The Cause and Effect Essay English 101 Modified by Deanna Dixon
Why Write a Cause-Effect Essay 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)
Planning a Cause and Effect Essay 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 The points you plan to consider (WHAT) Whether you will emphasize causes, effects, or both. (HOW) The position you will take (WHY)
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:http://www.howard.k12.md.us/mth/english_dept/adv-comp/eng_effect.html
Immediate Effect: an effect that occurs closely following, in time or space, its cause. Ex: Children having bad study habits will lead to them making poor grades in elementary school. Remote Effect: an effect that is far away in time or space from its corresponding cause. Ex: Children having bad study habits could eventually lead to them making less money and being less happy with their careers.
Immediate effects first, then more remote effects
Avoiding Logical Fallacies
Avoiding Post Hoc Reasoning:
Do not assume that just because event A precedes event B, event A caused event B. This illogical assumption is called post hoc reasoning. This error leads you to confuse coincidence with causality.
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.
Planning a Cause and Effect Essay 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, therefore, consequently, result from, result in, lead to, bring about, produce
Do not confuse words like because, therefore and consequently(indicating a causal relationship), with words like subsequently, later, and afterward (chronological relationship words)
Multiple Causes-->Effect Thesis statement: Air pollution is caused by a variety of imperceptible, but controllable industries, which need to be regulated before irreversible damage to the environment occurs. 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 Information taken from:http://www.howard.k12.md.us/mth/english_dept/adv-comp/eng_effect.html
Cause-->Multiple Effects Thesis statement: Watching too much TV is one of the major sociological issues of this century, which has many adverse effects on the physiology and psychology of children. I. eating disorders A. TV meals B. obesity II. communication problems A. more violence B. no interpersonal talk III. educational issues A. stifles imagination B. takes away time from reading and studying Information taken from:http://www.howard.k12.md.us/mth/english_dept/adv-comp/eng_effect.html
Causal chain / Domino Thesis statement: Children who do not develop good study habits while they are young will struggle throughout their education and will find it more difficult to become successful in their careers, thus emphasizing the importance of parents taking an active role in their children’s education. I.Children who are not encouraged by their parents to practice reading and writing outside of school will get behind other students at their age levels. II.Once children feel they are behind their classmates, they will become discouraged and will find little positive reinforcement in a school environment. III.Without the motivation, children will give up more easily, especially once they reach high school IV.Students who do not graduate high school, on average, earn less money and have a more difficult time returning to school later in life.