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ENG101: First-Year Composition

Writing Center Help

Need help with your paper? Visit the Writing Center:


Building: CL
Phone: 623) 845-3812


Cause & Effect

A cause and effect essay explains the cause of a problem and details the resulting effect. You will collect and evaluate evidence to support your position.

Identify Your Topic

Identify your topic (be specific) – in most cases, you will choose a contemporary topic.

What topic are you going to research?

Example: Teen Driver Accidents

List the causes of your topic.

Cause 1 - Teens have less experience driving and avoiding other bad drivers than adults.

Cause 2 - Teens have a high incidence of "distracted driving" (e.g. texting while driving, putting on makeup, etc).
Cause 3 - Teens have a high incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances.


List the effects of your topic.

Effect 1 - Higher insurance costs for teen drivers.

Effect 2 - Teens have a high incidence of injury or mortality.

Browse Topics/ Collect Facts & Evidence

Here are some places in the databases to EXPLORE "hot" topics or conversations--

(To connect from off-campus, enter your MEID and Password.)

Opposing Viewpoints   -- Click "Browse Issues" for a list a list of today's hottest topics.

Issues & Controversies  -- Click "Issues" to explore current hot issues.

Global Issues Click "Browse Topics" to explore issues.

Once you have decided on a topic, you can browse the various articles for evidence and facts (reference, viewpoints, news...).

Collect Background Research

Use these databases to collect reliable, credible BACKGROUND INFORMATION on your topic.

Collect Recent News

Use these databases to find specific EXAMPLES of how your topic impacts people in the real world.

Cause/ Effect Practice Handout