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Cause and Effect

Required readings: Read them for the specific causes and following effects:
1. http://www.roanestate.edu/owl/cause.html 2. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/cause_effect.htm 3. http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/01/04/afghanistan.child.trash.scavenger/in

dex.html?hpt=C2 (note cause and effect in the article) 4. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2007407-1,00.html Cause and effect writing is often called causal analysis. Put simply, it is the term that applies to the ripple effect an action produces. In other words, for every action, there is a reaction, and other reactions to that reaction. See video at top of this page for how cause and effect works in the concept of history and human experience. 6. Example of cause and effect in nature and human behavior: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-butterfly-effect.htm
5.

This link gives you some strategies for writing effective cause and effect arguments; study carefully because this is a writing method you will definitely need to use.

Writers (and speakers) often use cause and effect to make their arguments stronger. During an election year, you will hear causal analysis used to great extremesoften to the point the arguments become illogical and unsupported.

If we dont raise property taxes, then our children will not receive a decent education. If we vote for the alcohol bond, then we will have drunks on every corner and in every car.

I have heard versions of each of those statements and many others. The trick to successful causal analysis is to be able to trace the steps of the cause and effect. We cant get so far removed from the root cause or the ultimate effect.

To take this to extremes, a successful cause and effect argument would not say, The vast drug problem results from Adam and Eve eating that apple. Thats a little too simplistic. It is feasible, however, to say: In part, the drug problem has resulted from the reality that as long as the demand and money are there, people will be willing to risk smuggling contraband into the country. The cause (good money for drug smuggling) is proximate (near) to the effect (easily available drugs have created a continuous problem). Be careful when using cause and effect writing to dogmatize about causes.

Research papers are seldom appropriate places to climb up in the pulpit and preach ; instructors look for papers that are supported with factnot emotional opinion. You can certainly have a cause and champion it in a paper, but make sure you do it with logic, facts, and reasoningnot just opinion. If you think you feel so strongly about a topic that you cant be logical about it, then by all means, save that topic for a sermon another day and choose another topic for your research project in this class. (Note: Because of this very issue, please avoid writing on any of the following topics for your research project: gun control, abortion, euthanasia [not as common as it used to be] or capital punishment.) Without question, you will need to use cause and effect in your research projects. Be sure you link to the help links I provided above so you'll be able to use this method effectively.

The Nuts and Bolts of Cause and Effect Essays (From Essay Info - Essay Writing Center.) What is a cause and effect essay? Cause and effect essays are concerned with why things happen (causes) and what happens as a result (effects). Cause and effect is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas. Follow these steps when writing a cause and effect essay 1. Distinguish between cause and effect. To determine causes, ask, "Why did this happen?" To identify effects, ask, "What happened because of this?" The following is an example of one cause producing one effect: Cause You are out of gas. Effect

Your car won't start. Sometimes, many causes contribute to a single effect or many effects may result from a single cause. (Your instructor will specify which cause/effect method to use.) The following are examples: Causes liked business in high school salaries in the field are high have an aunt who is an accountant am good with numbers Effect choose to major in accounting Cause reduce work hours Effects less income employer is irritated more time to study more time for family and friends However, most situations are more complicated. The following is an example of a chain reaction: Thinking about friendforgot to buy gascar wouldn't startmissed math examfailed math coursenot admitted to business school. 2. Develop your thesis statement. State clearly whether you are discussing causes, effects, or both. Introduce your main idea, using the terms "cause" and/or "effect." 3. Find and organize supporting details. Back up your thesis with relevant and sufficient details that are organized. You can organize details in the following ways:

Chronological. Details are arranged in the order in which the events occurred. Order of importance. Details are arranged from least to most important or vice versa. Categorical. Details are arranged by dividing the topic into parts or categories.

4. Use appropriate transitions. To blend details smoothly in cause and effect essays, use the transitional words and phrases listed below. For causes Because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second For effects

Consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore When writing your essay, keep the following suggestions in mind:

Remember your purpose. Decide if you are writing to inform or persuade. Focus on immediate and direct causes (or effects.) Limit yourself to causes that are close in time and related, as opposed to remote and indirect causes, which occur later and are related indirectly. Strengthen your essay by using supporting evidence. Define terms, offer facts and statistics, or provide examples, anecdotes, or personal observations that support your ideas. Qualify or limit your statements about cause and effect. Unless there is clear evidence that one event is related to another, qualify your statements with phrases such as "It appears that the cause was" or "It seems likely" or "The evidence may indicate" or "Available evidence suggests." To evaluate the effectiveness of a cause and effect essay, ask the following questions:

What are the causes? What are the effects? Which should be emphasized? Are there single or multiple causes? Single or multiple effects? Is a chain reaction involved?

Argumentation
Required readings: Connect to links on argumentation for more discussion. These links will help you formulate your argument for the research project. Read them please! http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/ (Link to all other pages on argumentation at the bottom of this page) 2. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/argument/
1. 3. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/audience/

The following are readings from some of our LRC databases. Its important to realize the wealth of resources you have in these databases and to know where they are and how to use them.
4. Go here: SIRS: http://sks.sirs.com/cgi-bin/hst-portal-display?id=SNC0402-0-6069

(You may have to copy/paste the URL)

a. Enter: ID--NC0402H Password--28001 b. Search: Trying to Be Hip and Edgy, Ads Become Offensive 5. Go to the National Geographic Database: a. http://www.stanly.edu/current-students/library b. Log in with password: Password: albe_log c. Search Sugar Love: A Not So Sweet Story

Argumentation doesnt mean picking a fight. Instead the term implies that youre trying to convince someoneby using logic and reasoningto come around to your opinion. Throwing plates (or in my case oncea grouper fish) is probably not the most convincing argument. Calling names isnt either. Persuasion involves using emotion to appeal to someone, but effective persuasion isnt unfairly manipulative or accusing. To be effectively persuasive, you must respect and know your audience and not insult or belittle them. When people convince us to believe differently, how do they do it? Usually, we consider three factors: 1) Credibility and credentials 2) Reasoning 3) Appeal to our self-interests

Consider this scenario.

Someone tells you to stop eating fried foods every day and start exercising. What on earth could convince you to do these things? Would it make a difference if the person who told you that was a) your overweight neighbor named Jim Bob who lives off biggie fries and value meals or b) a cardiologist? What reasoning would be effective to you? Would reducing your chance of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers help you to make such a change? How about the general idea that you could live a healthier, longer life and fit into a bunch of clothes you havent been able to wear for a while? We are continually bombarded with arguments in the form of advertising (see Trying to Be Hip article in required readings. When do we decide whats realistic and feasible? We consider credibility, reasoning and appeal to self-interests. Even though people fall for ploys often, advertising is rarely an example of thoughtful argumentation. The guy that plays the doctor on TV and touts diet pills that will melt away 10 lbs. a week is exhibiting only an appeal to our self-interests (and wishful thinkingnot logical reasoning). Real credibility and reasoning are seldom present. During an election year, we have to be especially aware of flawed argumentation because many candidates have us believe that if they arent elected, the world will plunge into darkest chaos.

Know your audience


Considering for whom you write is very important. You speak differently (I hope), depending on the situation at the moment. When you talk and text with friends, you use language very different (I hope again) from the language you use for school. Not being able to distinguish between the two can be disastrous. It would never be appropriate to use casual language (think text language) in formal academic or professional writing. Using u vs you or using all lower (or upper) case writing would communicate something you wouldnt wish to communicate. The receiver would immediately assume you are lazy and unprofessional. What image do you wish to portray? How do you want your message (and yourself) to be perceived? It is vitally important to:

1) Use language (voice, grammar, etc.) appropriate to the type of communication. 2) Use format (i.e. correct MLA format, correct business letter format, appropriate email format) that is appropriate to the type of communication. 3) Understand your audience (their relationship to you; their education level; their interest in the subject; their life experiences; their demographics, etc.) and address them appropriately. 4) Deliver your message in the appropriate medium. (For example, discussing end of life issues would be very appropriate in a sensitive, researched article or essay; it would be [likely] hideously inappropriate in a cartoon.) 5) Be goal focused. Use logic and facts along with your appropriate language to meet your goals.

By Dr. Chris Fosen, Chico State University

As you begin to construct your research project (we are headed that way next), consider these things:
1) If youre not an expert in the area (and most of us arent), find experts to quote and paraphrase. (AND CITE CORRECTLY IN A WORKS CITED LIST). 2) Use logical arguments, facts, and statistics to shape your reasoning. You may use some emotion, but make sure its well supported with cold, hard data. 3) Appeal to your readers. Know what they are concerned about and what will get their attention. Bring that in near the beginning of your argument to capture their attention. Avoid insulting your readers by telling them how wrong they are, but instead, appeal to their reason. Remember, youre not writing a sermon; youre writing an argument. Big difference in approach. Examine the assigned writers for this section. See if you can find their thesis statements (or implied thesis statements). Notice how they formulate their arguments. Notice how they interact with their readers. Read for strategies as much as for content in this section. You will need to apply these methods to your research project.