Why did Ed Gein commit those murders?
Charting Cause and Effect
Let us chart the causes and effects of a monster.
- Don’t jump to conclusions
- Appreciate your limits. We don’t know why so we have to follow the evidence from effect to cause.
- Offer sufficient evidence for claims
Understanding Causal Relationships
As a class, we are going to clearly define the types of causal relationships:
- reciprocal causes
- contributing factors
Causality: the relationship of cause and effect
Once you understand these concepts, the charts you create to map cause and effect can become more complex.
You should identify the types of causal relationships on your charts (you might use different types of arrows, different colors, or simply labels to show what kind of cause is being mapped).
- Necessary Cause: any factor that must be in place for something to occur.
- Sufficient Cause: is a condition that always produces the effect in question.
- Precipitating Cause: the proverbial straw that breaks a camel’s back.
- Proximate Cause: nearby and often easy to spot.
- Remote Cause: may act at some distance from an event but be closely tied to it.
- Reciprocal Cause: you have a reciprocal situation when a cause leads to an effect that, in turn, strengthens the cause.
- Contributing Factors: add to the causes to bring about the effect.
1. Emphasizing Causes
- Why did X happen?
- Why does X happen?
- Why will X happen?
Example: Why did Ed Gein kill those women?
- Cause 1 – ____________________________
- Cause 2 – ____________________________
- Cause 3 – ____________________________
- Event – ______________________________
2. Emphasizing Effects
- What did X produce?
- What does X produce?
- What will X produce?
Example: What impact did Ed Gein have in pop culture? or What is the lasting impact of Ed Gein?
- Event – _______________________________
- Effect 1 – ______________________________
- Effect 2 – ______________________________
- Effect 3 – ______________________________
3. Causal Chain
Cause > Effect 1 > Effect 2 > Effect 3
Example: Ed Gein > Psycho novel > Psycho movie > Slasher Films > Silence of the Lambs
Developing your Essay
- Present a reasonable thesis statement.
- Make it logical
- Make it supportable
- Don’t use absolutes, instead use
- may be
- a contributing factor
- main reason
- Limit your discussion to recent and major causes or effects.
- Organize your essay clearly.
- Use one of the formats above
- Convince your reader that a causal relationship exists by showing how the relationship works.
- Use specific details and examples to show the relationship.
Rough Draft of Causal Analysis
Causal Analysis systematically examines the causes and/or the effects of an event, situation, belief, or action. Cause asks: Why did it happen? Why does it happen? Why will it happen? Effect asks: What did it produce? What does it produce? What will it produce? By carefully analyzing …
At an earlier stage, place students in small groups and ask them to create short skits that illustrate a form of causal relationship. They can perform these skits for the class, and the rest of the students can guess (like the game Charades) what type of relationship is being shown. For instance, to illustrate remote causes, the students might show a scene of a young man illegally downloading music. Then they might depict a musician pawning his guitar to buy groceries. This activity helps students understand, apply, and retain the multiple types of causal relationships.
Google Search Terms
- Causal analysis
- causal relationships
- necessary cause