Reading Comprehension Cause and Effect Help (page 4)

Updated on Sep 21, 2011


Understanding cause and effect is an important skill not only for reading comprehension, but also for your daily life. To analyze the events happening around you, you must be able to understand why those events happened—what caused them. Similarly, to make decisions or evaluate the decisions of others, you must be able to consider the effects of a possible decision. "Reading" not only texts, but also events and situations, requires you to understand cause and effect.

TIP: Whenever you read the newspaper, be sure to read with a skeptical eye—sometimes causes and effects aren't entirely black and white. For example, parents, teachers, superintendents, and students might provide different opinions on why a particular school is failing based on their own personal biases or hidden agendas.

  • Don't be swayed by the use of emotional rhetoric and finger-pointing tactics.
  • Focus on judging the cause (why something happened) and the effect (what exactly happened) by determining which party is presenting the most logical and valid conclusion based on documented factual information, examples, and specific, detailed explanations of a cause or sequence of causes that resulted in a particular effect.

Practice exercises for this concept can be found at Reading Comprehension Organization Practice Test.

Test your knowledge at Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test.

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