Unit 03: Reasons and Results – The Cause-and-Effect Essay

Gray Newton's Cradle

“Why did that happen?” “What were the effects?”

These are common questions about many events, actions, conditions in the world. That’s what this unit is all about: reason and result. Or, as writing instructors say, cause and effect. It’s a very useful — and very common — writing strategy both in school and out of school.  In this unit, you will study use the same topic from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but you’ll take a look at the issue from a new angle. To do this, you’ll learn more about common cause-and-effect essay structures as well as the grammar and vocabulary to support them.


Key academic vocabulary in this unit

  • clause /klɔz/ noun – a group of words with a subject and a verb
  • create /kriˈeɪt/  verb –  to make something new
  • discrimination /dɪˌskrɪmɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/ noun – unfair treatment of someone
  • format /ˈfɔrˌmæt/ noun – the arrangement, organization, or structure of something
  • involve /ɪnˈvɑlv/ verb – to include something or someone as a part of an activity, event, or situation
  • isolate /ˈaɪsəˌleɪt/ verb  – to keep someone or something away
  • potential /pəˈtenʃ(ə)l/ noun and adjective – possible in the future
  • predict /prɪˈdɪkt/ verb – to say what will happen in the future
  • significant /sɪɡˈnɪfɪkənt/ adjective – large, noticeable, important, or meaningful
  • summary /ˈsʌməri/ noun – a short description that gives only the most important information without all the details




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