Writing a Cause and Effect Paragraph

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    reated by Dr Yang Ying

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    Focus on cause(s)? Focus on effect(s)

    Explain a causal chain?

    Regardless of the focus, both the cause(s) andthe effect(s) will be mentioned in the

    paragraph

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    Americans nowadays spend more time having fun and there are two underlying

    reasons for this trend. One obvious cause is that real income overall has risen. If

    Americans in general are richer, their consumption of entertainment goods is

    likely to be on the rise. Dora Costa, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of

    Technology found out from her research that rising incomes are responsible for,

    half of the changing structures of leisure spending. The rest may be due to the

    fact that poorer Americans have more time off than they used to. In earlier years,

    low-wage workers faced extremely long hours and enjoyed few days off. But since

    the 1940s, the less skilled (and lower paid) have worked ever-fewer hours, giving

    them more time to enjoy leisure pursuits.

    Adapted from: Jakeman, V. & McDowell, C. (2001). IELTS Practice Tests: plus 1. Pearson Longman. (p122)

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    Focus on:Reasons

    Effect mentioned:

    Americans nowadays spend more time having fun

    Two reasons:

    1. Rising income on the whole

    2. More leisure time for poorer Americans

    Ending: linking the causes to the effect again

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    Africa provides enough proof thatAIDS affectseconomics. The disease takes the lives ofadults intheir most productive working years. To train newworkers and take care of sick ones can come at ahigh price. When tens of millions of working ageadults become sick and die, economic output suffers.Across the African continent, AIDS has cut deeply intoproductivity. In Zambia and South Africa, income inhouseholds of AIDS sufferers has declined by66 to80 percent. The International Monetary Fund predicts

    that AIDS may reduce economic growth byas muchas 2 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bankcautions that South Africas economy could collapsein a few generations if the AIDS crisisisnt averted.

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    Focus on:Effects: economy, economic output,productivity, reduction of economic growth,possible collapse of economy

    Cause mentioned: AIDS

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    Water pollution comes in every form and has a direct effecton human health. Even as the rain falls, says Russell W.Peterson, former chairman of the United States Council onEnvironmental Quality, it removes pollutants from the air.In fact, nearly all the pollutants the people of the worlddischarge into the air end up in our water systems.

    Therefore, whether polluted by industrial waste, sewage orother pollution, water supplies can allow deadly water-borne diseases to develop when safety and purificationmethods are poor. Worldwide, the ugly fact remains thatsomething like 250 million new cases of water-bornediseases are discovered every year and 25,000 people

    die from them every day. Water pollution is thus a seriousthreat to our well-being.

    Source: Materials adapted from past ES1000 handouts

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    Focus on:Explain a causal chain: how water pollution

    affects human health

    Water pollution (cause) & negative effect onhuman health (effect)

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    One of the negative effects of smoking is thatit can cause serious health problems.Smoking can increase the chance of gettinglung cancer, as well as cancer of the mouth,

    throat, bladder, pancreas and kidneys. Heartdisease and ulcers are also related tosmoking. Further, pregnant women whosmoke are more likely to have prematurebabies than women who do not smoke.

    Taken from Gillie, J. W., Ingle, S. & Mumford, H. (2001). Read to write. P244. Singapore: McGraw-Hill

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    Procrastination keeps me one step behind in life andschool as I try to catch up on what should already be done.While most students diligently do homework for tonight, Idiligently do the homework from last night, or even lastweek. Because I can never seem to do a task when it isassigned, I never get that satisfied feeling that comes with

    getting things done, with being on top of everything.Rather, I always end up feeling as if I am at the bottom ofa pit, trying to climb upone late assignment at a time.But since I am always behind, catching up on my work islike trying to walk up the down escalatorvery difficult andnearly impossible. Because of procrastination, I am never

    free to live in the present; instead, I always find myselftrapped by unfinished business from the past.

    Taken from Gillie, J. W., Ingle, S. & Mumford, H. (2001). Read to write. P242. Singapore:McGraw-Hill

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    because, due to, one cause is, another is,since, for, first, second, the reason for,decrease, owing to the fact that, for thisreason, caused by arise from, lead to,

    produce, give rise to, bring about

    consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in,one result is, another is, therefore, effect,change, consequence, thus, so, hence, withthe result that

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