ENGL120 Grossmont College Ch 9 Cause & Effect Trade Deficit with China Essay

Analyze a Situation: Cause and Effect Final Draft: 100 pts

Length = 1200–1300 words. = 30 points

Proper MLA format throughout = 10 points

Thesis that sets-up analytical method being used = 15 points

Body paragraphs that develop analytical method = 30 points

Grammar = 15

Run-on, comma splice, fragment -2

Pronouns that do not agree with noun replaced -2

Proper use of possessive case -1/ea.

Proper spelling, including homophones -1/ea.

Contractions -2

Second person “you” -2

Ending sentence with preposition -1

Ambiguous pronoun reference -1

Shifting pronouns -2

Shifting verb tense -2


is any argument that uses the term


in it. If you argue “I got a bad grade

because…” then you are emphasizing the Causes. If you argue “Because I got a bad grade, these

things happened” then you are emphasizing the effects. Most cause/effect essays will reflect one

side or the other of the equation, not both. Trying to explain both causes AND effects for an

argument can become quite lengthy, quite quickly.

To produce an acceptable cause/effect essay, the writer should:

— use grammatically appropriate sentence structures

— Organize the essay around a cause/effect argument utilizing direct evidence

— Use appropriate paragraph breaks to control the flow of information

— Use transitions both within and between the paragraphs

— Develop and explain the essay content completely

— Communicate a clear and specific purpose to an audience

— Incorporate evidence from outside sources ethically, effectively, and appropriately

Option 1: Traditional

Pick a subject from current events and explain the causes and/or effects associated with that

event. For example, with the fighting in Syria, a student could write an essay trying to explain

what caused the fighting, with those causes being immediate past, or ranging back into long-term

history. An effect based essay could discuss the potential effects on regional stability, or the

damages caused by left-over landmines or children growing up underneath sniper fire.

Option 2: Business

Review the literature for your career field. At the very least, look at

Fortune, Forbes, Barron’s,

The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek

, or their websites, to see what issues they are discussing.

Choose one that seems especially interesting to you and then prepare a report for your boss (your

current boss or your potential boss) indicating either where this issue has come from, or how it’s

going to affect your particular field/organization.

For Example, you might see several articles dealing with unisex bathrooms as the wave of the

future. You might explain in your report to your boss why this is becoming such an issue now so

that s/he is prepared when the issue arises at your organization. Or you might use your report to

show how this trend is going to affect your organization in terms of cost of remodeling, training,

etc. Or you might deal with both aspects, but that would probably make for too long of a report.

Better to be as specific as possible.

Option 3: Fun

Find something that has either currently become popular or just lost its popularity: Pokemon,

horror movies, Latin music, Beanie Babies, gameshows, etc. Explain your theory on either what

made that particular subject popular in the first place or what caused it to fall out of favor. Or

you can explain what the effects of this trend might be or have been on American culture.


Remember that you are writing this essay to explain WHY something happened, or WHAT has

or will happen because of the original situation. Your subject itself is either the end point of the

causes or the starting point of the effects. The reader needs to know how this information will

help them understand things better. You are NOT just proving that these situations or

circumstances are connected. Even if it is just an understanding that the subject is more complex

than the reader originally thought, there needs to be some value added to the subject.

Always remember that you are presenting us with a possible cause or effect. There are always

multiple ways to interpret the situation. You are simply presenting us with your best

understanding/interpretation of the situation.


Be aware of the difference between immediate and remote causes and effects (see PowerPoint on

Cause and Effect under “Lessons”). The farther away from the subject you get with remote

causes and/or effects, the more carefully you have to explain the connections or links between

your subject and the cause/effect.

You can choose to emphasize one cause or effect if you wish, but realize that it will require

much more development and explanation. If you choose to deal with several causes or effects,

make sure that you indicate which ones are the most significant, and organize accordingly.


Try to remember that your audience does not know as much as you do. Even if they know more

facts about the subject, they don’t know YOUR understanding as well as you do. Your job is to

explain to the reader how YOU interpret the information and how YOU see things fitting



Be careful of what is called a faulty cause/effect argument. You MUST have evidence that there

is a connection. Simply indicating that the factory is by the river, and the river is polluted,

therefore the factory caused the pollution is not good enough. Just because things happen in the

right time sequence does not mean that they are connected. You MUST have direct evidence

showing the cause/effect relationship, not just circumstantial geographic or chronological


This is why it is necessary to have at LEAST

two sources

for this paper. These sources can

come from anywhere, but should be the most trustworthy sources that you can find. You are

writing a college level paper; make sure that you are using college level sources. Cite your

sources using MLA style with a Works Cited page.