Professor Tashman

Cause and Effect Paragraph

A cause makes a thing happen; an effect is what results when that thing happens. If you brush your teeth and your teeth get white, then brushing is the cause and whitening the effect. A cause-and-effect paragraph helps us understand why things happen: the tsunami in Japan, the war in Vietnam, the spike in teenage obesity.

While cause-and-effect paragraphs may help writers explain politics, human behavior, and the hard sciences, they can also be misleading. If a school, for example, has high reading scores, it may have nothing to do with the  teachers and everything to do with students. If I happen to be an honest fellow with good study habits and the ability to make friends, it may have nothing to do with how my parents raised me and everything to do with my DNA.

Nevertheless, a cause-and-effect paragraph can be a valuable tool for explaining outcomes and trends, and an excellent way to predict future trends

Cause-And-Effect Paragraph

In New York City, fifty percent of all public school teachers leave the classroom within their first five years on the job. While the teachers union and others charge that the high attrition rate is due to the salary gap between city teachers and their brethren in the suburbs, the real problem is student behavior. There are approximately 1.1 million public school students, and many of them have problems that make it hard for them to sit still for five hours a day. They may come from homes with no books, where TV sets blare all day, where no parent or  sibling has a college degree, where generations of kids have found the world of academics foreign, frustrating, and fruitless. Because many of these students cannot read a menu or calculate two-digit addition problems, they find long hours in the classroom tortuous. And while classrooms can absorb one or two of these kids—that is, the teacher can teach with a minimum of disruption—classrooms with four or more problem students reach a critical mass. The bad kids tip the good kids, and the simplest lesson becomes a test of wills between teacher and student. Only the most patient teacher can endure more than a couple of years of these daily battles. If she wants to keep teaching, she flees for greener pastures —schools like Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, La Guardia—or a school in Westchester. The result is alarming: perhaps half of the city’s 1000 schools have green-horn teachers with only a few years experience. Many of these novices don’t know their subjects and don’t know how to control a room filled with difficult kids. Many soon find non-teaching jobs. As a result, the teaching profession, at least the way it’s practiced in New York City, becomes a form of slumming, something to do until you grow up—like the Peace Corps or the army.

crazy teacherChoose one of the following topics and write a cause and effect paragraph:

Why is Paris Hilton, someone with minimal talent and iffy looks, so popular?
What is one cause of weight gain?
Why do blacks dominate the NBA?
Why do women, despite their frequent denials, love asshole men?
Despite so much evidence that prayer does not work, why do so many people persist in praying fervently and often?
Why hasn’t soccer, the world’s most popular sport, caught on in America?
How does smoking marijuana affect your mental health?
How does flattery work, even when the person being flattered knows you are a lying liar?
Why is it easier to seduce a married woman then a single one?
What is the effect of high interest rates on the stock market?
Although it is fake, why is professional wrestling so popular?
Choose your own topic.



  1. hey!!
    i was just reading your topics on cause and effect and one of the choses was “Despite so much evidence that prayer doesn’t work, why do so many people persist in praying fervently and often?” actually there is A WHOLE LOT OF EVIDENCE THAT PRAYER DOES WORK!!!! you should be talkin bout yourself,IT says in the bible pray in faith!!!and everytime i pray God Always answers ALL my prayers.. sometimes when you ask something absurd it wont happen, but if its God’s will He will Answer every PRayer…. the scriptures in the bible promise it! Mt 21:22……….whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.Jn 14:14……….If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.1Jn 5:14……….Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.Jn 15:7…………If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you………….. Can you please take that topic off your list 😀 Thanks

  2. i think the other reader’s right. prayer WORKS! thanks for posting this anyway. you’ve helped me with my assignment! yeepee…! who’s the fat guy? uh.. never mind.

  3. irina is totaly right!!!! prayer does work and i also ask that “Despite so much evidence that prayer does not work, why do so many people persist in praying fervently and often?” be taken off..thanks

  4. Oh, yes. Prayers definitely work.
    Tell that to the parents who prayed by their child’s bedside as they wasted away into death from a disease. Then again, that may just be “absurd” by your standards… I don’t believe prayer works, I’m sorry.

    I do, however, think this list is thought provoking. Thank you!

  5. Oh, How can you say prayer doesnot work? Some one somewhere has prayed for you or you would not be here today. Read God’s word there is your prove he lives.

  6. In response to the people that commented on the “Despite so much evidence that prayer does not work, why do so many people persist in praying fervently and often?” topic, I think that everybody is entitled to there own opinion. Weather or not the person that created this website believes in God or not is irrelevant. He/She is explaining what a Cause and Effect paragraph is and it helped me understand it more clearly.

    BTW It’s a good topic to discuss!

  7. hey, im catholic, and, when i was young, my mom would always drag me to church with her, and i would never really enjoy it. Now that im old enough to make decisions on my own, i still choose not to go to church. I go very RARELY, only on catholic holidays ( easter, xmas, lent, etc…) does this make a me a bad catholic? im not a bad person, im just a catholic who goes to church about 7 times a year?

    Also, i havent been to confession since i was 14.
    Im 17 now.

  8. Also, i am really starting to lose faith in God. I’ve just thinking about the subject of religion alot…

    Would a person like me, who doesn’t go to church very often, but still Is a good human being, still go to heaven when i die?

  9. Nope, you will burn in hell. Have fun. No really you will burn.

    Having those topics about prayer or Bush worded they way are is just assinine. These are not good topics for cause and effect paragprahs at all. There are about a billion other example one could use, but in order to be cute or inflammatory he gives extremely poor examples like these. Next time, don’t try so hard.

  10. Prayer works, believe me. Only God knows who’s going to heaven. If you consider yourself a good person,then, don’t worry and continue like that. God is not only in the church but everywhere, specially in your heart. Don’t lose your faith! All the information about paragraphs was useful but the list. It is really weird and useless

  11. professortashman

    God is a comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh
    — H.L. Mencken

  12. aleksandr smechov

    All these kids saying shit like “prayer works!” and telling Tashman to remove the prayer example can suck a dick. Stop enforcing your pussy views on others. Hard work and balls make things happen. All these people won’t be shit when they grow up

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