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Chapter 12. You Got Some 'Splaining to D... > The Perfect Couple: Cause and Effect - Pg. 134

You Got Some 'Splaining to Do, Lucy: Exposition 134 The cause always takes place before the effect: Something happens, which leads to a result. But the cause and effect don't have to be presented in time order in the passage. The effect may be presented first, even though the cause occurred earlier. Check It Out How can you make sure you're on target when you write cause-and-effect papers? Use this check- list: I've shown a clear cause-and-effect relationship between events. Just because one event occurred before the other doesn't mean that causality exists. Perhaps there's another explanation for the events--coincidence, accident, and so on. Here's false causality: "24 hours in a day ... 24 beers in a case ... coincidence?" The answer is, yes, it is. Don't push the envelope; if there's no causality, don't invent it. The cause-and-effect relationship I describe is valid. Just because something happened once doesn't mean that true causality exists. For the relationship to be valid, it has to be repeated. That's why you wait at least a week before you take that toilet-trained toddler out of diapers. I've included all relevant causes and effects. Look beneath the surface to find every factor that affects your analysis. When you omit one or more pertinent causes and effects, you weaken your writing (but you do keep your readers busy poking holes in your thesis). Chain Gang As you learned in Chapter 11, "Personal Best: Revising and Editing," writers often use transitions to signal specific relationships among ideas. Following are the transitions most often used to signal cause and effect relationships. Like well-timed flowers and candy, the right transitions can help you cement relationships. Write Angles An immediate cause is an event that comes directly before an effect and helped bring it about. A underlying cause is not immediately apparent; a remote cause is distant from the effect. as a result consequently for this (that) reason if ... then since so that thus because due to for nevertheless so therefore this (that) is how As you read the following passage about the Titanic, see if you can find the causes and effects. Then fill in the chart that follows: A Night to Remember