6-4 Paper 2: Cause and Effect Essay First Draft
"A very small cause, which escapes our
notice, determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see,
and then we say that the effect is due to chance." ~ Henri
Poincare, mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher
Although Mr. Poincare may be regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians who has
ever lived, we will not be following his lead in our forthcoming essays by declaring that
an "effect is due to chance." Rather finding sound evidence to answer the whys and
what ifs regarding your topic will be absolutely necessary to the success of Paper #2:
Cause and Effect Essay.
As we have discussed in recent lessons, a cause and effect essay tells how one
occurrence (the cause) leads to other occurrences (the effects), OR it tells how multiple
causes lead to one effect.
To clarify, a cause and 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.
2. It can analyze the ways in which one or more causes lead to a particular effect.
In essence, a cause and effect essay explores a relationship between entities. As you
plan your paper, be vigilant with regard to maintaining a clear focus; exploring two
many causes as well as too many effects in one paper can blur the purpose of your
writing and confuse the reader. In addition, remember to avoid false logic. For example,
many people lament that as soon as they run their cars through a car wash, it begins to
rain. Obviously, this is an error in logic; washing one's car does not cause rain.
Oversimplification can also be problematic. Most important matters have more than one
cause. Likewise, most weighty occurrences have more than one effect. For example, a
paper exploring the causes of poor nutrition would analyze several causal factors. Or, a
paper examining the many effects of technology on education would discuss multiple
Apply elements of Cause & Effect Analysis
Differentiate between causes and effects
Identify the purpose of a cause & effect essay
Avoid oversimplification and errors in logic
Incorporate the appropriate tone based on topic and audience of an essay
Develop and organize supporting points to prove a thesis.
Think critically about a topic and explore ideas in writing.
Construct an appropriate, substantive thesis.
Use transitions effectively to enhance the sequencing of examples
1. In Paper 2, you will utilize all of the elements of a cause and effect essay covered in
our course material and develop a paper that teaches the reader something about the
causes and effects of your topic. Your topic will focus on a problem or issue but should
NOT be a topic that requires "major" research. Remember that when using sources
other than your own ideas, you must attribute those sources. See "Sentence Starters" f
or help in integrating the words and ideas of others.
Choose from #1 or #3 described on 489 of Subject & Strategy, or:
Effects of Pollution
The Changes in the Ocean
The Civil Rights Movement and the Effects
Causes and Effects of the Popularity of Fast Food Restaurants
Internet Influence on kids
Popularity of Sports in US
Effects of professional sport on children
Growing up with a single parent
Effect of school bullying on children
Putin politics against the neighboring countries
Music effects on human body
Dating at a young age
What causes some women to repeatedly get involved in destructive relationships
Earthquakes and potential dangers they bring
Social media effect on young people
Growing up in poverty
Stress impact on health
Impact of drug use on human body
The influence of my favorite movie/book on me
How war in Syria effects US
What impact smoking has on a pregnant woman
Telling lies. The cause and effect
The causes of divorces
What is the impact of genetically engineered food
What causes a tsunami
What causes racism
How globalization affects economy
What was your cause of choosing your major/your college
The effects of credit culture
What are causes and effects of terrorism
What makes a person to be a good teacher/mother/doctor/artist
What are the effects of homeschooling
What causes heart problems
What caused the WWII
Effects of online dating
Uber influence on the taxi drivers
How happy relationships affect a person
How travelling the world affects life and personality
What causes a particular restaurants to be so popular?
Your fears or irritations; Your moods or personality in general
What positive and/or negative effects has technology had on our lives?
A certain law that personally affects your life or your family's lives
A disease or disability you have
A bad habit you have
A major decision you made
Succeeding in something; A change you made; An obstacle you overcame;
How does online shopping cause people to spend more money?
What are the effects of divorce on children?
What are the effects of owning a pet on one’s health?
What are the effects of growing up in a single-parent household?
What are the effects of grandparents raising a child?
2. Establish your focus:
You do not want to simply summarize, report on, or describe your topic. You want to
focus on examining the causes and/or effects of your topic. Refer back to the previous
lesson in which the structure of a Cause & Effect Analysis was outlined. As noted
above, your supporting points should derive primarily from your personal experiences
and observations. You want to contribute to a discussion about your topic with your
unique supporting points.
3. Determine your purpose: Will your essay be informative, speculative, or
argumentative (see page 450 in Subject & Strategy if you need clarification)?
4. Formulate a thesis:
Your thesis, the main point of the paper, will be directly influenced by the focus you
choose. Your thesis statement should clearly present a cause and its effects, an effect
and its causes, or a complex causal chain of events.
Thesis example: The recent trend toward longer school days is having negative effects
on student learning.
5. Remember that each cause or effect should be supported by an exploration of
reasons and evidence.
6. How to begin and end:
One possibility for an introduction is to offer a personal story that shows what you are
writing about so that the reader will clearly see the paper’s topic. For example, if you are
examining ADD medication, you will start by telling a story that explains your personal
connection (if and when you took the medication). Your conclusion will end with a
prediction or a final commentary. For example, after you examined the causes and
effects of ADD medication, what is your final opinion about kids taking the medication?
If you examine the causes and effects of “the problems with teens today,” do you think
the problems will ever get resolved? If so, how? Or do you think is issue is something
that will stay the same or get worse? Again, explain your answer.
Also, refer back to Lessons 4-1 and 4-3 for a review of strategies for introductions and
5. Submit your completed Word document to this assignment. Paper 2 should follow
MLA conventions, including heading, page numbering, and MLA parenthetical citations
Length: 3-5 pages, typed, double-spaced
Font: 12-point, Times New Roman
Works Cited page must also be attached if any research is involved, all sources
must appear in the text and be cited using MLA within the text
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Complete the first draft of Paper 2 following the parameters described above. Submit
your draft as a Word document to this assignment box. Please adhere to the due
dates as noted in the checklist for this week. Cite your sources using MLA format if
using information from the internet or other material.
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