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Teacher Tips and Answers

Revising Cause-Effect Essays

After you've completed a first draft of your cause-effect essay, take a break before you begin revising. You need to see your work objectively, because when you revise, you make big improvements to your ideas, organization, and voice. These activities will help you revise.

Revising for Depth of Detail

Each middle paragraph should fully explain the specific cause or effect identified in the topic sentence. If a paragraph lacks support, you need to add details to the paragraph.

Check depth of detail.

Briefly list the supporting details in each of your middle paragraphs. Do any paragraphs lack the level of detail of the others? If so, add supporting details, such as facts, reasons, and examples. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

Middle Paragraph 1

- Healthy Hunger-Free Act

- Lack of nutritional value with old lunches

- Too much weight gain and not enough activity for kids

Middle Paragraph 2

- More fruits and veggies

- Fresh produce from farms

- Whole grains

- Grilled meat with no sauce or breading

Middle Paragraph 3

- Not as much salt or sugar

- Sauce is lacking

- New spices being added for flavor

- Fresh fruit and veggies taste great

Middle Paragraph 4

- One scoop instead of two

- Smaller portions of potatoes and rice

- Nutritionists recommended the size

Teaching Tip

Use this lesson to help students deepen their explanations. Additional research may be needed to discover new details.

Revising for Focus

You can revise paragraphs for focus by developing one main idea and cutting unrelated details.

Unfocused paragraph (includes too many ideas and unrelated details)

One major cause of erosion is water. Over time, rainfall splashes against rock, causing it to wear away. Strong wind is another major cause of erosion. Crashing waves produce a similar impact. Huge waves can be dangerous for swimming. Lastly, powerful floods lead to rapid erosion.

 

Revised paragraph (one main idea developed in detail)

One major cause of erosion is water. Over time, rainfall splashes against rock, causing it to wear away. Crashing waves produce a similar impact. Lastly, powerful floods lead to rapid erosion.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Cause-Effect Essays unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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