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Assuming Causes and Predicting Effects Help (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Determining Implied Causes Practice and Answers

Practice

  1. Why does Brenda get angry?
    1. because Anne is unfriendly
    2. because she had a bad day at work
    3. because Anne didn't do the dishes
    4. because Anne is lazy
  2. Why didn't Anne do the dishes?
    1. She had just arrived home.
    2. She wanted to start a fight.
    3. She was too lazy.
    4. She wants Brenda to get a new roommate.
  3. What does Anne do that shows she doesn't intend to shoulder her share of the responsibilities?
    1. She turns off the television.
    2. She begins to wash the dishes in the sink.
    3. She always helps around the house.
    4. She talks on the phone with a good friend.

Answers

  1. c. Brenda's face "hardens" with anger when she sees the dishes in the sink. You can tell she expects the kitchen to be clean when she comes home. Anne waits for Brenda to begin her "daily inspection," and when she walks in, she looks around the kitchen as if she's inspecting it. Then she sees the dishes and her face hardens. She asks why the dishes are still in the sink. Further, she reminds Anne about the company she is expecting.
  2. b. You can tell Anne is not worried about Brenda's reaction because she is watching television instead of cleaning the kitchen. She knows Brenda is going to check the kitchen and that Brenda is going to be mad about the dishes when she sees them. As Anne waits, she thinks about what she is going to say to Brenda.
  3. d. Anne's actions speak loudly. She answers the phone and discontinues a conversation that is important if the two of them intend to remain roommates.

TIP: Remember, in some stories the effect can be witnessed before the cause, while in other stories the cause is presented before the reader witnesses its effects.

  1. Effect followed by cause: A withering natural landscape that has been badly damaged by environmental toxins is vividly described before the cause of the devastation is explained.
  2. Effect followed by cause: A shattered window is discovered before the details about the cause of the breakage are revealed.
  3. Cause followed by effect: A professor discovers that her student has been cheating on exams and fi les a disciplinary complaint the next day.
  4. Cause followed by effect: A person starts eating extra portions of fast food and has to purchase larger pants to accommodate an expanding waistline.

Finding Implied Effects

Just as writers can imply cause, they can also suggest effects. In the practice passage you just read, Anne clearly had a specific goal. She purposely decided not to do the dishes in an act of rebellion. Why? You know a little bit about Anne and Brenda from the passage. Use that knowledge to answer the following question. What do you think Anne was hoping to achieve? What effect do you think she was looking for?

  1. Brenda would do the dishes herself for once.
  2. Brenda would get herself a new roommate.
  3. Brenda would stop being so neat and so regimented.

How can you tell that number 3 is the best answer? You have to look carefully at the passage. Anne says, "Relax. I've got all night." But Brenda has her own priorities. She says she is expecting company. Anne responds by ignoring her and turning to a phone conversation.

The passage doesn't directly say so, but from these clues, you can conclude that Anne's personality is more relaxed than Brenda's. That's why she didn't do the dishes and that's also why she gladly took a phone call.

But will she get the effect she hoped for? Take another look at the passage, paying close attention to the end. What do you think? Will Anne get her wish? Will Brenda change her ways? Why do you think so?

Most likely, Anne won't get her wish. How can you tell? The end of the passage offers a strong clue. Brenda clearly wants to resolve the situation, but she can't compete with the telephone and probably not with Anne's relaxed personality.

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