A Cause and Effect analysis establishes the reasons that something occurred or the effects or consequences that follow from a particular event, which often are linked in a chain. By definition, causes precede effects, so a cause-and-effect analysis involves a linear or chronological order. If you are analyzing effects, typically you begin by identifying the subject that produced the effects then move to enumerate or explain what those effects were. Are they linked in a chain? Did they happen in a definite sequence? If so, you would follow that chronological/linear order in your analysis. If not linked in a chain, you could organize them from the immediate to the remote or from the primary to the secondary in engaging in a spatial pattern, according to geographic locations/spaces. See Patterns, pp. 315-31.


Many societal issues cause today’s college students to question the meaning of life’s existence. They wonder what causes an individual’s choice and what the effect/s of that choice can be, for example, the decision to attend college/university and the selection of one’s major or one’s college/university. While in college, students must continue to make choices that determine their success. Outside the academy, the demands of society continue to influence human behavior. Beyond all these, nature continues to be indifferent to human behavior. For your paper, choose a societal issue that concerns you at the moment. Consider the short- and long-term effects of the issue and its cause/s. Some suggested topics from which to choose only one for analysis are: 1. Gun ownership in the U.S. 2. Mass incarceration 3. Civil discourse 4. The quality of K-12 education 5. Disaster preparation 6. Environmental pollution


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