Cause & Effect Essay - Woodbridge Township School District

Do Now:
• Statistics show that number of people who
participate in regular religious practice is
decreasing in the U.S.
• List what might be the causes and effects of
this decline in religious practice.
Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect
• Focuses on relationships; the links between one
phenomenon and another.
• Can be scientific (links between caffeine
consumption and heart disease) or personal
(“Why do I always end up arguing with my
parents over things we all know are
• More than list of possible causes and
consequences; must establish relationship based
on logic and available evidence.
Causal Analysis
• Identify the links in a causal chain: remote
causes, necessary conditions, direct causes to
immediate effects and more distant
• Identify the conditions and forces that work
together (in no particular pattern) to shape a
person’s life, create a particular situation, or
help bring about events.
Why Use Cause-Effect Analysis?
• Address complicated relationships.
• Often used in academic and research writing;
look at puzzling element in a subject or at a
point over which there is disagreement and
attempt to explain phenomenon.
– “Perhaps the most interesting feature of early jazz
– “Over the last decade researchers have argued
about the role of aggressive behavior in corporate
• Description of a puzzling phenomenon followed by
explanation/examination of possible causes.
– Immediate cause (the ones encountered first); Faulty
wiring causes warehouse fire.
– Ultimate cause (basic, underlying factors that help to
explain more apparent ones); A company’s cutting corners
on safety equipment updates due to pressure to increase
• Discussion of desired effects followed by examination
of actions or arrangements most likely to produce
these consequences.
– School district wants to increase test scores; examine
changes to teacher training, curriculum, school
environment, etc.
Developing a Cause & Effect Analysis
• Must provide thorough and logical reasoning.
• Avoid common faults in causal reasoning:
– Never mistake the fact that something happens after
another occurrence as evidence of causal relationship;
English comp course caused student’s nervous
– Consider all possible relevant factors before
attributing causes; Student was ill, trouble at home,
stress of working while going to school, anguish of
love affair.
– Support analysis with more than assertions: provide
Developing a Cause & Effect Analysis
• Avoid common faults in causal reasoning
– Be careful not to omit any links in the chain of
causes or effects.
– Be honest and objective.
Some minor discovery or invention
The popularity of a celebrity
The popularity of a clothing/hairstyle fad
The widespread enjoyment of social media
Student cheating
Too much pressure on students
Your being a member of some minority ethnic or
religious group
• Some unreasonable fear or anxiety that afflicts you
• The appeal of careers that promise considerable
financial rewards
The appeal of a current film or TV series
The disintegration of a marriage or family
A family’s move to a new home
A candidate’s success in a local or national election
A recent war or international conflict
A trend in the national economy
The concern with diet and physical fitness
Worry about crime
Attention to gender roles
Willingness to take risks
Desire for success