Arrangement - write a cause-effect

Malc Prentice

Overview

"Cause-Effect" can be a sentence, a paragraph, an essay or longer.

This page is about how to plan and organise a cause-effect PARAGRAPH.

Specifically, paragraph 3 of first-year essays

Invention - Visual Organisers

Use these to guide your brainstorm

An effect with several causes

For example, when you write an essay about endangered animals,

Single Effect Multiple Causes
The first reason the Orangutan is becoming endangered is poaching
The second reason the Orangutan is becoming endangered is fires caused by global warming
The third reason the Orangutan is becoming endangered is the spread of palm oil plantations

A cause with several effects

For example, when you write an essay about ethical consumption

Single cause Multiple effects
The first problem caused by Tantalum mining is child labour
The second problem caused by Tantalum mining is the funding of armed groups who use child soldiers
The third problem caused by Tantalum mining is pollution in the area around the mines

A chain or a cycle of cause and effect

Arrangement

Tip: read the examples

Download the examples and templates. Follow them carefully

Tip: Put your causes/effects in a meaningful order.

first cause -> last cause (lack of education -> poverty -> child labour)
least serious -> most serious (noise pollution -> water pollution -> child soldiers)
local-national-world (child labour -> pollution -> global warming)

Style

Example: Skeleton

This paragraph describes three problems that TOPIC can cause - 1, 2, and 3. Firstly, 1. Detail on 1. Secondly, 2. Detail on 2. Thirdly, 3. Detail on 3. In summary, TOPIC causes three issues - 1, 2, and 3 - of which the most serious is 3. However, the next paragraph examines some possible solutions.

Example: Simple

This paragraph describes three problems that working part-time while in university can cause – lack of sleep, lack of time, and sickness. Firstly, lack of sleep. Due to the late hours, students who work do not get enough rest - this will lead to problems staying awake in class. As a result they get bad grades and their future is at risk. Secondly, since part-time work is often at the weekend, students who work have no spare time. Therefore, are not able to make friends or join clubs. Thirdly, as a result of meeting so many customers, people who work part-time catch many colds. In summary, there are several reasons not to have a part time job.

Example: First year essays

Read paragraph 3 of the "ethical consupmtion" and "endangered animal" essays in the examples folder in Dropbox.

Other cause-effect essay types

Cause-effect is not just for your Problems paragraph

Past Effect: What happened when the UK banned smoking in 2012?
What happened as a result of the 2011 Earthquake?
Past Cause: What made the UK ban smoking in 2012?
What caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster?
Future Effect: What would happen if we banned smoking?
What will happen if we turn the nuclear power stations back on?
Future Cause: How can we get the government to ban smoking?
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