Rhetorical Strategy of Cause-and-Effect Analysis

A cause and effect relationship can be best described as something that enables an event to occur. For example, “Upon seeing that his daughter’s boyfriend had rutted up the yard, Marcus was seething with rage.” Here, the cause is the boyfriend rutting up the yard and the effect is the father simmering with rage. Authors will sometimes use this strategy to speculate on possible effects of a particular cause, or maybe which event caused specific effects that we now see.


Rhetorical Strategy of Cause and Effect Analysis
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                             Rhetorical Strategy of Cause-and-Effect Analysis


When an author is engaged in a cause-and-effect analysis, the author is primarily concerned with explaining why something happens or describing the consequences of something. Authors have different goals of a cause and effect analysis, but there are three common goals that a writer may have.

One is to outline previously unknown consequences of a familiar event.

Another is to speculate about possible causes for a known problem.

The third common reason is to show how one thing influences another.

So, a writer may pick any of these reasons to write a cause-and-effect analysis. It is not necessary for the author to assert a firm conclusion in a cause-and-effect analysis. The author doesn’t need a firm conclusion. Often just asking some pointed questions will be sufficient.

That’s a look at the author’s side of a cause-and-effect analysis. However, the reader does have some responsibilities when reading a cause-and-effect analysis. It’s important that you as the reader always consider whether the arguments made by the author are both sensible and coherent.


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Last updated: 04/06/2018
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