Tara Tyler asked that I do a post on effect and affect, so I'm going to do that for this week's Grammar Daze.
Effect is typically used as a noun. (Noun = person/place/thing/idea.)
Affect is typically used as a verb. (Verb = action word. It's what you do. To be or not to be. Or in this case, to affect or not to affect.)
An easy way to remember the distinction is to use alliteration. In this case, we'll use effect and elephant. They both start with E and they're both nouns.
If you want to know whether you should use effect or affect in a sentence, replace the word with elephant to see if it's the noun that you need. If it is, use effect. Like so:
The effect was enormous.
Effect is the subject of this sentence. To be sure, replace it with elephant.
The elephant was enormous.
Now, for affect. People are affected by things happening. In this case, we will find another verb that starts with A. Let's go with assassinate.
It will affect us.
Let's see if this works with an alternate verb.
It will assassinate us.
In a few cases, effect is used as a verb. In this case, it's usually to show achievement of a final result, as in: "They will effect a new law." As I said, most of the time, you'll use effect as a noun.