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Cause and Effect

The essays below examine the cause-and-effect relationship of their subjects. You can learn to use this pattern here and here.

All writers in this collection speak for themselves—and themselves alone.

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America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

Kevin Drum, writing for Mother Jones magazine, explains the effects that lead has had on crime rates.

Cause and Effect Modern Challenges Mixed Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Bears Do It

New Yorker staff writer David Owen explores some reasons why panda bears living in captivity have problems reproducing.

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Epcot Taught Me to Love International Food

Writer Alexandra Owens describes how she discovered international cuisine by visiting EPCOT's World Showcase in Walt Disney World.

Cause and Effect Identity First Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Graphic Ads Motivate Smokers to Quit

Tips from Former Smokers, the US government's anti-smoking ad campaign, focuses not on the possibility of death but on the poor quality of life resulting from cigarette smoking, leading many smokers to quit their habit.

Cause and Effect Modern Challenges Third Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.

CEO Kyle Wiens explains the correlation between someone's grammar competence and that person's readiness for professional life.

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The Other Huxtable Effect

Film and television expert Jason Bailey explores the feminist impact of Cosby Show character Clair Huxtable.

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Paper Boys: Inside the Dark, Labrinthine, and Extremely Lucrative World of Consumer Debt Collection

Jake Halpern, reporting for the New York Times, explores the ways debt collectors operate and provides useful tips for beating them at their own game.

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The Perfect Essay

John Kaag, a professor of philosophy and expository writing, explains how his mother's constant and consistent criticisms of his essays affected his writing.

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The Source of Bad Writing

Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, explores how people think and how that thinking process is often unclear to the audience.

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Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness

Andrew Solomon, who writes about psychology and popular culture in the New Yorker, considers the complexity of Robin Williams's suicide.

Cause and Effect Identity Mixed Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Teenage Brains

Why do young people make the choices they do? The answer lies in their biology, not just their rebelliousness.

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Upon Some Verses of Virgil

Michel de Montaigne, writing in the seventeenth century, expands upon eros and marriage and other human problems.

Cause and Effect Love and Relationships First Person Discussion Questions & Writing Prompts

The Volcano That Changed the Course of History

English professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood describes the global impact of Mount Tambora's 1815 eruption.

Cause and Effect TImes and Places • Third Person Discussion Questions & Writing Prompts Connect with Author

Why I Quit the Company

Tomoyuki Iwashita, once employed in a "dream" job, examines the effects of his working for a traditional, demanding Japanese company.

Cause and Effect Identity First Person Discussion Questions & Writing Prompts