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ENG1020 English Composition - Spring 2018: Cause & Effect

Cause & Effect Essay

Cause and effect essays use analysis to examine the reasons for and the outcomes of situations. They are an attempt to discover either the origins of something, such as an event or a decision, the effects or results that can be properly attributed to it, or both.

Cause and effect essays answer questions like the following ("A" is your topic):

  • Why did A happen? (discovering the causes of A)
  • What happened as a result of A? (discovering the effects of A)
  • What might happen as a result of A? (predicting further effects of A)

http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/cause_effort.html

Select a topic for your Cause & Effect Essay. Research three valid and credible sources – one trade or academic source and two Internet sources – that support your topic. 

Environment

  • The causes and effects of the loss of biodiversity.
  • The causes and effects of global warming on the human population.
  • The causes and effects of the depletion of our ozone layer.
  • The causes and effects of deforestation.
  • The causes and effects of water pollution.

Health/Wellness

  • The causes and effects of increased fast food restaurant consumption.
  • The causes and effects of childhood obesity in the United States.
  • The causes and effects of alcohol use in college students.
  • The causes and effects of the growing numbers of diet fads/trends.
  • The causes and effects of synthetic club drug use amongst high school and/or college students.

Personal/Social

  • The causes and effects of increased selfie taking and/or social media usage and the formation of psychological addiction.
  • The causes and effects of police brutality on individuals and society.
  • The causes and effects of domestic violence on its victims.
  • The causes and effects of credit card usage and dependency.
  • The causes and effects of the rapid evolution of technology.
  • The causes and effects of increased student loan debt amongst American college students.

Political

  • The causes and effects of an event in U.S. history.
  • The causes and effects of the creation of political parties.
  • The causes and effects of electing not to vote.
  • The causes and effects of political protests/rallies.
  • The causes and effects of slow development in third world countries.

Keep in Mind

Types of essay structures:

1) Block

-Introduction

>Cause 1

>Cause 2

-Transition Sentence/Paragraph

>Effect 1

>Effect 2

-Conclusion

 

2) Chain

-Introduction

>Cause 1 and Effect 1

>Cause 2 and Effect 2

>Cause 3 and Effect 3

-Conclusion


Transition words demonstrating causal relationships:

  • Led to
  • Because
  • Cause(s)
  • Reason(s)
  • Explanation(s)
  • So

The following example names the cause first, followed by the effect:

Because the technology program received independent funding from grants and federal Title I funds, it was relatively untouched by the school district's own budget cuts.


Transition words discussing effects:

  • Therefore
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Thus
  • Then
  • Thanks to

The following statement names a cause first, and then an effect:

Employees at companies that offer flexible work schedules are more productive and file fewer claims for mental-health benefits; consequently, the number of companies offering flextime is on the rise.


Transition words suggesting that you are moving from observation to prediction:

  • If
  • When
  • After
  • As soon as
  • Likely that
  • Might/May
  • Can expect
  • Possible that

Here is a prediction using two of the above transitions:

If the governor fails to clearly declare his position and take a leadership role in reforming the state's workers' compensation system, voters are likely to take matters into their own hands and call for a statewide referendum.


http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/cause_effort.html