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# Establishing Cause and Effect

## Benefits of writing a cause and effect essay

❶Are these results likely to have great impact on my life or the lives of others? For students who just need someone to go through an essay and correct mistakes, the editing service at Edusson is the best solution.

A common example is the relationship between education and income: Cross tabulation, which cross-classifies the distributions of two categorical variables, can also be used to examination association. There is ongoing debate regarding just how closely associated variables must be to make a causal claim, but in general researchers are more concerned with the statistical significance of an association whether it is likely to exist in the population than with the actual strength of the association.

Once an association has been established, our attention turns to determining the time order of the variables of interest. In order for the independent variable to cause the dependent variable, logic dictates that the independent variable must occur first in time; in short, the cause must come before the effect.

This time ordering is easy to ensure in an experimental design where the researcher carefully controls exposure to the treatment which would be the independent variable and then measures the outcome of interest the dependent variable. In cross-sectional designs the time ordering can be much more difficult to determine, especially when the relationship between variables could reasonably go in the opposite direction.

For example, although education usually precedes income, it is possible that individuals who are making a good living may finally have the money necessary to return to school. Determining time ordering thus may involve using logic, existing research, and common sense when a controlled experimental design is not possible. In any case, researchers must be very careful about specifying the hypothesized direction of the relationship between the variables and provide evidence either theoretical or empirical to support their claim.

Could they have been foreseen? Then do some preliminary research, using what you already know to guide the direction of your reading. Change or add to your original list of causes to reflect new information gathered from your research. Done in depth, this kind of analysis is likely to uncover an almost unlimited chain of linked causes, far more than you can effectively address in one paper.

Identify one to three of them as more important or interesting, or overlooked than the others. Then, acknowledging that multiple causes exist, limit your discussion to those most important or interesting, or overlooked. As you brainstorm possible causes, do not fall into the trap of thinking that, simply because one event followed another, that there was necessarily a causal relationship.

The mere fact that four youths were seen running away from the scene of an assault does not itself logically implicate them in the assault; they could have been running for help, chasing down the alleged criminal, or simply jogging by. Also, do not confuse a necessary precondition for a cause: A large number of costumed students milling about in downtown Chico on Halloween night may be a necessary precondition for a riot, but it is not, in itself, the cause of a riot.

As you write, use the transitions, or signal words, that tell readers you are demonstrating causal relationships between your ideas:. Because the technology program received independent funding from grants and federal Title I funds, it was relatively untouched by the school district's own budget cuts.

Discovering effects If you choose to write about effects, first brainstorm: Make a list of all the effects you know about, and use this list to direct your research to learn more.

Have the effects had great impact on history, culture, or your own life? Or have they had a small impact with few results? Again, be sure you can demonstrate the causal relationship. Just as there are usually several causes for anything, there are a multitude of effects that proceed from any one cause.

Don't try to address a long chain of effects in one paper. Acknowledge that many effects of various kinds exist, and then limit your discussion to the most important ones.

Transition words that suggest to the reader that you are discussing effects include the following:. Employees at companies that offer flexible work schedules are more productive and file fewer claims for mental-health benefits; consequently, the number of companies offering flextime is on the rise. As a matter of argument, you could claim that the example above shows two linked effects of the flextime policy: First, it caused employees to be more productive; and second, their enhanced productivity, in turn, caused more companies to adopt flextime.

Linked causes and effects are typical of this type of paper. Predicting results Cause and effect papers often make predictions based on known facts, trends, and developments. Prediction moves from the known and observable into the unknown and possible.

## Main Topics

Cause and effect is one of the most commonly misunderstood concepts in science and is often misused by lawyers, the media, politicians and even scientists themselves, in .

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Establishing Cause and Effect. A central goal of most research is the identification of causal relationships, or demonstrating that a particular independent variable (the cause) has an effect on the dependent variable of interest (the effect).