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Cause And Effect Essays Esl

Writing skills: Cause and effect

By Lexy Holt

Level: Intermediate, Upper intermediate Type: Teaching notes

To bring attention to the need for lexical variation in a good essay and to increase range of cause and effect phrases and topic related vocabulary.

Aims

  • To bring attention to the need for lexical variation in a good essay.
  • To increase range of cause and effect phrases and topic related vocabulary.
  • To provide a lexical resource for future essay writing.

Target language

Cause and effect
so/ As a result/ are due to/The consequence of/ Owing to/one effect of/ This is because/ as/ Hence/ consequently/ The effect of/ consequent (levels)/ therefore/ (creates)/ As a result/ For this reason/ Thus/ as a consequence

Lexical variation
Population/( uninhabitable)/ overcrowding/ teeming with people/ inhabitants/ too dense a population/ over peopled/ crowded with people/ crawling with cars/ overpopulation/ epidemic of people/ most populous nation/ overcrowded

Time: 1 hour plus writing task for homework

Materials (see attached)

  1. Cards  (cut up one card for each student)
  2. Prediction task  (one copy on an OHP or one copy between two)
  3. Reorder following sentences (one copy each)
  4. Analysis worksheet (one copy each)
  5. Vocabulary extension worksheet (one copy each)
  6. Homework sheet (one copy each)
  7. Model essay – Answer Key (one copy each)

Lesson steps

  1. As a warm-up exercise, give one card, from ‘Cards’, to each student.  (Make sure you are using matching cause and effects).  Tell students to mill until they have found their partner. (5 minutes)
  2. Tell the new pairs to then sit down and connect their sentences by introducing a phrase which expresses the relationship of cause and effect. (5 minutes)
  3. Pairs read out their sentences and the teacher marks up cause and effect phrases on the board as they come up. (5 minutes)
  4. Tell the class they are now going to read some sentences which use (hopefully) some different cause and effect phrases.  They are taken from an essay entitled ‘Describe some of the problems caused by overcrowding in modern cities’ and write this title on the board.  (2 minutes) 
  5. Put  ‘Prediction task‘ on the OHP (alternatively give out one copy between two) and cover over all but the top unfinished sentence.  Students guess the ending, shout out their answers and the nearest answer gets a point/ sweet/ counter etc. (15 minutes)
  6. Explain again that the prediction task comes from the essay on the board and give out ‘Reorder the following sentences‘ and the ‘Analysis worksheet‘ to complete individually.  Explain that in writing such an essay you need to list a lot of problems of a single cause (overcrowding) so a lot of cause and effect phrases are needed.  Also you would need a lot of words which function as an alternative to the topic word, in this case, ‘overcrowding’. (15 minutes)
  7. Be available to help as the students work through the worksheet.  Give out ‘Model essay – Answer Key ‘ and allow students to check through it quickly before looking at it as a class (see teachers’ notes.)  (10)
  8. Give out  ‘Vocabulary extension worksheet ‘ explaining that the words on the sheet come from other common essay themes, one of which they will write an essay on for homework.  You could work through this as a class, answering questions about the slight differences in meaning, in order to keep the pace up and finish on a chatty note. (5)
  9. Give out ‘Homework sheet ‘ for homework.

Teacher's notes (numbers correspond to lesson steps above)

  1. If your class doesn’t like moving around, give each pair a complete set of jumbled cards to match up.  However, still limit one sentence to each pair for connecting them with a phrase.
  2. Some students’ written work lacks coherence because of a paucity of cause and effect in their ideas.  This step will help focus these students on the need to use clear connections in their written work.
  3. The idea here is that if you make the introduction of these phrases fun, students will have a better chance of remembering them (step six gives further comprehension and analytical focus on the target phrases) .
  4.  And 8) are simply to prepare for written homework so keep the pace relaxed and chatty and reiterate that the point of their homework is to produce a piece of writing that has a good range of topic vocabulary and cause and effect phrases.

These materials are prepared by Lexy Holt a former winner of the Lesson share competition.

  • connor 2 weeks ago

    I love this site

  • unknow 2 weeks ago

    this will definitely will help me review for the act test

  • no one 2 weeks ago

    its cool

  • Unknown 2 weeks ago

    this helped my English class (6th grade) thanks Mrs.Wilborn!!

  • Unknown 7 weeks ago

    This seriously helped me with my essay/speech ideas!

    Thanks so much Letter Pile!

  • mn_heydari5038 2 months ago

    these topics are very fantastic. they helped me to write a great essay and, so these topics make writers to write a good essay more about cause and effect

  • Robbert Dillard 2 months ago

    This is very useful, I learned lots.

  • Jimmy 2 months ago

    Thanks this helped

  • Abbie 4 months ago

    This was extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!

  • Ashley 4 months ago

    Thanks for the great ideas to point me in the right direction for my next essay!

  • Lil 5 months ago

    This was great for me because I had to write an essay about some kind of topic with a cause and an effect and this website gave me some really good ideas, Thank You!

  • Virginia Kearney 9 months agofrom United States

    Sophia--I'm so glad that this helped you. I especially enjoy teaching Chinese students. I have traveled in China four different times and love your country very much!

  • Sophia 9 months ago

    I am a Chinese student and I think your sharing did help me a lot. Thank you !

  • domonique 12 months ago

    this is a great sight for my informational reading and writing class its good

  • Hooriya 12 months ago

    Hi thanks for helping me

  • deeksha 17 months ago

    these topics are really good.. i used some of these topics for my projects and got great marks.. i got A+ in all my projects , i am in 7th grade....

  • Sourav Rana 23 months ago

    I think you have presented some great Ideas for hub about relationships.

  • Hugh Johnson 24 months ago

    These topics had a BIG impact on my life. Thanks for your LARGE ammount of tips.

  • John 24 months ago

    These topics really helped me for school

  • Ruby 24 months agofrom United States

    Creative idea for a hub, what was your case and effect for making it lol

  • BOB 2 years ago

    WOW this is super great to look up stuff for an assignment.

  • Joe 2 years ago

    Awesome topics thanks a million

  • Dwight Goliday Jr 2 years agofrom East Saint Louis

    Wow. There are a lot things that cause and effect. Very informative write.

  • Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States

    Thanks Zakeycia and YoLex. My students have come up with most of these topics through the years and now this is my most visited article so they must have done a good job! I think it got over 2000 views one day last week!

  • YoLex 2 years ago

    This is awesome I wish I'd found this hub before I graduated college lol! Great work!

  • Zakeycia Dickens 2 years ago

    I have a cause and effect essay to type for my English class. I was having a hard time coming up with a topic. Your website and topic suggestions were very helpful. Thank you.

  • Rasheedah Abdul-Hakeem 2 years ago

    Thanks. Great topics.

  • James Packard 3 years agofrom Columbia, Missouri

    What a great hub! Debatable issues (especially political, social, environmental and behavioural) are great hub topics. They are good to write about to do research and clear up one's own viewpoint, but they also get people talking, and also spark very needed discussion. Thanks for sharing.

  • Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years agofrom New York, NY

    I love this one, VirginiaLynne. Your hubs are so valuable to students and professional writers. Cause and effect papers are among the most interesting to read.

    I voted this hub "up," "useful," and "interesting." I am bookmarking this hub for future reference. I know I'll be using it! Keep up the excellent work here.

  • Marilyn L Davis 3 years agofrom Georgia

    Good afternoon, Virginia; excellent examples for all categories. Well done. ~Marilyn

  • Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States

    Here is another place to look for topic ideas: https://owlcation.com/humanities/Causal-Analysis-E...

  • Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States

    Hi Gertrude--These two words are ones that are often confused. Affect also means "to produce an effect upon" as well as "to influence." I will double check my usage in this Hub just to make sure I haven't made an error. Thanks!

  • Gertrude McFuzz 3 years ago

    These are great topics. I just have one comment. Sometimes you use "effect" when you should use "affect."

    affect = influence - usually a verb

    effect= result - usually a noun

    effect= cause - not used that often - verb

  • Shamim Rajabali 3 years agofrom Texas

    This will come in handy for my English class. Thanks.

  • ANCY 3 years ago

    I Love it very much

  • rakesh ranjana 3 years ago

    Social causes are growing up in lot more ways, knowing it and having a knowledge about it through this site, will help a lot in many ways for people to understand there relationship and social problems

  • MariaBrown 4 years ago

    Great hub! I like your ideas, it is something different & innovative. Vote up!

  • DjeLke 4 years ago

    Thanks! This is helpful.... Vote up.

  • Virginia Kearney 4 years agofrom United States

    Sumnerswett--I teach MLA format because that is used by most American colleges in their English departments. However, you are very right to point out that APA and Chicago and other formats are used in different types of courses. I think considering cause and effect is sometimes a bit confusing because it depends on where you view the start of the situation. Often a cause creates an effect, which causes another situation. Sometimes it is hard to pull them apart. That is why I usually like to call this a "speculating about causes" essay, because we can't always definitively determine the absolute cause, but we can always speculate and argue for the most important causes, or the most important effects that we see in a situation.

  • Sumner Swett 4 years agofrom Owls Head Maine

    Okay so cause and effect essays are written in different formats, but let me say in my college profession for the essays to be written were to be in APA format, and it is interesting when researching and writing whether it is from information you have researched or if it free lance. I like to research topics before writing and also note taking is effective. The cause is what causes the situation and the effect is what you have to take into consideration to the cause as we all know it.

  • Kimberly Lake 4 years agofrom California

    Great topics! Voted up and shared.

  • Virginia Kearney 4 years agofrom United States

    Leidy--That is a great essay topic. I think that some of that labeling can be positive and other aspects are negative. It can encourage students to believe that they are capable, but it can discourage them by making them think that they don't need to work hard, or that if they don't achieve a high grade on everything, they have failed.

  • Seth Tomko 4 years agofrom Macon, GA

    A good and diverse collection of topics. I'll be sure to have my students check out some of these for their own essays.

  • Annie Miller 4 years agofrom Wichita Falls, Texas

    Very interesting and in depth Hub. I am passing this along and saving it, as well!

  • Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

    Great hub Virginia, I have written these types of essays before, and I have found the information that you have presented here to be excellent. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and useful!

    Chris Achilleos

  • Virginia Kearney 4 years agofrom United States

    Thanks so much Carol! You are always an encouragement.

  • carol stanley 4 years agofrom Arizona

    This is something to save when trying to come up with new writing ideas. Great hub...Going to pass this along and of course vote up.

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