2 Explaining why something happened . . . Cause-and-Effect EssayExplaining why something happened . . .From Reading to Writing In Stephen King’s teleplay Sorry, Right Number, a mysterious phone call sets off a chain of events. Not until the end of the story does King reveal the cause of the call itself.
3 Explaining why something happened . . . Cause-and-Effect EssayExplaining why something happened . . .Examining causes and effects is one way to make sense of the world, and you can explore and share your understanding by writing a cause-and-effect essay. You can use this type of writing to show why something happens, how events are linked, or the consequences of an action.
4 B a s i c s i n a B o x Cause-and-Effect Essay at a Glance RUBRIC Standards for WritingIntroductionA successful cause-and-effect essay shouldIntroduce the subjectclearly state the cause-and- effect relationship being examinedprovide any necessary background informationmake the relationship between causes and effects cleararrange details logically and include transitions to show relationships between effects and causessummarize the cause-and-effect relationship in the conclusionBodyDescribe the cause and its effects*causeeffecteffecteffectConclusionSummary*or may present an effect and then analyze the causes
5 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 1PrewritingFind out the cause of this effect.William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet
6 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 1PrewritingBrainstorm with friends about things that cause you to ask “Why does that happen?” or “What happens after that?”Make sure you find a topic that really interests you.Once you have decided on a topic, follow these steps.
7 Planning Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 1. Think about the relationship between events. Are they really linked by cause and effect? Just because one event follows another in time doesn’t necessarily mean that the first event caused the second.2. Explore causes and effects. Does a single cause have one effect or many? Is an effect the result of multiple causes or only one? Is there a causal chain in which a cause produces an effect, which becomes the cause of another effect, and so on?
8 Planning Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 3. Identify your audience. What do they already know about the events you’re describing? What background information or explanation of terms will you need to include in your essay?4. Gather supporting information. What details will support your analysis of causes and effects? What sources of information can you draw on— observation, research, or your own imagination and reflection?
9 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 2DraftingUse drafting as a way to explore and figure out causes and effects.Concentrate on just getting your ideas down on paper.Clearly state the cause-and-effect relationship you are examining.
10 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay 2DraftingInclude details to support your statements.Organize your ideas into a coherent pattern. You might show a single cause leading to multiple effects or multiple causes leading to a single effect.
11 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay Revising3TARGET SKILLUSING TRANSITIONAL WORDS AND PHRASESTransitional words and phrases can help you clearly explain the relationships between causes and effects. Choose from words such as before, after, therefore, consequently, because, since, as a result, and for this reason.
12 Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Essay Editing and Proofreading4TARGET SKILLCLAUSES AS FRAGMENTSA cause-and-effect essay should clarify ideas. However, using clauses that are not complete sentences can confuse your readers. Many times, your can fix a fragment by joining it to another sentence.