Copyright Butte College, All Rights Reserved. They are an attempt to claim of cause essay either the origins of something, such as an event or a decision, the effects or results that can be properly attributed to it, or both.
What happened as a result of A? What might happen as a result of A? You may write a cause and effect paper primarily about causes, primarily about effects, or a combination of both. Before you begin writing or even researching, make a list of all the causes of this event you already know about. Ask questions like these: Why did this happen? Could they have been foreseen?
Then do some preliminary research, using what you already know to guide the direction of your reading. Change or add to your original list of causes to reflect new information gathered from your research. Done in depth, this kind of analysis is likely to uncover an almost unlimited chain of linked causes, far more than you can effectively address in one paper. A large number of costumed students milling about in downtown Chico on Halloween night may be a necessary precondition for a riot, but it is not, in itself, the cause of a riot. Because the technology program received independent funding from grants and federal Title I funds, it was relatively untouched by the school district’s own budget cuts. If you choose to write about effects, first brainstorm: Make a list of all the effects you know about, and use this list to direct your research to learn more. Have the effects had great impact on history, culture, or your own life?
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Or have they had a small impact with few results? Just as there are usually several causes for anything, there are a multitude of effects that proceed from any one cause. Don’t try to address a long chain of effects in one paper. Acknowledge that many effects of various kinds exist, and then limit your discussion to the most important ones. Linked causes and effects are typical of this type of paper.
Cause and effect papers often make predictions based on known facts, trends, and developments. Prediction moves from the known and observable into the unknown and possible. Prediction tries to answer questions like these: What are the possible or likely consequences? Are these results likely to have great impact on my life or the lives of others? Are these results likely to have great impact on shaping public policy, society, or history? What preconditions would have to exist before my predictions could come about? If you choose to make predictions, as is common, for example, in political science, education, science, and philosophy, be sure to use credible evidence and strong reasoning.