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WRT 101 - Northwest - Writing I: Cause & Effect


A cause & effect essay does just as the title suggests; it explains the cause of a problem and details the resulting effects.

Collect, generate and evaluate evidence. Use your most convincing evidence to support your position.

Features of the Cause/Effect Essay

* A presentation of the event, phenomenon, or trend, with enough background information for your reader to understand the basis of your paper.

* Facts & evidence, examples and anecdotes to build a convincing argument that the proposed causes or results are plausible.

* A professional, reasonable voice; never sound uncetain or insulting.

Source: Roan State Community College

1. Identify Your Topic

Identify your topic (be specific) – in most cases, you will choose a contemporary topic.

What topic are you going to research?

Example: Teen Driver Accidents

List the causes of your topic?

Cause 1 - Teens have less experience driving and avoiding other bad drivers than adults.
Cause 2 - Teens have a high incidence of "distracted driving" (e.g. texting while driving, putting on makeup, etc).
Cause 3 - Teens have a high incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances.


List the effects of your topic?

Effect 1 - Higher insurance costs for teen drivers.
Effect 2 - Teens have a high incidence of injury or mortality.

2. Collect facts & evidence

Use these databases to gather general background information on both sides of controversial issues.
To connect from off-campus, enter your MyPima Username and Password.

3. Collect examples & anecdotes

Use these databases to find specific examples of how your topic impacts people in the real world, as reported in national newspapers and magazines.
To connect from off-campus, enter your MyPima Username and Password.