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Cause and Effect Writing. English 1 Prof. Federle. Cause and Effect analyzes why something happens. Some effects are caused by multiple causes. Some causes, in turn, can result in multiple effects. Main cause: the most important cause Contributory Causes: less important

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cause and effect writing

Cause and Effect Writing

English 1

Prof. Federle

slide2
Cause and Effect analyzes why something happens.
  • Some effects are caused by multiple causes.
  • Some causes, in turn, can result in multiple effects.
slide3
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.
slide4
Avoiding Post Hoc Reasoning:
  • Do not assume that just because even A precedes event B, event A caused even B. This illogical assumption is called post hoc reasoning. This error leads you to confuse coincidence with causality.
slide5
Do not confuse words like because, therefore and consequently(indicating a causal relationship), with words like subsequently, later, and afterward (chronological relationship words)
exercise global warming
Exercise: Global Warming
  • 1) Listen to the following report, originally presented on NPR’s news program, “Morning Edition” on February 17, 2006.
  • 2) as you listen, answer the questions as they appear on the screen.
  • 3) Afterwards, we will brainstorm the possible chain of cause and effect contributing to this issue.
slide7
NOTE TAKING WORKSHEETStudy: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Faster Than Thought February 17, 2006 from National Public Radio’s Morning Edition
  • Why are researchers interested in Greenland’s icecap?
  • What are two opposing processes mentioned by Rignot that might either cause the icecap to melt, or to replenish it? What is actually happening?
  • According to Harris, how fast is Greenland now losing ice? What is the effect?
  • According to Rignot, what was the previous time scale for the loss of ice from Greenland? What is it now?
slide8
NOTE TAKING WORKSHEETStudy: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Faster Than Thought February 17, 2006 from National Public Radio’s Morning Edition
  • According to Konrad Steffan, what process is causing the acceleration of the loss of Greenland ice? Describe it. How fast is the glacier moving now?
  • According to Steffan, what are the effects of this rapid melting? What problems might these effects, in turn, cause?
  • According to Steffan, are these processes fully understood? Does he feel that the data is certain?
slide9
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.
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
      • 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

slide11
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

transitions
Transitions!
  • Transitions are essential to this type of essay to distinguish causes from effects.
  • For a useful list of cause and effect transitions, see page 43.

Planning a Cause and Effect Essay

structuring a cause and effect essay
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).
revising a cause and effect essay
Revising a Cause and Effect Essay
  • See checklist on page 312

Editing a Cause and Effect Essay

  • Avoid redundant phrases like “the reason is because” examples p 313
  • Use Affect and Effect correctly. Examples p 313
  • Editing checklist on page 314
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