Another common method of organizing an essay is by cause and effect. In a cause and effect essay, you discuss the reasons for something, and then you discuss the results. Cause and effect essays are concerned with why things happen (causes) and what happens as a result (effects). It is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas. The following are examples of typical cause and effect essay topics: * Causes and effects of computer revolution
* Causes and effects of global warming
* Causes for the popularity of fast food restaurants
* Reasons for the increase in inflation
* Effects of illiteracy
* Technology’s effect on human freedom and happiness
In fact, cause and effect (which can also be called reasons and results) is one of the most used forms of organization in academic writing. STEPS IN WRITING CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAYS
1. Distinguish between cause and effect. To determine causes, ask: “Why did this happen?” To identify effects, ask: “What happened because of this?” The following is an example of one cause producing one effect:
Cause: You are out of gas.
Effect: Your car won’t start.
Sometimes, many causes contribute to a single effect or many effects may result from a single cause. The following are examples: Causes: Liked business in high school
Salaries in the field are high
Have an aunt who is an accountant
Am good with numbers
Effect: Choose to major in accounting
Cause: Reduce work hours
Effects: Less income
Employer is irritated
More time to study
More time for family and friends
However, most situations are more complicated. The following is an example of a chain reaction:
Thinking about friend…forgot to buy gas…car wouldn’t start…missed math exam…failed math course.
2. Develop your thesis statement. State clearly whether you are discussing causes, effects, or both. Introduce your main idea, using the terms “cause” and/or “effect”.
3. Find and organize supporting details. Back up your thesis with relevant and sufficient details that are organized. You can organize details in the following ways:
* Chronological: Details are arranged in the order in which the events occurred. * Order of importance: Details are arranged from least to most important or vice versa. * Categorical: Details are arranged by dividing the topic into parts or categories.
4. Use appropriate transitions. To blend details smoothly in cause and effect essays, use the transitional words and phrases listed below.
For Causes: First, second, because, due to, one cause is, another is, since, for, etc.
For Effects: Consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore, etc. ORGANIZING the “CAUSE and EFFECT ESSAY”
There are basically two ways to organize a cause and effect essay: “Block” organization and “Chain” organization. The former one is widely used in academic writing, whereas the latter is used in writing about topics such as scientific experimentation.
In block organization, you first discuss all of the causes as a block (in one, two or three paragraphs, depending on the number of the causes). Then you discuss all of the effects together as a block. In chain organization, you discuss a first cause and its effect, a second cause and its effect, and a third cause and its effect in a chain.
BLOCK TYPE| CHAIN TYPE|
1st Cause| 1st Cause & Effect|
2nd Cause| 2nd Cause & Effect|
Transition Paragraph| 3rd Cause & Effect|
1st Effect| Conclusion|
Below is an example of an essay “Turkey’s admission to the EU” written in block organization. This is the pattern| This is how the sample outline looks| Introduction * Introduction of general topic * Thesis statement * Specific areas to be covered in this essay| Introduction * Background information about Turkey’s...