The English Lecturers of KMTK

The English Lecturers of KMTK

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Cause & Effect
Cause and effect is the relationship between two things when one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight. Eating food without exercising is the "cause;" weight gain is the "effect." There may be multiple causes and multiple effects.

Looking for the reason why things happen (cause/effect) is a basic human drive. So, understanding the cause/effect text structure is essential in learning the basic ways the world works. Writers use this text structure to show order, inform, speculate, and change behavior. This text structure uses the process of identifying potential causes of a problem or issue in an orderly way. It is often used to teach social studies and science concepts.
Teaching Strategies that have been found effective in teaching the cause/effect text structure include:
  • Teaching signal words that show cause/effect relationships, e.g., because, so, so that, if… then, consequently, thus, since, for, for this reason, as a result of, therefore, due to, this is how, nevertheless, and accordingly.
  • Teaching how to look for the different kinds of cause/effect relationships:
    • Stated cause/effect relationships: the relationship is stated clearly
    • Unstated cause/effect relationships: students must be taught how to "read between the lines"
    • Reciprocal cause/effect relationships: effects may be part of a chain. In this kind of structure, one effect goes on to cause a second effect, which may then cause a third effect, etc.

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