11. Paragraphs of Cause-Effect

Paragraphs of Cause-Effect

 Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas Kristen Indonesia


“Cause” basically means the source of something or the reasons why or for something. “Effect” is simply the result or outcome. Therefore “cause and effect” is the causal relationship between two or more actions or two events. In reality, a cause precedes the effect, but in  a statement either the cause or effect can precede the other. Look at the following statements:

  1. The accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused global climate change.
  2. I couldn’t boot my computer because the battery was dead.
  3. Since cell motorcycless have come down so much in price, everyone can have one.

In sentence (1), “the accumulation of greenhouse gases” is the cause or reason, while ”the global climate change” is the result. In sentence (2) the result, i.e. “I couldn’t boot my computer” precedes the cause—“the battery was dead”. In sentence (3), “motorcycles have come down so much in price” is the cause, whereas “everyone can have one” is the result.

As a method of development in writing, cause-and-effect is the search for the relationship between two or more actions or events, one or some of which we conclude is the reason for the other action(s) or event(s).

Transitions Commonly Used in Cause and Effect

In the writings that examine a causal relationship, one or more of the following transitions are commonly used. Study the terms and make yourself familiar with them.

1. Common transitions for cause:

  • because
  • since
  • the reason . . . is that
  • caused by
  • results from
  • because of + noun phrase
  • due to + noun phrase

2. Common transitions for effect

  • accordingly
  • so
  • thus
  • as a result
  • resulted in
  • therefore
  • consequently
  • for this reason
  • for this reason

Three Varieties of Cause and Effect Paragraphs

Cause and effect paragraphs could be written in one of these three types. First, the paragraph that focuses on causes, i.e. the one which describes what happens and why it happens. Second, the paragraph that focuses on effects, i.e., the one which explains reasons and consequences of an idea or event. Finally, chain of causes and effects, i.e. the paragraph that shows how an action or event becomes the cause of another action or event, and this result becomes the cause of another result, and so on. To see the differences among these three paragraphs, look at the following examples. The first paragraph focuses on causes, the second focuses on effects, and the last is a chain of causes and effects.

Growing numbers of well-to-do Americans are making the decision to move to more rural parts of the country. From their point of view, it is impossible to walk the streets of a big city at night without fear of being raped, mugged, or murdered. They claim, too, that city is poisonous, more lethal than cigarette smoke, thanks to the ever-increasing traffic congestion. In addition, they complain that the food, filled with chemical additives used to preserve the appearance of freshness, grows worse with every passing day. Last but not least, fugitives from city life claim that the pace of urban living exhausts them, leaving them without the energy to enjoy the entertainment a large city supposedly offers.

The emotion of fear sets off many changes in your body. When you become frightened, you breathe more deeply, giving your muscles more oxygen and greater energy. Your hearts beats more powerfully so that your blood circulates faster, carrying oxygen to all parts of your body. Your stomach and intestines no longer contract and all digestive action stops. No saliva flows in your mouth and your throat becomes dry. Your face becomes pale and the tiny blood vessels shrink under the skin so that less blood would flow if you were cut. The blood can clot faster so that there would be less bleeding from a wound. The pupils of your eyes enlarge, admitting more light during the emergency. You might be able to perform great feats of strength in this condition.

There are more old people in the world today because of an increase in medical services. Today, more people can get medical services from doctors and nurses in hospitals and clinics. As a result, fewer people get fatal disease such as yellow fever, malaria, cholera, and typhoid. This decrease in fatal diseases causes a decrease in the number of people who die from these diseases. Because of this decrease in number of deaths, people can live longer today. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of old people living in the world today.


12 thoughts on “11. Paragraphs of Cause-Effect

  1. Pingback: Definition Paragraph Developed by Special Meanings – kuyaberto

  2. Pingback: cause effect | Write Right Here!

  3. Smoking Can Cause Immediate Damage

    Even limited exposure to tobacco or cigarette smoking can lead to cardiovascular and other health problems. The evidence that there is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke. My father said, we don’t have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack that is triggered by tobacco smoke. Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke. He added that a few cigarettes per day, occasional smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke are sufficient to substantially increase risk of cardiac events. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals and compounds, which cause cancer. The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale. Your blood then carries the toxic to every organ in your body. Since cigarettes are designed for addiction, with nicotine and other ingredients and that’s why adolescents are more sensitive to nicotine and more easily addicted.

  4. The Cause of Getting Divorced

    There are four reasons that lead to divorce as the end of relationship. First, a poor economic condition within a family will influence the longevity of married life. For instance, in Indonesia, it commonly happens that a young man is allowed to marry a girl even though he is not economically independent. He has no permanent job to make money. Even worse, he still completely depends on maintenance from his parents. Second, because of a lack of responsibility by spouses for their marriages is also responsible for divorce. A husband leaves his wife for several years and he never comes back. In some extreme cases, he even marries another woman. Third, a continuing dispute between spouses also causes divorce. This is commonly triggered and prolonged by bad communication, immaturity, a lack of mutual understanding. In this case, judges will examine whether there is a possibility or not to save a family by giving the spouses more time. Judges will also commonly suggest that, in such cases, they should seek reconciliation with help from their families, religious leaders, priests and others. Fourth, awareness of the law, particularly relating to people’s rights, also plays an important role in causing divorce. When a spouse is consciously aware that his or her marriage is not working anymore and has broken down, he or she will suddenly think to come to the court. They already know that divorce can only take place in court as stipulated by the law. Interestingly, most women have begun to understand that they also have the legal right to end their marriage. The divorce rate is increasing because spouses file their cases with the courts. The religious courts are the final step in solving family problems in terms of the law.

  5. My Allergies

    It’s really uncomfortable if your life is so limited. I’ve had some allergies since I was a child. I have a rare asthma symptom which can’t deal with hot weather. When the heat rises too high, automatically I can’t breathe. It seems my lungs don’t work at all and I need more oxygen supply. As the solution, I depend on air conditioner everywhere I go. Otherwise I can’t get supply oxygen I needed. If there is no air conditioner, then I need to wear comfortable thin clothes that let my body move freely. Another allergy is shrimps. It is not seafood, but shrimps. I know it’s weird because squid is a strong allergic cause of seafood. Once I eat shrimps, then my eyes will be watery and itchy. After that my tongue will feel numb. The effect is that I can’t do other activities but focus on itchy body. The weirdest allergy I have is rice. Somehow I can’t eat rice whatsoever. Once I eat rice, then I throw up, get rash all over my body and feel fever afterwards. I don’t mind eating other food, but people see me differently, because I am Indonesian; and normally Indonesians eat rice, don’t they? Rice allergy is also a rare allergy because in my previous working place I knew that my partner, Tessa, has the same allergy. Whatever kinds of allergies you have is not easy to live with. Besides looking ugly with rash and swollen face, you could feel feverish and sleeping difficulties, which is not comfortable at all.

  6. Teenage Runaways

    Every child wants and needs secure feeling in a family. When teens decided to run away from their house, there must be a serious issue happening in their lives. Probably as adults, parents do not really realize what they have done, but teen age is the most critical age psychologically. They need confidence and self-esteem. Family is supposed to be the closest people for them. There are two main issues why teenagers decided to run away: harmony and fairness. Parents are the closest people who give good models to their children. If parents show their ego by defending their opinions in front of their children, the children will feel insecure. They are wondering what is happening to their parents who they see as peace and warm people. If they can’t find any peace and warm in home, they will feel unloved. When children don’t feel love, naturally they will find love somewhere else. They will look for any other models out of their family. Apparently, what they see as perfect love is not always the right one for them. It will be good for them if they get the right love and protection out from family. The thing is that people have different aims in love. And family will be the first people who regret to what happened and probably they will blame each other. The other is about fairness. Sometimes parents don’t realize they compare their children, like the first one is better than the second one, or the last one must be the most spoiled one. Such labels are not fair for children. Parents should realize that each child has his or her own personality with strengths and weaknesses. That’s what makes each child special. There is a type of child who can’t be compared with any siblings. He is so sensitive that he thinks that he never gives the best for the family. Each child finds appreciation. Even though parents don’t give any rewards for what he did, but he needs robe appraised. When a child doesn’t get appraisal, he tends to find it outside the family by following “cool” stuff, according to his peers. Among his peers, probably he will be praised if he wants to have punk hair and gothic styles. From his family side, his reputation becomes worse. He probably is labeled as wild child to his parents. This attitude causes their child more insecure among family members and tries to “escape” to secure group, which is his peer. As a result, he tends to run away from home. It is an amazing Bless to be parents of children. Yet, parents suppose not to stop learning about understanding of raising and loving children. Let’s be mature and responsible parents to our children.

  7. Dear Mr.Pardede
    Here is my assignment:

    a.The Causes of Teenage Runaways
    There are as many different causes as there are teen runaways. However, in my view the root cause is typically some sort of perceived or real failure or breakdown in the relationship with the parents. This can result from failing to achieve certain results in school, feeling over controlled by rules, parents not approving of the teens relationship, abuse (physical, sexual, emotional or verbal), disagreement of responsibilities, teen pregnancy or sexual behavior, not accepting of a parent relationship with someone new.

    b.The Effects of Overeating
    Overeating is something really dangerous, and having extra weight is not the only negative effect of this bad habit. The food we love eating in great amounts (even if it is quite healthy and natural) can cause many health problems and ailments. The main side effects of overeating include: high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, clinical depression, chronic fatigue, irregular menses, nausea, kidney disease, arthritis, bone deterioration, and stroke. The hardest problem in gauging overeating effects is that they occur over an extended period of time. This is why awareness and a keen perception are important if someone needs help in ending their overeating disorder.


  8. Dear Mr. Parlin,
    Below are my responses to paragraphs of cause & effect:
    1. The causes of a social problem: The causes of divorce.
    Lately we’ve heard a lot of divorce cases are increasing in Indonesia. According to the survey, mostly it cause by disharmony in the household which can be caused by a moral crisis, financial crisis, and the presence of a third person. The crisis of moral means responsibility that is negligent either by husband or wife, persecution, harassment and other bad behavior is performed by either the husband or wife. The financial crisis such as inadequate living needs, debts and income differences are striking. What is meant by a third person is an affair or polygamy. Whatever it is, divorce isn’t a solution but it always sacrifices children and families of both parties.

    2. The effects of a substance or activity on the human body: The effect of smoking.
    The effects of smoking are already starting feel at the time he start smoking cigarettes. The tobacco burns less than perfect produce Carbon Mono-oxide, smoke, Tar and Nicotine is inhaled into the airway. They affect the nerves that cause restlessness, hands shaking; decreased appetite and pregnant mothers who smoke can the possibility of miscarriage abortion. Tar and cigarette smoke causes cough or shortness of breath. Tar stuck in the airway can cause airway cancer, tongue or lips. Nicotine stimulates the adrenal hormone rise of child-kidney that causes heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood, which closely with the occurrence of heart attacks. Cigarettes effect was very bad for our body; therefore we should keep away from it.


  9. Pingback: 9. Paragraphs of Cause-Effect « PARLINDUNGAN PARDEDE

  10. Dear all attendees of Writing 2,
    Write a paragraph on each of the following groups of topic. Feel free to choose the topic you like most in each group. Write each paragraph in 80-120 words.

    Group A: The Causes of a Social Problem
    1. The Causes of Teenage Runaways
    2. The Causes of Divorce
    3. The Causes of Child Abuse
    4. The Causes of White-Collar Crime
    5. The Causes of High Stress Among College Students

    Group B: The Effects of a Substance or Activity on the Human Body
    1. The Effects of Overeating
    2. The Effects of a Strict Diet
    3. The Effects of Fasting
    4. The Effects of Smoking
    5. The Effects of Allergies

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s