Cause and Effect

Jana, Layton, Andrew

What is it? Why its used? Where can you use it?

  • The process which describes why something takes place and how it influences later events in a piece of literature.
  • In order to explain the reasoning for critical scenes that take place and what those scenes produce as a result.
  • In papers that call for influential support on a certain topic, cause and effect can help to identify which supporting example provides the most impacting aid for your piece.


  • A single cause often results in and abundance of various effects on a subject. (ex. Immigrants travel to America. Causing a diverse culture, a demand for new goods, competition for jobs, challenges to educational system, etc.)
  • Despite multiple effects, the main cause is the most important focus while the contributory causes are less important to your paper.
  • Some causes are fairly easy to recognize, called immediate causes. Others, known as remote causes, are a little more difficult to understand in a piece considering they are often from the distant past. (remote cause not always most important.)
  • A Casual Chain is when an effect can double as a cause for another effect later down the line.

When writing your own...

  • Never assume that event #1 caused event #2 simply because it (event #1) preceded event #2 in the line of chronological events. (Post Hoc Reasoning)
  • Choose whether you would like to explain and discuss the causes, effects, or both.
  • Make sure your thesis statement introduces the specific causes or effects you will discuss.
  • Do not say "this reason is because", instead swap because for that.
  • * Affect- to influence something Effect- as a result

Example/Class Work

PG 377, Read in partners and complete Journal Entry.

  • where can you see the causes
  • what is the main/immediate clause? the contributory/remote?


PG 338 #s 1,2, and 3