Purpose of this Rhetorical Pattern
To understand a situation
To solve a problem
To predict an outcome
Unity in Cause/Effect
Focus must be only on one topic and its
Unity is achieved in a paragraph by
deciding on an organizational pattern.
Is there a link between the causes or
effects? Use that link as the controlling
idea (ex. negative effects, positive
outcomes, happy reasons.)
Create a thesis statement demonstrating
the topic, the chosen pattern and the
Cause Focus - writing only about causes
◦ Introduction paragraph (discuss effects as
◦ Body Paragraph One: Cause One
◦ Body Paragraph Two: Cause Two
◦ Body Paragraph Three: Cause Three
Effect Focus – writing only about effects
◦ Introduction paragraph (discuss causes as
◦ Body Paragraph One: Effect One
◦ Body Paragraph Two: Effect Two
◦ Body Paragraph Three: Effect Three
Causes and Effects focus: pay attention to
transitions between body paragraphs
◦ Paragraph(s) about causes
◦ Paragraph(s) about effects
Chain Reaction - used for closely linked
◦ Cause/Effect Body Paragraphs (one link or
many links in each paragraph)
Coherence through Signal Words
See handout on Signal Words
◦ Note the difference with phrases ending in a
As a result of his achievements, he won the prize.
He had a lot of achievements. As a result, he won
As a consequence of the long hours at work, she was
She worked long hours. As a consequence, she
Practice with Signal Words
Determine the signal word. Identify the cause. Identify the
effect. Understand the grammatical structure that follows.
President Obama claims that jobs have been saved as a result of the
The Supreme Court denied the petitioner’s case, for the Justices
believed the petitioner did not meet his burden of proof.
The reason for the company’s success has been its continued
expansion of its research and development division.
Her father had two jobs; as a consequence, she did not see him
Halloween now rivals Christmas as the most popular American
holiday, thereby dramatically increasing the sales of candy and
costumes in the past ten years.
Practice with Signal Words
Decide which one if the cause and the effect. Then
create a sentence.
____Coral reefs are dying
____Scientists are trying to figure out ways to
____There was a lot of rain this fall.
____The pumpkin crop was not good.
(as a consequence of)
Dramatic Narrative or Statement
Darkness surrounds the car, except for two beams of
light straining against the gloom. The rain pounds the car,
tapping out a frantic beat. The undertone of the steady
thumping of the windshield wipers combines with the rain to
create a hypnotic rhythm; inside the car, the air is warm and
enveloping. The windows, slightly fogged, sparkle from the
lights of passing cars, and traffic lights. Now, the twinkling of
the blinker light up the dashboard. The car eases into the
next lane and WHAM! The rhythm is destroyed. Now, the
sounds are the crunching, cracking and popping of metal on
metal. The car has collided with another and careens to a
stop. Although the car no longer moves, the effects of the
car accident have now been set in motion.