Cause and effect essays are a common writing task for students, one which forces students to often review either a cause or an effect, and not necessarily both in the same paper.
1) Writing about a Cause
If you are assigned, or opt personally, to write about a cause, your goal is to present what lies at the foundation or start of something. If you are writing about discrimination, then the cause of the discrimination would be anything that begets it, anything that is responsible for its start. This can be cultural differences, immaturity among school children or young children, a lack of knowledge or ignorance about another culture, feelings of inferiority, competition in the classroom or workplace, or even racial tendencies that were taught by parents or by specific aspects of culture like movies or books. You can select a good cause from the list of topics on Chinese students’ discrimination.
2) Writing about an Effect
If you are assigned, or opt personally, to write about an effect, your goal is to present the outcome or the end result of something. In this part you can avail of facts that concern Chinese students’ discrimination. If you are writing about it, then the effects of discrimination would be anything pertaining to the influence the discrimination itself has on the students who faced it. This can be emotional damage, psychological changes, family issues, educational progress, work success, etc… The effect can be positive, negative, or both. You can present both positive and negative effects in a single paper, or you can emphasize one over the other.
In any case, the process for pre-writing and writing remains the same:
- Picking Your Topic. If you were assigned a topic, this part is easy. If not, think about whether you want to focus on a cause or effect, and which things about either are most interesting to you.
- Conducting Research. When you are researching your topic, take notes. Write down important facts you want to use with proper bibliographic information so you will have it. Use this time to make notecards for the big arguments you are making and for the supporting evidence you have.
- Writing an Outline. The outline can take any shape or design you want, something that can be simple bullet points or larger sentences that are complete and comprehensive.
- Completing a Draft. The draft should be simple if you have a good outline. Use the draft as the first writing phase. Remember that no first draft is perfect and you will likely rewrite it several times.
- Proofreading and Editing. These are two very different items which many students assume are one and the same. Editing should be done first. Editing is where you look at bigger picture items such as the content itself, the flow, and any supporting evidence. Your goal in editing should be to find areas that do not really hold your argument together well, or areas where you need more evidence. Proofreading is the final item to be completed, one where you find spelling mistakes or grammatical errors or even typographical errors through a line-by-line review.
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