In a cause and effect essay, you are writing this essay to explain WHY something happened, or WHAT has or will happen because of the original situation. A cause-effect essay can do one of two things:
1. It can analyze the ways in which one or more effects result from a particular cause (Focus- on-Effects Method).
2. It can analyze the ways in which one or more causes lead to a particular effect (Focus-on- Causes Method).
In other words, your essay may focus more on the effects of a cause or more on the causes of one effect. Either approach provides a useful means of discussing the possible relationship between the two events. It is not a good idea to mix several causes and several effects in an essay because your focus may become unclear. In cause-effect essays, it is easy to suggest that because one event preceded another event, the former event caused the latter. Simply because one event follows another one sequentially does not mean that the two actions are related. Writers need to be sure that the causes and effects they describe are logically connected.
Be aware of the difference between immediate and remote causes and effects. The farther away from the subject you get with remote causes and/or effects, the more carefully you have to explain the connections or links between your subject and the cause/effect. You can choose to emphasize one cause or effect if you wish, but realize that it will require much more development and explanation. If you choose to deal with several causes or effects, make sure that you indicate which ones are the most significant, and organize accordingly.
Be careful of what is called a faulty cause/effect argument. You MUST have evidence that there is a connection. Simply indicating that the factory is by the river, and the river is polluted, therefore the factory caused the pollution is not good enough. Just because things happen in the right time sequence doesn’t mean that they are connected. You MUST have direct evidence showing the cause/effect relationship, not just circumstantial geographic or chronological connections.
This is why it is necessary to have at LEAST two scholarly sources, but no more than four scholarly sources for this paper. These sources should be the most trustworthy sources that you can find. You are writing a college level paper; therefore, you need to make sure that you are using college level sources. For this assignment, cite your sources using MLA citation style.
To produce an acceptable cause/effect essay, the writer should:
— use grammatically appropriate sentence structures
— Organize the essay around a cause/effect argument utilizing direct evidence
— Use appropriate paragraph breaks to control the flow of information
— Use transitions both within and between the paragraphs
— Develop and explain the essay content completely
— Communicate a clear and specific purpose to an audience
— Incorporate evidence from outside sources ethically, effectively, and appropriately
Possible Topics for the Cause and Effect Essay – Please avoid the use of 1st and 2nd person.