Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Cause-Effect Explanations—Planning Guide



Use this planning guide to define the key details for your cause-effect explanation. When you are through, you can e-mail this planning information to yourself, your instructor, or both.
  1. Find a simple project involving the discussion of causes, effects, or both. Describe that project in the input box below:

  2. Define a purpose and audience. Describe the purpose and audience of your cause-effect discussion in the input box below:

  3. Do some research. List the information sources you've found for this project in the input box below:

  4. Identify the causes, effects, or both. In the input box below, list the causes or effects (or both) that you'll discuss:

  5. Identify relationships between the causes and effects. In the input box below, take some notes on how the causes and effects are related: multiple? telescoping? hypothetical?

  6. Plan how to write each cause-effect section. In the input box below, take some notes on how the kind of information you'll use to write each cause-effect section:

  7. Plan and develop graphics. List and describe the graphics you would need in your cause-effect discussion in the input box below:

  8. Sketch the headings you'll use. List the headings you would use in this cause-effect discussion and briefly describe the contents of those sections:

  9. Plan an introduction. In the input box below, try rough-drafting an introduction in which you indicate the topic and purpose and provide an overview of the rest of the cause-effect discussion:

  10. Consider adding a conclusion. Take a look at the ideas for conclusions in Chapter 3 of Power Tools for Technical Communication and sketch your ideas for your own in the input box below:

  11. Consider the format. In the input box below, describe the format you'll use for your cause-effect discussion:

  12. Review and revise your rough draft. When you've written the rough draft of your cause-effect discussion and reviewed it, use the input box below to describe the problems you find:

    Your name:
    E-mail this planning information to me:
    E-mail this planning information to my instructor:


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