Writing about Cause and Effect 

An Online Treasure Hunt
for Fourth Year High School (English)
 
Introduction

Why is the Philippines frequently visited by typhoons? What causes typhoons? What kinds of damage do typhoons cause?

Imagine that you have been asked to write an essay answering the questions above. Your essay would be an example of a cause-and-effect composition.

In this online treasure hunt, you will find out what a cause-and-effect composition is. You will also learn how to write an example of it.

This is a group activity. In groups of three, answer the questions below using the online resources listed. Write down your answers on a clean sheet of paper. Afterwards, answer the Big Question.

Questions
  1. There are conjunctions that can be used to express cause and effect. List down all of the conjunctions indicating cause-and-effect in the sample essay, “Why Do Students Drop Out of College”.
  2. In the sample fishbone chart (a diagram showing cause and effect), which is/are the cause/s and which is/are the effect/s?
  3. List down the phrases in the sample selection that answer the question, “What caused the erosion of the middle section of the labor market?”
  4. Just because there is an association between two things or events does not mean that they have a cause-and-effect relationship. Explain this statement and/or cite an example of it.
  5. What pitfalls should a writer avoid in writing a cause and effect essay? List these down.
  6. What is the place of grouping or classifying in writing about causes or effects? Hint: Should you include all possible causes or all possible effects? Should you list/enumerate them at random?
Resources

Cause and Effect
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/cause_effect.htm

Cause and Effect Paragraphs  
http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/cause.html
http://spot.pcc.edu/~jsparks/ENL252/ENL252EffectCauseEx.htm

The Cause and Effect Essay
http://www.howard.k12.md.us/mth/english_dept/adv-comp/eng_effect.html

Writing Cause or Effect Essays
http://eslbee.com/cause.htm

Cause-and-Effect Diagram
http://www.skymark.com/resources/tools/cause.asp
http://www.hci.com.au/hcisite2/toolkit/causeand.htm
http://www.smartdraw.com/resources/examples/business/orgchart10.htm

Fallacy: Confusing Cause and Effect
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/confusing-cause-and-effect.html

The Big Question

Now write your own cause-effect essay on ONE of the following topics:

This is a group essay. This means you must work together in writing it. Below are some pointers for doing this.

1.      First, agree on the topic of your essay (from the choices given). Then brainstorm about the causes or effects of the phenomenon you have chosen to explain or write about. When brainstorming, encourage as many ideas as possible. All should contribute their ideas.

2.      When all ideas (causes or effects) have been listed, go over the list and cluster or group related ideas. Label the clusters.

3.      Then decide on what the thesis or main point of your essay will be. Again, this is something you must all discuss together. State this at the beginning of your essay.

4.      Make an outline of your essay. Indicate the main ideas that you will discuss and the order in which you will discuss them.

5.      Write the essay, taking care to observe the rules of grammar. You can try taking turns writing the essay—that is, one will begin and stop at a certain point; another will continue the essay and then stop at some point; and so on until all have taken turns.

6.      When your draft is finished, everyone should read it carefully and suggest revisions. Discuss the suggested revisions and decide on which ones to adopt. And then revise the draft.

Submit your final group essay two days from today.


Authored by E. Ibones, J. Garde, and P. Arinto