Cause effect Essay example

how to organize a cause effect essay and how to write a cause and effect essay conclusion and cause effect essay introduction example
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Unit Cause-Effect Essays 6 A toxic algal bloom from fertilizer runoff covers a third of Lake Erie in the United States. 132 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 132 5/22/14 5:41 PMWhat Is a Cause-Effect Essay? We all understand cause-effect relationships; for example, lightning can cause fire. As a student you know that if you stay up late the night before a test to watch a movie and do not study, you may not perform well on the test the following day. A cause-ee ff ct essay tells how one event (the cause) leads to another event (the effect). A cause-effect essay can do one of two things: •   It can analyze the ways in which one or more effects  result from a particular cause.  (Focus-on-Effects Method) •   It can analyze the ways in which one or more causes lead to a particular effect.   (Focus-on-Causes Method) In other words, your essay may focus more on the effects  of a cause or more on the causes of one  effect. Either approach provides a useful means of discussing the possible relationship between the two events. It is not a good idea to mix several causes and several effects  in an essay because your focus may  become unclear. In cause-effect  essays, it is easy to suggest that because one event preceded another event, the  former event caused the latter. Simply because one event follows another one sequentially does not mean that the two actions are related. For example, people oen co ft mplain that as soon as they finish washing their car, it starts to rain. Obviously, washing a car does not cause rain. Writers need to be sure that the causes and effects they describe are logically connected. 134 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 134 5/22/14 5:41 PMHow Is a Cause-Effect Essay Organized? er Th e are two basic ways to organize a cause-effect essay: focus-on-ee ff cts or focus-on-causes. If your assignment is to write a cause-effect essay on the topic of global warming, you could write two  kinds of essays: •  I  n a focus-on-ee ff cts essay, you would write about the threatened habitat of polar bears as a result of global warming and the melting of large parts of the Arctic Circle. Your essay might include five paragraphs and look like this: hook IntrOduCtIOn Paragraph 1 connecting information Thesis Effect 1: dangerous swimming conditions Paragraph 2 •  sea ice platforms farther apart Effect 2: scarcity of food BOdy Paragraph 3 •  fewer hunting opportunities Effect 3: reduced population Paragraph 4 •   Females with less body weight have lower reproduction rates. restated thesis COnClusIOn Paragraph 5 suggestion/opinion/prediction •   In a focus-on-causes essay, you would write about the causes of global warming, such as excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In this case, the organization for this essay could  have five paragraphs and look like this: hook IntrOduCtIOn Paragraph 1 connecting information Thesis cause 1: human activities Paragraph 2 •  carbon dioxide from vehicles •  not recycling (requires creating more products from scratch) cause 2: increased industrial activity Paragraph 3 BOdy •  greater carbon dioxide from burning fuels to run factories  cause 3: deforestation •  Incr   eased human population requires more space, so trees are cut down. Paragraph 4 •   Fewer trees mean less oxygen, which causes a higher percentage of  carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. restated thesis COnClusIOn Paragraph 5 suggestion/opinion/prediction 135 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 135 5/22/14 5:41 PMGreat topics for Cause-Effect Essays What is a great topic for a cause-effect essay? This type of essay may focus more on the causes or more on the effects, but most writers answer this question by thinking of an effect or a final result. The brainstorming stage then requires thinking about one or more causes of that effect. When selecting topics for this type of essay, a good writer should consider relevant questions such as: •  What is the end effect?  •  Is there one primary effect, or are there several effects?  •  Is there one primary cause, or are there several causes?  As you read this list of some general topics that lend themselves well to a cause-effect essay, notice that the last two in each group do not use the obvious words cause or effect : Focus on Causes Focus on Effects the causes of the high divorce rate in some countries the effects of pollution in my country the causes of World War I the effects of high salaries for athletes the causes of low voter participation in elections the effects of the Internet on how businesses are run the reasons new teachers quit  the impact of technology on education why only a small percentage of people read what happens when a large percentage of adults newspapers today cannot read well Activity 1 identifying topics for cause-effect essays Read these eight topics. Put a check mark (✓) next to the four that could be good topics for cause-effect essays. 1. Th e reasons that the earth’s weather has changed so much in the last century 2. Bangkok versus Singapore as a vacation destination 3. A trip to visit my grandparents 4. Th e increasing use of computers in schools 5. Explaining dietary guidelines for children 6. h ow to play the piano 7. Why a student received a scholarship 8. Why the birth rate is falling in many countries Can you think of two additional topics that would be excellent for a cause-effect essay? 9. 10. 136 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 136 5/22/14 5:41 PMsupporting Details Aer y ft ou have selected a topic, your task is to determine whether you will focus more on the causes of the issue or the effects of it. This process will also help you to select and develop supporting details for your essay, which is an important step in constructing a solid essay. When you brainstorm your plan for this essay, a useful technique is to make two lists. One list has as many causes as you can think of. The second list has as many effects or results as you can think of. e li Th st that is bigger—the causes or the effects—should determine the primary focus of your essay. h ere is an example for an essay about the difficulty of learning English: Causes Effects 14 vowel sounds some people study it for years. unpredictable spelling system People spend millions of dollars to learn it. 12 verb tenses There are many jobs for teaching English. phrasal verbs Some people never learn it well. vocabulary from German and from Latin Some people have a weak vocabulary. Activity 2 brainstorming for two Methods One of the topics that we hear so much about in today’s society is stress. In this activity, you will use  the space in the boxes on page 138 to brainstorm ideas for an essay on the topic of stress. In the first   box, your organization will address the focus-on-effects  method. In the second box, your organization  will address the focus-on-causes method. Aer y ft ou complete these tasks, work with a partner or a small group to discuss your answers. 137 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 137 5/22/14 5:42 PMActivity 3 studying an example cause-effect essay This essay discusses some effects that weather has had on events in history. Discuss the Preview Questions with a partner. Then read the essay and answer the questions that follow. Preview Questions 1. Can you name a time when the weather had an effect on an event that you attended? Was it a positive effect or a negative effect? 2. In the 1200s, the warrior Kubilai Khan tried to invade Japan by sailing from the Asian mainland to  Japan. A certain kind of weather event prevented the invasion. Write three guesses in the diagram about what this weather was. Do not consult the Internet, a book, or a person. Cause 1: Cause 2: Effect: No invasion of Japan Cause 3: 3. G o back in time. Imagine you are a captain of a troop of 500 soldiers and you want to attack your  enemy at night. h owever, it is raining heavily. What are three possible effects of the rain? Effect 1: Cause: Heavy rain at battle time at night Effect 2: Effect 3: Essay 13 How Weather Has Changed World History 1 It is tempting, and oen co ft mforting, to think that humans tempting: attractive; desirable control their fates. The decisions that people make in their daily lives can affect many things, and the course of their lives cumulatively fate: the plan for the reflects these many small decisions. On the other hand, people cannot future that has been decided and that you control every aspect of their environments, and forces beyond human cannot control control frequently intervene in human affairs. Notwithstanding many people’s opinion that the weather has little influence in their lives besides a course: a route or direction determining what clothes they wear on a particular day, the weather has in fact caused world history to radically shift in important ways that are cumulatively: formed still felt today. over time by many parts or additions 2 Numerous examples from world history document the to intervene: to long-term effects of weather in the formation of cultures and nations. become involved in In the thirteenth century, Khubilai Khan ruled over the vast Mongol  something in order empire, which spanned from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Black to influence the final result 139 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 139 5/22/14 5:42 PMto document: to Sea in the west, from present-day Siberia in the north to Afghanistan maintain a written in the south. To expand his reign further, Khubilai Khan mounted two record of; to write invasions of Japan. Two monsoons, however, caused him to end his about attacks. Delgado (2008) describes legendary accounts of this event: “e Th   to span: to extend from  legend, oft repeated in countless history books, speaks of gigantic ships, one point to another numbering into the thousands, crewed by indomitable Mongol warriors, a reign: a time of political and of casualties on a massive scale, with more than 100,000 lives lost  control, especially  in the na fi l invasion attempt of 1281” (p. 4). Because of this unexpected  for kings, queens, or  defeat, Khubilai Khan decided to stage a third invasion of Japan, but  unelected officials he died before he could fulfill this ambition. Without these monsoons, to mount: to prepare Japan might have been defeated by the Mongols and thus lost its identity something so that it as a unique culture, with far-reaching consequences for Asian and world takes place history. a monsoon: a strong rain storm that happens at 3 In the early years of America’s Revolutionary War, which began a certain time of the in 1775, it appeared likely that the British would crush the armies of year her colonial territory and incorporate it back into the empire. The a casualty: an injury or British troops were a well-trained and disciplined army that was feared death in a severe event worldwide. In contrast, the American troops were newly trained, such as an accident or sometimes poorly organized, and lacked sufficient resources to fight a war effectively. General George Washington could have easily been defeated to stage: to plan,  in the Battle of Long Island on August 22, 1776. Historical records show  organize, and make  that Sir William h owe, the British commander, was clearly defeating something happen Washington on Long Island and was actually winning handily (Seymour, ambition: a strong desire 1995). Nonetheless, the weather intervened when a heavy fog rolled in, for power, wealth, or  so the American forces were able to retreat, regroup, and survive to fight fame 140 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 140 5/22/14 5:42 PMto crush: to destroy another day. Because of this fog, the United States was not defeated in its struggle for freedom. Consequently, today’s United Kingdom of England,  handily: easily Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland does not include the United States.  fog: a type of weather e U Th nited States is not a commonwealth of a mother country, as Canada similar to a cloud very and Australia are, though the United States still has strong ties to its near the ground colonial past. to retreat: to go back 4 When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia in the early nineteenth a tie: a connection century, he met with early successes that appeared to guarantee that he might eventually rule the world as his personal domain. h is soldiers domain: land that a ruler or government captured Moscow and destroyed the city, which encouraged him to controls push farther in his military campaigns. h owever, because of his dreams of glory, Napoleon overlooked the simple fact that Russian winters are to capture: to catch; to trap extremely cold. When the temperatures fell below freezing, many of his  soldiers and their horses died in the brutal weather. As Belloc (1926)  to overlook: to fail to writes in his classic study of the Napoleonic wars, “e Th  cold was the notice or know about abominable thing: The dreadful enemy against which men could not brutal: severe fight and which destroyed them” (p. 217). As a result of the failure of  abominable: Napoleon’s Russian campaigns, his own rule ended relatively soon aer ft . disgusting; causing His defeat led to a reorganization of power throughout the European  hateful feelings nations, as well as to the rise of Russia as a major world power. dreadful: extremely  bad; causing fear 5 As these three examples unambiguously demonstrate, the weather has caused numerous huge shifts in world history as well as in unambiguously: not ambiguously; clearly power balances among cultures and nations. Without the rainy storms and definitely of the monsoon season, Japan might be the eastern outpost of Mongolia;  without the appearance of dense fog, the United States might still be a dense: thick territory of the United Kingdom; and without winter snow, Muscovites  a forecaster: a might speak French. Today weather forecasters can usually predict with a person who predicts high degree of accuracy when thunderstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, and something, often the  tornadoes will strike, but the course of history cannot be fully isolated weather from the effects of the weather. References Belloc, H. (1926). Napoleon’s campaign of 1812 and the retreat from Moscow. New York: h arper. Delgado, J. (2008). Khubilai Khan’s lost fleet: In search of a legendary armada. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Seymour, W. (1995). e p Th rice of folly: British blunders in the War of American Independence. London: Brassey’s. Post-Reading 1. What is the topic of the essay? 2. What is the writer’s thesis? 3. What is the cause that the writer describes in the essay? 141 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 141 5/22/14 5:42 PM 4. What are some of the effects that the writer describes? 5. Write one detail that strongly supports the thesis statement. 6. How is this essay organized? ☐ focus-on-causes method ☐ focus-on-effects method 7. Can you think of any information that the author should have included to make the message of the essay stronger? Building Better sentences: For further practice, go to Practice 3 on pages 239–240 in the Appendix. Building Better Vocabulary Activity 4 Practicing three Kinds of v ocabulary from context Read each important vocabulary word or phrase. Locate it in the essay if you need help remembering the word. Then circle the best synonym, antonym, or collocation from column A, B, or C. type of Vocabulary Important Vocabulary A B C 1. capture catch fulfill prosper 2. tempting attractive inherent precise synonyms 3. forecast dread predict reign 4. on account of due to prior to regardless of 5. handily by vehicle on foot with difficulty 6. dense thin superior reluctant Antonyms 7. eventually beyond cumulatively immediately 8.  expand differentiate proceed shrink 9. span ___ Greece from England to near England and with England or 10. ___ in a dispute duplicate intervene merge Collocations 11. a brutal ___ friendship lunch storm 12. defeat ___ an attack an enemy a reptile 142 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 142 5/22/14 5:42 PMActivity 5 Analyzing the Organization Use the words from the box to complete the outline of “How Weather Has Changed World History.”  Reread the essay on pages 139–141 if you need help. •   the Battle of Long Island in the American Revolutionary War, during which fog helped the American  forces to retreat •  The course of history cannot be fully isolated from the effects of weather.  •  H. Belloc, who documents the effect of the Russian winter •  The weather has changed world history in important ways still felt today.  •  Japan’s cultural identity would have changed if Khan had succeeded in his invasion. Title: h ow Weather h as Changed World h istory I. Introduction A. Describe how people think they control their fates. B. Suggest, however, that people cannot control every aspect of their environments. C. esi Th s statement: . II. Body Paragraph 1 A. Provide the example of Khubilai Khan and his invasion of Japan. B. Cite the study of J. Delgado, who describes Khubilai Khan’s failed invasion. C. Discuss how . III. Body Paragraph 2 A. Provide the example of . . B. Cite the study of W. Seymour, who documents the circumstances of the battle. C. Di scuss how the United States might have remained a member of the British Commonwealth, if not for a heavy fog. IV . Body Paragraph 3 A. Provide the example of Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia. B. Cite the study of . C. Discuss the consequences of Napoleon’s defeat in relation to Russia’s rise as a world power. V. Conclusion A. Summarize the three examples from the body paragraphs.  B. S uggest that, although weather forecasters can predict the weather with more accuracy than in the past, . 143 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 143 5/22/14 5:42 PMstrong thesis statements for Cause-Effect Essays A strong thesis statement for a cause-effect essay indicates whether the essay focuses on causes or on effects. Sometimes the thesis statement uses the words cause(s) or effects(s), but this is not necessary if either the cause or the effect is implied in the statement. In addition, a thesis statement sometimes  includes a number, such as three causes or two effects, but this is also optional. Focus Example thesis statement on causes Many customers pr efer to shop online for three important reasons.  The increase in obesity in our country is due to food commercials, cheap fast food, and video  games. on effects This essay will discuss the effects of watching too much TV on children’s family life,  interpersonal skills, and school life.  Most people ar e not aware of the positive effects of simply walking for 20 to 30 minutes per day. Activity 6 Writing strong thesis statements for cause-effect essays Write a thesis statement for each topic. When you finish, compare your answers with a partner’s. 1. the causes of bullying 2. the effects of being an only child 3. the causes of choosing a vegan diet 4. the effects of society’s love for computers transitions and Connectors in Cause-Effect Essays Transitions and connectors are important in cause-effect essays because they help indicate causation or effect regarding the topic. Perhaps the most familiar cause-effect transition word is because : “X happened because Y happened.” Precise use of transitions helps the reader to follow the writer’s  reasoning about cause-effect relationships. 144 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 144 5/22/14 5:42 PMe t Th ransitions for both a focus-on-causes essay and a focus-on-effects essay are the same because both kinds of essays discuss one or more causes or one or more effects. transitions and Connectors Commonly used in Cause-Effect Essays as a consequence due to on account of as a result (the) effect (of X) owing to (for this) reason (X can be) attributed to (Y) (a key) factor of (X) (X is the) reason for (Y) because for this reason (X is a) result of (Y) because of furthermore (X) resulted in (Y) caused if (X), then (Y) since (X is the) cause of (Y) in addition (to) so (X is) caused by (Y) in order to therefore (one) consequence of this (is that . . .) (X) influences (Y) this means that . . . consequently (X) leads to (Y) thus Activity 7 identifying transitions and connectors in an essay Reread “How Weather Has Changed World History” on pages 139–141. Find seven transitions or  connectors. Copy the sentences here, underline the transition or connector, and write the paragraph number in the parentheses. 1. ( ) 2. ( ) 3. ( ) 4. ( ) 5. ( ) 6. ( ) 7. ( ) 145 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 145 5/22/14 5:42 PMstudying transitions and connectors in an example cause-effect essay Activity 8 Warming Up to the topic Answer the questions on your own. Then discuss them with a partner or in a small group. 1. What was the happiest time in your life? Describe what happened. Why were you so happy? 2. er  Th e is a saying that “Money can’t buy happiness.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  In 75–100 words, explain your answer.  Activity 9 Using transitions and connectors in an essay Read “Happiness” and circle the correct transition words or phrases.  Essay 14 Happiness 1 What makes a person happy? 1  (If / So) people want to be happy— to proclaim: to state loudly or clearly for and few people proclaim their desire to be sad—should they seek money and the record professional success? Many experts in fields such as sociology, psychology , seemingly: apparently and public policy are attempting to answer this seemingly simple question of what makes people happy and how communities, social organizations, and  to facilitate: to make easier or more likely employers can facilitate happiness by implementing a few simple strategies. to happen In this new field of happiness studies, some intriguing answers are beginning intriguing: extremely  interesting to emerge about what makes people happy. Surprisingly, they support the a hypothesis: an idea longstanding hypothesis that money cannot buy happiness. or theory that has not been proven 2 One of the chief obstacles to happiness is referred to as social chief: main; principal an obstacle: something comparison. When people compare themselves to other people, they that stops progress or prefer to see themselves as in some way superior. In an experiment, social  forward movement 146 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 146 5/22/14 5:42 PMscientists asked whether people would prefer earning 50,000 per year  while their peers earned 25,000 per year, or whether they would prefer  earning 100,000 per year while their peers averaged 250,000 per year.  Even though people would earn more in the latter scenario, most chose the latter: the second of two presented the former as a consequence of their desire to see themselves as more options 2 a scenario: an successful than others (Layard, 2005).   (In addition / u Th s),  a simple way  imagined situation to increase happiness is for people to reject the urge to compare themselves the former: the first of two presented to others based on their finances and to live within their means. options 3 means: a person’s  3  (Another / Other) way to increase people’s sense of personal  ability to afford happiness is for them to be true to themselves and keep their personal sense of integrity. While this advice may seem rather trite, people who respect integrity: the personal quality of being  and follow their authentic desires generally report being happier than people honest and fair trite: boring,  who do not. As Martin (2012) explains, “At its core, authenticity implies unimportant, or  discovering and pursuing what we care about most deeply.” He further  no longer special,  especially due to explains the reciprocal relationship between happiness and authenticity: “As  overuse much as authenticity contributes to the pursuit of happiness, then, happiness to pursue: to try hard to obtain in turn contributes to identifying our authentic selves” (p. 55). When people  reciprocal: inversely 4 limit their personal desires  (in order / in spite) to obtain certain goals, related; mutually agreed upon they may achieve greater financial success but actually end up unhappier. to end up: to reach a final condition or 5 4 (Finally / er Th efore),  sometimes people benefit from social rules place, often without  an original intention that encourage them to improve their lives, even when these laws cost more money. While few people enjoy paying taxes, some taxes make people happier 6  (although / because) they improve the overall quality of people’s lives. In  their study of smoking and cigarette taxes, Gruber and Mullainathan (2006)  conclude that “taxes may affect the happiness of former smokers (by making 147 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 147 5/22/14 5:42 PMto resist: to fight it easier to resist the temptation to resume smoking) or prospective smokers against something (by making it easier to never start smoking in the first place)” (p. 139). This   so that it does not happen example demonstrates how a society’s rules can 7  (cause / lead) to the general  prospective: related to happiness of its populations, even through the apparently negative practice of future possibility of happening or coming increased taxation. Taxes also contribute to the funds available for other social true purposes, which proves further justification for their use. 5 es Th e are merely three ways that scholars of happiness studies have merely: simply; only determined that people can employ to enhance their personal happiness. to enhance: to improve People should avoid comparing themselves to others financially. They should seek to live as their authentic selves in their personal and professional lives. 8 (Furthermore / In contrast), they should welcome rules, laws, and even taxes that increase the general happiness of the population. Everyone says they want to be happy, and happiness studies are helping people learn how to lead happier lives rather than to passively expect happiness to find them. References Gruber, J., & Mullainathan, S. (2006). Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers  Happier?. In Yew-Kwang Ng & Lok Sang Ho (Eds.), Happiness and public policy: Theory, case studies, and implications (pp.109–146).  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.  Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. New York: Penguin. Martin, M. (2012). Happiness and the good life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Building Better Vocabulary Activity 10 Practicing three Kinds of v ocabulary from context Read each important vocabulary word or phrase. Locate it in the essay if you need help remembering the word or phrase. Then circle the best synonym, antonym, or collocation from column A, B, or C. type of Vocabulary Important Vocabulary A B C 1. pursue chase mount overlook 2. obstacle difficulty extinction forecast synonyms 3. authentic challenging likely real 4. scenario demeanor example verification 5. intriguing accurate uninteresting worthwhile 6. the former the incentive the latter the organizer Antonyms 7. hinder facilitate navigate range 8. chief essential, vital far, remote minor, lesser 9. the means ___ something do doing to do 10. care about something ___ deeply happily tritely Collocations 11. my overall ___ of core example impression 12. obtain a ___ desire goal tax 148 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 148 5/22/14 5:42 PMGrammar for Writing c onsistent verb tense Usage Good writers are careful to use the same verb tense throughout an essay. While it is true that an essay may have, for example, some information about the past and some information about the present, most of the information will be about one time, most likely either past or present. Do not change verb tenses without a specific reason for doing so. Explanation Examples When describing an event in the past tense,  In our experiment, we placed three live fresh-water plants maintain the past tense throughout (each approximately 20 centimeters in length) into a quart jar  your explanation. that was filled  with fresh water at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  We left the top two centimeters of the jar with air. We then  carefully added a medium goldfish. When talking about facts that are always true,  The sun is the center of the solar system. The earth and other  use present tense in your explanation. planets revolve around the sun. Most of the planets have at least one moon that circles the planet, and these moons  vary tremendously in size, just as the planets do. In writings such as a report, it is possible to  According to this report, the police now believe that two have different verb tenses reflecting men stole the truck and the money in it. different times. 149 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 149 5/22/14 5:42 PMActivity 11 Working with consistent v erb tense Usage In the paragraph, correct the verbs where the tense shifts for no reason.   Paragraph 4 The Experiment   In our experiment, we placed three live fresh-water plants (each  approximately 20 centimeters in length) into a quart jar that is l fi led with   fresh water at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We left  the top two centimeters of the jar  with air. We then carefully added a medium goldfish. Next, we tighten the lid and wrapped tape tightly around the lid. This very last step is done to ensure that no air can enter or exit the bottle. The jar was placed on a shelf where it is exposed to indirect sunlight for approximately eight hours each day. At 1 p.m. every day for a week, we observed the fish swimming in the jar. On several occasions, we notice that the plants emit multiple bubbles of a gas. The fish survived for the entire week. No food or air was provided. Thus, these green plants in the jar produced a gas, and we believed this gas was oxygen. Grammar for Writing sentence Fragments For many writers, sentence fragments, or incomplete sentences, are difficult to avoid. Writing a fragment instead of a complete sentence is considered a very serious error because it shows a lack of understanding of the basic components of a sentence, namely a subject and a verb that express a complete thought. Because fragments are one of the most serious errors in writing, it is imperative to learn how to avoid them. Explanation Examples A sentence must have a subject and  ✗ Because I read and studied the textbook often. a verb and be able to stand by itself ✓   I scored 97 on the quiz because I read and studied the text- in meaning.  book often. It is possible to begin a sentence with  ✗ Because I studied for the final exam a great deal. because, although, if, when, or while,  ✓ Because I studied a great deal, my score on the final exam  but the sentence needs a second part was 99. with another subject-verb combination. ✓    My score on the final exam was 99 because I studied a great deal. Activity 12 Working with Fragments Write C on the line next to complete sentences. Write F if there is a fragment and circle the fragment. 1. D espite the heavy wind and the torrential rain, the young trees around the lake were able to survive the bad weather. It was a miracle. 2. e h Th uge, two-story houses all have a very similar design. With no difference except the color of the roofs. 150 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 150 5/22/14 5:42 PM 3.  Ireland has a rich and colorful history. One with many stories of fairies and elves. 4. S hopping malls are a very popular tourist attraction in many cities, but some tourists are not interested in them. Shopping is not for everyone. 5. B ecause of the popularity of the film. Producers were anxious to begin work on its sequel. 6. e c Th hef added so much spice to the stew that only the most daring of his patrons tasted it. The result was that less than half of the food was consumed. 7. er Th e was a strange tension in the air. Aer s ft o many years of separation. 8.  M   y mother is so organized that she uses a color-coding system in her kitchen pantry. My  father, on the other hand, is one of the most unorganized people that I know. 9.   What is a dream and why do we dream? Scientists really do not understand dreams, but I  wish someone could explain them to me. 10. o Th usands of commuters were late for work this morning. Since the bus workers are on strike over pay and health benefits. For more work with sentence fragments, see the Brief Writer's Handbook with Activities, pages 217–220. Activity 13 editing an essay: Review of Grammar Ten of the fifteen words or clauses in parentheses contain an error involving one of the grammar topics featured in this unit. If the word or phrase is correct, write C. If it is incorrect, l fi l in the blank with a correction.   Essay 15 How the Light Bulb Changed the World dramatically: greatly; 1 Few inventions have changed the world as dramatically as o Th mas exceedingly Alva Edison’s light bulb. 1 (With the ip fl of a switch. h e turned darkness a flip: a turn from one position to the into light, thus revolutionizing people’s lives.) opposite to revolutionize: to change completely (and possibly  suddenly) overwhelmingly: While the effects of the light bulb have been overwhelmingly positive , greatly; by a large scientists have also identified some of its harmful effects, proving that number or amount even the greatest achievements oen b ft ring with them unexpected side effects that offset their advantages. an accomplishment: 2 2 (One of the most positive of the light bulb’s accomplishments anything a person is that it has allowed people to expand their lives into the dark hours of has been able to do successfully, especially  night.) after some difficulty h uman productivity 3 (increases) to enable: to make dramatically after its invention because better lighting enabled people able to happen 151 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 151 5/22/14 5:42 PM to read, study, work, play, and socialize into the late hours. 4 (Also, the prevalence of ao ff rdable lighting. This allowed companies to prevalence: the condition of being continue to manufacture their products during the night hours, when widespread or extremely common necessary.) Electric lighting also enhanced public safety because of city streets being to enhance: to improve illuminated without the potential danger of gas. Now that light bulbs to illuminate: to light up 5 (are) everywhere, it is virtually impossible to imagine potential: possible a world without them, for they are a core part of the infrastructure of virtually: just about; almost completely modern society. infrastructure: basic 3 6 (Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge the negative structures, such as roads and bridges, consequences of the light bulb as well, including a phenomenon that needed for a region to function properly scientists term light pollution.) to acknowledge: to show recognition of; to admit that something is real Miranda (2003) laments the “changes in the biology of ecosystems, in to lament: to regret the life of people due to invasive lighting, and the ‘artificialization’ of the 152 Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 152 05/06/14 2:26 AMnight” (p. 7).  7 (These problems have been caused by excessive lighting. Primarily in urban areas.) primarily: mainly urban: city; the opposite of rural 8 (Animals and humans are biologically prepared for the changing rhythms of night and day, and constant lighting undermines these rhythms.) ____________ Light pollution also 9 (clouded) the night skies so that people cannot see the stars, which 10 (frustrated) frustrated: disappointed; unsatisfied astronomers and anyone who 11 (loved) looking up to the heavens to inspect its wonders. 4 12 (Another unintended consequence of the light bulb. Is a  phenomenon referred to as switch psychology, which theorizes that people  become conditioned by light switches and other modern conveniences to expect immediate solutions to their problems.) Switch psychology lessens a person’s sense of self-efficacy, which self-efficacy: the power to produce Hockenbury and Hockenbury (2006) define as “e Th  degree to which you   a desired result or effect are subjectively convinced of your own capabilities and effectiveness in convinced: very sure; meeting the demands of a particular situation” (p. 486). People are so used  certain to light switches immediately bringing light that some find themselves at a loss for words when a light 13 (did not go) on; they feel that they are incapable of correcting the situation or undertaking any steps to solve the problem. 5 Edison’s achievement with the light bulb rightly 14 (deserves) to deserve: to merit _____________ celebration for its contributions to human comfort and productivity. At the same time, we must be careful to recognize  153 94967_ch06_ptg01_hires_132-159.indd 153 5/22/14 5:42 PM