Assuming Causes and Predicting Effects Help (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Determining Implied Effects

In order to learn how to determine implied effects, take another look at Mr. Miller (the man who had a radio stolen from his car) and the parking garage where he parks. Reread the statement of the parking garage manager as well as the one from Mr. Miller's neighbor and then use these statements to predict how the robbery will affect Mr. Miller and the parking garage.

Parking garage manager

Radios have been stolen from four cars in our parking garage this month. Each time, the thieves have managed to get by the parking garage security with radios in hand, even though they do not have a parking garage identification card, which people must show as they enter and exit the garage. Yet each time, the security officers say they have seen nothing unusual

Mr. Miller's neighbor

Well, Mr. Miller's a pretty carefree person. I've borrowed his car on several occasions, and a few times, I've found the doors unlocked when I arrived at the garage. He often forgets things, too, like exactly where he parked the car on a particular day or where he put his keys. One time, I found him wandering around the garage looking for his keys, which he thought he had dropped on the way to the car, and it turned out the car door was unlocked anyway. Sometimes, I wonder how he remembers his address, let alone to take care of his car.


Based on these two paragraphs, which of the following effects would be logical results (effects) of the thefts? Circle the correct answers.

  1. Security will be tighter in the parking garage from now on.
  2. People walking in and out of the garage will be required to show their identification cards with no exceptions.
  3. The security officers will be fired.
  4. Mr. Miller will get his radio back.
  5. Mr. Miller will be more careful about locking his car door.
  6. Mr. Miller will get a new car.
  7. Some people who currently park in the garage will find a new garage where they park their cars.
  8. Mr. Miller will be more careful with his keys.


Effects 1, 2, 5, 7, and 8 are logical predicted outcomes.

Effect 3 is not likely because it is too extreme; the parking garage manager's statement does not suggest that he plans to fi re security guards. Rather, it suggests that he plans to look into the security problem.

There is nothing in either statement to suggest that effect 4 (Mr. Miller will get his radio back) is correct.

Finally, there is no reason at all to think that Mr. Miller will get a new car because his radio was stolen. He'll likely get a new radio and perhaps he'll look for a new parking garage, but there's no evidence from the two statements to suggest that a new car is a likely possibility.


In reading, particularly in reading literature, as well as in real life, you often have to figure out what the causes of a particular event or situation might have been. The same is true of effects: Both in reading and in life, you spend a lot of time trying to predict the outcomes of real or predicted actions or events. If you "read between the lines" without going too far beyond what the passage (or real - life event) actually contains, you can usually do a pretty good job of predicting these causes and effects.

TIP: When you are trying to determine the cause of a particular event or action, remember that there are various factors that influence the cause, including:

  1. social
  2. emotional
  3. cultural
  4. environmental
  5. economic
  6. psychological
  7. physical
  8. religious
  9. familial

Practice exercises for this concept can be found at Reading and Drawing Conclusions Practice Test.

Test your knowledge at Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test.

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