People have been writing causal analyses for centuries. Here is the title page of Edward Jenner’s 1798 publication, An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae. His research led to the vaccine for small pox.
Small pox has been all but eradicated by modern medicine. By the careful study of small pox focusing on the causes and effects, he was able to develop a vaccine to save human life.
Much like an elevator pitch, an introduction has to make a good impression, grab your reader’s interest, and make them want to keep reading.
Take the elevator pitch you just wrote and figure out how to work it into your introduction. The elevator pitch can work as the intro, or add to your intro, to make a case for reading the rest of the essay.
What is the question you are exploring? Use why, how, and what if to come up with your question.
Why do we have some many school shootings?
Why did Harvey Weinstein get away with it for so long?
Explain why something happened
- First cause
- second cause
- best cause
Explain the consequences of a phenomenon
Open by describing the situation that will have consequences.
- first effect likely to follow + reasons
- other effects + reasons
Suggest an alternative view of cause and effect
In this one, you are refuting someone else’s cause and effects.
- reason to doubt claim + evidence
- alternative cause
- best cause + reasons/evidence
Explain a chain of causes
Much like the Ed Gein work we did last class, you can connect a line of causes that operate in order.
- Introduction suggestion the chain
- First link + evidence
- next link + evidence
- final link + evidence
These are all just suggestions. If one of these fits into how you are organizing your causal analysis, definitely use it. You can also come up with your own structure, but remember it needs to makes sense, that is be logical to anyone reading it, and use evidence to support each point. Your turn.
Create an outline for your causal analysis. This is a very good prewriting technique to help you organize your ideas. Use the different techniques we looked at to help organize your causal analysis.