An essay may begin with an effect or series of effects and then be followed back to its original cause or begin with a cause or series of causes and then be followed back to its effect



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See Cause and Effect Packet to begin gathering ideas for your essay when the reading is complete. Follow the calendar for the reading schedule.
The battle between good and evil is a major theme in this drama. You will be writing a cause and effect essay that addresses this idea. How can a person’s value system or philosophy become weakened? Do you think values can still exist but be buried or ignored? Use examples from Macbeth in your essay to support your ideas. You may also draw upon other characters from this year’s reading to add to your discussion. Show either the causes that lead to the effect or the effects that lead to the cause.
See the vocabulary handout and study question guide for each act.
Cause or effect additional information to consider: Because cause or effect essays need a clear structure, most essays are written in chronological order. Sometimes chronological order is reversed. An essay may begin with an effect or series of effects and then be followed back to its original cause or begin with a cause or series of causes and then be followed back to its effect. Also, because casual causes and effects cannot be proven beyond a doubt to be true, you will want to use words from the lists below to qualify your reasons.

Signal Words in Cause and Effect Writing:

Cause and Effect Degrees of Certainty Levels of Importance

as a result certainly above all

because may equally important

consequently necessarily finally

due to perhaps first

if…then possibly initially

leads to probably last

therefore undoubtedly primarily

Cause and effect essay checklist:

_____Thesis is written in a complete statement and without the use of cause or effect in the statement. Also, it is not stated by saying “these three things or by saying what the three things are.”



Here are some sample thesis statements for a cause and effect paper for Macbeth: “It is the inborn belief that life can always improve, coupled with ambition, that leads to Macbeth’s descent into immortality.”; “Macbeth unquestionably had the unquenchable thirst for power that could not have been corrupted by the evil influences if he did not already have that desire.”; “Although Macbeth eventually became a minion of darkness, he still retained obvious attributes from having once been a good man.”
_____There is an introduction that begins with an interesting lead, other than a question, that is connected to the thesis. The title of the play and author are cited. Here is an example of how to begin a basic opening including the title and/or author. Start by briefly summarizing your subject. This can be done with a statement of “what and how about the play. In this play Macbeth, Shakespeare writes about (what?)_______________ by (how?)____________________. Then add your thesis after the opening or any other information and then your thesis. Of course, you may do more with your lead and then lead to this statement. Here is an example from another text: In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, the boys allow themselves to be terrorized by the beast because deep down they want it to exist. By creating a physical object to represent everything they are afraid of, the boys can base their fears on something tangible and distant, rather than something close and personal. (thesis)

_____There is a catchy/original title related to your thesis or discussion.


_____The essay is typed in the correct format-1inch margins, double-spaced, heading in upper right-hand corner and the font is size 12.
_____An effective presentation for your ideas is either the cause stated first, supported by specific effects, or the effect is stated first, supported by specific causes.
_____There are transitions from one point to the next, and one point and its evidences are in more than one paragraph, if need be.
_____There are three causes or three effects discussed by using concrete details and examples.
_____Three key quotations are worked into the sentence as support for the three key points (one quotation for one point). The quotations are cited using, for example, (1.3. 56-57).
_____Edits are done-spell check, correct use of commas, no run-ons or fragments, correct use of verbs and pronouns. No you, yours, we, us and so on. You may use I with a personal example.
____ Word choice or sentence variety/combining is improved to enhance the writing.
____There is an effective conclusion that does not retell all of the main points but makes a last overall statement in relation to the topic.

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