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2 Tutorials that teach Cause and Effect Papers: Organization
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Cause and Effect Papers: Organization
Common Core: 6.W.2a 9-10.W.2a

Cause and Effect Papers: Organization

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Author: Sydney Bauer
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This lesson discusses structuring an outline for a cause and effect paper.
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Tutorial

There are several ways to organize a Cause and Effect paper, it just depends upon the topic or focus. The area of focus will be the most developed and include more details. When creating an outline for a cause and effect paper, try writing each cause and each effect on a separate scrap of paper and rearranging them in different patterns to see which will work best for your topic. 

 

If the topic is more concerned with explaining the possible causes of a recent event, the writer would use one of the following patterns of organization:

Cause Pattern One

I.        The introduction will provide any necessary background information and the thesis statement that explains the writer’s position or perspective on the topic.

II.      Cause 1 is described

III.   Cause 2 is described (each possible cause would receive its own body paragraph)

IV.   Effect is described

V.      Conclusion provides a summary, emphasizes the cause and effect relationship between the paragraphs, and leaves the reader with something to consider after reading (a clincher sentence)

 

OR

Cause Pattern Two

I.        The introduction will provide any necessary background information and the thesis statement that explains the writer’s position or perspective on the topic.

II.      Effect (in this pattern the effect is described before any causes are identified)

III.   Cause 1 is described

IV.   Cause 2 is described (each possible cause would receive its own body paragraph)

V.      Conclusion provides a summary, emphasizes the cause and effect relationship between the paragraphs, and leaves the reader with something to consider after reading (a clincher sentence)

 

 

If the topic is more concerned with explaining the possible effects of an event, the writer would use one of the following patterns of organization:

Effect Pattern One

I.        The introduction will provide any necessary background information and the thesis statement that explains the writer’s position or perspective on the topic.

II.      Effect 1 is described

III.   Effect 2 is described (each possible effect would receive its own body paragraph)

IV.   Cause is described

V.      Conclusion provides a summary, emphasizes the cause and effect relationship between the paragraphs, and leaves the reader with something to consider after reading (a clincher sentence)

OR

Effect Pattern Two

I.        The introduction will provide any necessary background information and the thesis statement that explains the writer’s position or perspective on the topic.

II.      Cause (notice that the cause is described before the effects in this pattern)

III.   Effect 1 is described

IV.   Effect 2 is described (each possible effect would receive its own body paragraph)

V.      Conclusion provides a summary, emphasizes the cause and effect relationship between the paragraphs, and leaves the reader with something to consider after reading (a clincher sentence)

 

Remember that these are only suggested patterns, and that another arrangement might work better for your chosen topic. Do not let the form control the essay, that’s the topic’s job!

 

Let's look at two quick examples of the body of a Cause and Effect paper, the introductions and conclusions are not included.

Overall Topic: recent flooding

 

Cause Pattern Two

 

Cause 1: Primary cause: excess rain

Cause 2: Contributory cause: type of vegetation near flooding

Cause 3: Contributory cause: inadequate drainage

Effect: Result: flooding

 

Let's look at Effect Pattern Two

Cause: Primary cause: excess rain

Effect One: Immediate effect: recent flooding

Effect Two: Remote effect: city's at a stand-still 

 

Notice how the same causes and effects can be used to emphasize different aspects of the event. Also, notice that rearranging the causes and effects within the body of an essay allows the writer to control that emphasis.