Cause and effect essay


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Used with book Refining Composition Skills 6th ed. by Regina Smalley

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Cause and effect essay

  1. 1. Cause and EffectEssayProf. Mara LunaENGL 3104
  2. 2. Academic Achievement• While there are many reasons why students decide to go to college, most students want to complete their classes and chosen degree successfully.• However, many factors can contribute to this success or help to prevent it.• The essays in this unit investigate what causes students to be successful. – To help parents understand the work their child will be doing throughout the school year. – To explain your expectations of their child. – To share information about how parents can support their child’s learning.
  3. 3. Building Vocabulary• In English, it is very common for certain verbs and particles (prepositions) to occur together.• Sometimes, these verb + particle combinations form a new verb, which has its own meaning different from the original verb. These new verbs are called phrasal verbs.• Phrasal verbs are common in speaking and in less formal writing, but you will encounter them in all kinds of writing. – put on = to dress in – put out = to extinguish – put away = to clean up – See list on page 228
  4. 4. Writing• Everyday we try to figure out the causes for something.• For example, when a problem arises, when any significant change in our lives occur, when we identify emotional problems, etc.• Knowing the cause can help us cure a problem, prevent a problem from reoccurring, or help us to repeat success.• Likewise, we try to analyze results or effects.• Therefore,the cause-and-effect analysis is an important analytical skill to develop, and writing papers that analyze cause or effects will help you develop this skill.
  5. 5. Multiple Causes with a Single Effect• When we analyze the causes of something, we usually find that it is a combination of causes that actually produces the result.• Usually, there is not a single cause; rather, a combination of factors.• In analyzing a tropic, a writer could plan to spend about one paragraph on each of the causes; each paragraph would have to provide an explanation of the cause to show how it contributes to the effect.
  6. 6. Organizing the Causal Analysis Essay• Being aware of the types of causes you are analyzing can help you to organize your essay effectively.• Some common ways to organize information are: o Order of familiarity: obvious to less obvious. o Order of interest: less interesting to more interesting o Order of importance: less significant to most significant
  7. 7. Organizing the Causal Analysis Essay• However, causes are not always unrelated. In many cases, there are immediate causes (direct causes) and remote causes, which are further removed in time but are still important reasons behind the effect being analyzed.• In this case, you must analyze the causes and then choose the organizational pattern that gives the most emphasis to the most important causes.• Sometimes the remote causes are actually the most important. In other cases, the immediate causes are more important and deserve the most attention in your essay.
  8. 8. The Thesis Statement for the CausalAnalysis Essay• A thesis statement for a causal analysis essay can simply state the causes to be discussed. – Conflicts over money, interfering relatives, and career problems all contributed to the demise of their relationship.• Another option is to give a summary of the causes. – Conflicts about several unresolved issues ultimately caused the demise of their relationship. – In both cases, the tropic is the demise of their relationship and the central idea is reasons for its demise.
  9. 9. False Cause Reasoning• When discussing causes and effects, be certain that your analysis is logical.• One of the logical fallacies –errors in reasoning- to avoid is called the fallacy of false cause.• This problem in logic occurs when the writer assumes that just because an incident happened first, it caused something that came after.• When analyzing the relationship between two events, make sure to look beyond the chronological order and ensure that other events, facts, or actions support the causal relationship.
  10. 10. Single Cause with Multiple Effects• Just as an effect can have multiple causes, so can a single cause have multiple effects.• When an analysis is primarily of effects, expect to devote a paragraph to each effect.• Each paragraph should explain the relationship between the cause and the effect.
  11. 11. Organizing the Effect Analysis Essay• As with causes, effects can be unrelated (causally) to each other, even though they all stem from the same cause.• Although effects can be of equal value of importance, usually some are more important than others. In this case, like causes, organize the paragraph dealing with the effects according to order of importance.• Effects –like causes- can also be immediate or remote.
  12. 12. The Thesis Statement for theEffect Analysis Essay• Like a causal analysis essay, the thesis statement for an effect analysis essay does not have to be persuasive.• The thesis statement can have a more simply stated central idea. – The tax increase will bring benefits to our city. – Of course, the topic here is tax increase, and the central idea is that it will bring benefits to the city.
  13. 13. The Causal Chain• Another type of cause-and-effect analysis is the causal chain.• In a causal chain, the causes and effects are always directly related, in fact, they are linked.• In the causal chain, one effect can become a cause of another effect, which in turn can become a cause of another effect, and so on.• In fact, another name for the pattern is “the domino effect” because the causes affect each other one after the other like dominoes falling.• The causal chain if often used in science to analyze various kinds of cycles, such as biological or chemical chains.
  14. 14. Introductory Paragraph:The Relevant Quotation• Sometimes writers choose a quotation that is famous, clever, or from an expert on their topic and work it into their introduction to attract the reader’s attention.• A quote from an authority can lend credibility to your essay and catch the attention of people who have heard of this authority.• A lighthearted, humorous quote can set the tone for an upbeat, encouraging essay. Note that it is not always necessary to begin the introduction with a quote for it to work as an attention- getting device.• Much like the funnel essay, the quote starts out looking at a broad topic and then the author narrows it down to a specific kind.
  15. 15. Transitions and Expressions forCause and EffectType ExamplePhrases because of + nounTo introduce cause: as a result of + nounVerbs 1) result fromTo express cause: be caused byTo express result: 2) result in cause lead toCoordinating Conjunctions so + result (informal) for + cause (formal)Introductory Adverbs therefore, consequently, thus + independent clause, as a result, for this reason
  16. 16. Additional Resources• Writing cause and effect essays:• How Do I Write a Cause and Effect Essay?• The Cause and Effect Essay presentation