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Cause and Effect Essays

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Kendall Nelson

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and Effect is a common organizational pattern of essays
Discuss causes (reasons), effects (results), or both.

Here are some examples:
Organization of Cause/Effect essays
Block Organization:

First, discuss all the causes as a block (1-3 paragraphs or more)

Then discuss the effects as a block

Sometimes includes a transition paragraph in between major sections
Organization of Cause and Effect essays
Chain organization

Causes and effects are linked to each other in a chain.

You might need an entire paragraph for one link, or you might include a few different causes/effects in a single paragraph
Let's look at an example:
Model: Cause/Effect Essay (Chain Organization)

SAD

(1) Years ago, medical researchers identified a psychological disorder that they appropriately named Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. People who suffer from SAD become very depressed during the winter months. Doctors now understand the causes of this condition, which affects millions of people, particularly in areas of the far north where winter nights are long and the hours of daylight are few.

(2) SAD results from a decrease in the amount of sunlight sufferers receive. Doctors know that decreased sunlight increases the production of melatonin, a sleep-related hormone that is produced at increased levels in the dark. Therefore, when the days are shorter and darker, the production of this hormone increases. Shorter, darker days also decrease production of serotonin, a chemical that helps transmit nerve impulses. Lack of serotonin is known to be a cause of depression (Healthy, 2004).Depression may result from the resulting imbalance of these two substances in the body. Also, doctors believe that a decrease in the amount of sunlight the body receives may cause a disturbance in the body's natural clock (NMHA, 2004). Doctors believe that the combination of chemical imbalance and biological clock disturbance results in symptoms such as lethargy, oversleeping, weight gain, anxiety, and irritability-all signs of depression.

(3) Since absence of light seems to be the cause of this disorder, a daily dose of light appears to be the cure. Doctors advise patients to sit in front of a special light box that simulates' natural light for a few hours every day. An hour's walk outside in winter sunlight may also help (HMHA, 2004).
(4) In conclusion, the depressive effect of low sunlight levels may help explain the high suicide rate in the Scandinavian countries; more important, it may suggest a remedy: When the days grow short, turn on the lights.

Cause and Effect Essays
Education - Explain the decline in reading ability among schoolchildren

Environmental Studies - Discuss the effets of global warming on the environment

Economics - Discuss NAFTA and its effects on the Mexican economy

History - Discuss the causes of WWII

Psychology - Explain why some people have a more difficult time adjusting to life in the US than others.
PRIMARY RHETORICAL STRUCTURE—CAUSE-EFFECT
SECONDARY RHETORICAL STRUCTURE—PROBLEM-SOLUTION

Writing Technique Questions

1. Which paragraph contains the chain of causes and effects? 2

2. What is the effect of decreased sunlight in winter?

3. What other change results from a decrease in the amount of sunlight?

4. What is the final result?
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