • Sufficient Cause - one that can produce an effect unaided, though there may be more than one sufficient cause of a given effect.
    • Ex. A dead battery is enough to keep a car from starting--but faulty spark plugs or an empty gas tank will have the same effect.
  • Contributory Cause - one that helps to produce an effect but cannot do so by itself.
    • Ex. Running a red light might help to cause an accident....though other facts -- pedestrians or other cars in the intersection -- must also be present.

Information taken from: 10.

  • AvoidingPost HocReasoning:
    • Do not assume that just because even A precedes eventB, event A caused even B.This illogical assumption is calledpost hoc reasoning.This error leads you to confuse coincidence with causality.


  • Do not confuse words likebecause,thereforeandconsequently (indicating a causal relationship),with words likesubsequently ,later , andafterward(chronological relationship words).

12. Planning a Cause and Effect Essay

  • Purpose and Thesis:
    • Be sure to identify the relationships among the specific causes and effect you will discuss.
    • Thesis statement should tell the reader
      • It doesn't have to be persuasive
      • The points you plan to consider
      • The position you will take
      • Whether you will emphasize causes, effects, or both.
      • The cause and/or effect you consider most important.
      • The order in which you will treat your points.

Planning a Cause and Effect Essay 13.

  • Order and sequence; several possibilities include:
    • Chronological
    • Main cause first, and then contributory causes
    • Contributory causes first, and then main cause.
    • Negative effects first, then positive
    • First dismiss events that are not causes, and then discuss actual causes for an effect.
    • Most obvious causes first, and then less obvious causes.

Planning a Cause and Effect Essay 14. Organizing the Essay

  • Introduction
  • Start with a quote, a list, a description, or statistics to catch the readers attention.
  • Introduce the subject and explain the situation.
  • Give any background material necessary.
  • Thesis: state your 3 points in the cause/effect relationship.

15. Body

  • Patterns of Organization
  • Use transitions betweeneachcause and/or effect and each paragraph.
  • A.B.C.D. E.

Cause Causes Effects Effect Effect Cause C/E C/E C/E Cause Cause Cause Effect Effect Effect 16. Conclusion

  • Revisit the introduction.
  • Ask So what?What conclusion or point can be drawn or made from the points presented?
  • DO NOT summarize the points from the body of the essay.

17. The Language

  • Transitions are essential to this type of essay to distinguish causes from effects.
    • because, because of, for, since, as
    • as a result of, thus, therefor, consequently,
    • cause, result from, result in, lead to, bring about, produce
    • effect, cause, reason, rationale, result, affect, relation, correlation
    • effective, causal, etc.

Planning a Cause and Effect Essay 18. Structuring a Cause and Effect Essay

  • Finding Causes
      • Less important cause > effect> most important cause
  • Describing or Predicting Effects
      • Cause > first effect> second effect > third (most important) effect> conclusion (with possible prediction of additional effects).

19. Revising a Cause and Effect Essay

  • Focus either on causes or effects
  • analyze the causes and/or effects sufficiently
  • are the link in the chain clear if yours is causal chain essay
  • principles of organization: order of familiarity, order of interest, order of importance
  • The thesis statement should contain a central idea.


  • Have you clearly stated your point?
  • Have you made it clear which you areexplaining - causes or effects?
  • Have you given sufficient evidence to convince readers that the cause/effect relationships are valid, not just guesses?
  • Have you claimed causes or effects (or made assertions) that you havent proven?
  • Are you certain that the causes produced the effects or that the effects resulted from the cause?

21. Multiple Causes-->Effect

  • In this pattern, the organization is as follows:
  • Thesis statement: Air pollution is caused by a variety of imperceptible, but controllable industries.
  • I. exhaust gases from cars
  • A. government does not take enough control
  • B. citizens are not as conscientious as they could be
  • II. uncontrolled factory gases
  • A. no regular checks on gases released that need to be regulated
  • B. factories are inside the borders of residential areas and should be moved
  • III. burning of low-quality coal for heating
  • A. government does not take enough control
  • B. other forms of energy are too expensive, but

Information taken from: 22. Causal chain / Domino

  • In this pattern, the events lead to one another, as in the following organization:
  • Thesis statement:Using deodorants with chlorofluorocarbon gas will bring the end of world.
  • I.Chlorofluorocarbon gases are contained in most deodorants and released by some factories into the air.
  • II.This gas causes the ozone layer to become thinner and finally disappear in patches.
  • III.The unfiltered ultraviolet rays of the sun cause overheating in the poles of the earth, where the icebergs start to melt.
  • IV.The huge amount of water released from the poles leads to a rise in the sea-level.
  • V.The sea will cover the land and this will be the end of the world.

Information taken from: 23. Cause-->Multiple Effects

  • In this pattern, the effects of a certain situation are
  • explained in separate paragraphs, with the following
  • organization:
  • Thesis statement:Watching too much TV is one of the major sociological issues of this century, which has many effects on the physiology and psychology of people.
  • I. eating disorders
  • A. TV meals
  • B. obesity
  • II. communication problems
  • A. more violence
  • B. no interpers