How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

What is a Cause and Effect Essay? A cause and effect essay is a piece of academic writing that investigates the causes of a certain issue and its ramifications. It involves researching available evidence and crafting logical claims concerning the topic. Students writing this type of essay should demonstrate great critical thinking skills and an […]

Posted: September 1st, 2021

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay
How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is a piece of academic writing that investigates the causes of a certain issue and its ramifications. It involves researching available evidence and crafting logical claims concerning the topic. Students writing this type of essay should demonstrate great critical thinking skills and an ability to develop cause-effect reasoning. A cause and effect essay is a type of expository essay, meaning that you should base it on clear facts and research. While writing the essay, stick to great vocabulary, neutral tone, and formal style. Ensure that your cause and effect essay is well-structured to make your assertions clear to your reader.

What Is the Purpose of a Cause-and-Effect Essay?

A cause is that which makes the occurrence of an event. The effect is what has already happened. The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to discover how different variables are connected to each other in relation to results and origin. For example, if a civil war is witnessed between two communities, the causes or reasons for the conflict are arguable and could be several.

What’s more, this type of essay tries to investigate why something took place and concentrates on the effect of the consequences of the event. It is essential to note that a cause and effect essay only has rationale if the causes are directly linked to the results.

Types of Causes

An event or situation may have several causes. The different causes can be classified into three types:

  1. Immediate Cause: This is a most recent cause. Let’s take the example of snowfall. The sun heats up water and it evaporates into the atmosphere. Once the evaporated water reaches the atmosphere, it cools down and precipitates as snow. Several causes lead to snowfall with the most immediate cause being that raindrops freeze in low temperatures in the atmosphere. 
  2. Principal Cause: It is the major cause accountable for an event. The principal cause may or may not be an immediate cause.
  3. Independent Cause: This is a cause independent of the events. This means that the cause and the effect may not be directly related or may have no relationship at all.

Cause and Effect Essay Structure

The structure of a cause and effects essay includes the standard parts of an essay; the introductory paragraph and the concluding paragraph. However, the main body of this essay varies depending on the task and your preferences.

Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

The introduction paragraph lays the foundation for the entire paper; it should be short but precise. Before you start writing, plan you paper to establish what you will argue about. This will be helpful when introducing your topic. Consider different ways of attracting your readers’ attention, in form of a hooking phrase or statement.

After determining your hook, write an outline of the general information on the topic and its contents. Use this section to familiarize the readers with the topic and concentrate their focus on your argument.

Create a good cause and effect thesis statement before concluding the introductory paragraph. The thesis statement should talk about the topic rather than just announcing it. Use the topic as a base. All your assertions should support the thesis statement.

Main Body Paragraphs (Causes)

Normally, you need to provide several causes of the issue. This will demonstrate to your supervisor that you have evaluated the issue from different viewpoints. You can single out one cause as the most significant and describe it first and then discuss the secondary causes. Remember to allocate one paragraph a specific idea, thus, each cause should be in a separate paragraph.

To introduce and create your claim, use the standard paragraph format:

  • Start with a topic sentence
  • Present credible evidence
  • Support the evidence with reliable information
  • Finish with a concluding sentence

Such an organized cause and effect essay structure is solution to effective writing. It enables the smooth running of the text and effective conveying of ideas. The structure should be used to present causes and effects under discussion.

Main Body Paragraphs (Effects)

When creating body paragraphs concentrating on effects, you should make a reasonable connection causes already mentioned. Only concentrate on the direct consequences of the issue as the message should be clear to your audience. This will help you make logical claims.

Present the effects under discussion through a topic sentence. It is advisable to conduct research and cite credible sources to validate your point. Use the correct referencing format to cite your sources, such as MLA, APA, Chicago or Harvard. Explain you evidence using relevant comments, which involves adding your interpretation of the issue without paraphrasing other people’s thoughts.

Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

This is the final section of the cause and effect essay structure. Restate your thesis statement in the conclusion paragraph, but do not write it the same way it appears in the introduction paragraph.  The objective is to remind your reader about your argument.

Another essential feature of a concluding paragraph is a summary of the key points. Establish what your major findings and claims are and collect them in a short paragraph.

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Do you have the benefit of choosing a cause and effect essay topic? If you are having problems choosing a topic for your essay, choose one from the list provided below. You don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about an essay topic.

  1. How does divorce affect children?
  2. How does abortion affect a relationship?
  3. What causes homelessness and how does it affect the society?
  4. How does stress affect health? 
  5. How do violent video games affect a child’s behaviour and cognition?
  6. What are the causes and effects of addiction to exercise?
  7. The rate of college dropouts is on an all time high: causes and effects.
  8. How does war or street violence affect a community?
  9. What are the effects of poor housing conditions?
  10. How is the society affected by a lack of freedom?
  11. What promotes good mood in a person?
  12. The effects of stress on working but studying students.
  13. Why is mental health as important as physical well-being?
  14. How is a person’s productivity improved by regular workout?
  15. What causes sport violence and what are its effects?

Step-By-Step Guide of Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Writing a good cause and effect essay is a challenging task, especially for students doing it for the first time. The following guide will help you compile an excellent cause and effect essay paper.

Create a Topics List

The first action in creating a cause and effect essay is to compile a list of potential topics, mainly if you have not been assigned one by your instructor. It is not easy to select an idea without a good strategy. So, you are advised to make a list of several topics and then pick the most interesting one.

Brainstorm the Topic

After choosing your topic, you need to decide on the best way to handle it. For example, you can choose to begin by examining the causes of an event and then finish by stating the results. Ensure that the ideas captured in the list are credible an adequate.

Do your Research

Carrying out research is a vital approach when creating an academic paper. Ensure that you use information from verifiable and credible sources, such as books and journal articles. Also, read widely to obtain relevant and sufficient content to make your paper an interesting read.

Develop your Thesis

After identification of your cause and effect essay topic, it is time to craft a cause and effect thesis statement to validate your selection of the idea.

Craft an Outline

As stated earlier, an outline is a guiding plan to write the cause and effect essay. Just to recap, an outline should consist of the following:

  • An introductory paragraph consisting of background information about the essay topic and a cause and effect thesis statement.
  • The main body paragraphs where the student discusses the topic’s main points.
  • A conclusion paragraph, which highlights the key points and restates the thesis statement.
  • Compose the Draft

After outlining your work, you can now write a draft of the cause and effect essay paper. The document you create should be well-formatted with the correct structure. When you finish writing this draft, proofread and edit the paper to produce a suitable final draft ready for submission.

Essential Skills Needed to Write a Good Cause and Effect Essay

Every essay has a purpose that goes beyond the subject. As hard it might be to believe for some people, essay writing is an effective and practical way to improve different skills you will use throughout your life. This is one of the reasons why students write academic essays. The following are skills you enhance while writing a cause and effect essay.  

  • Writing skills – when you work on different assignments, you sharpen your writing skills. Writing a cause an effect essay also helps you do this.
  • Organizational skills – every aspect of our lives needs good organization to get things done. Cause and effect essays improve the ability to get organized. The way you arrange the causes and the effects to keep your readers interested and avoid creating more confusion about the subject is proof of this. While carrying out your research, you can identify a large number of causes and effects. It is essential to have good organizational skills to include and categorize ideas in your essay correctly.
  • Attention to details – a cause and effect essay is not just about identifying a cause and its subsequent consequences, it highlights and digs deep into causal links we don’t easily notice. For this to be possible, you should pay attention to details. Regular cause and effect essay writing enhances this skill and it will eventually benefit you, especially in a working environment.
  • Objective thinking – the objective is to establish a causal link between two situations or ideas without allowing your emotions to interfere with your writing. Being impartial is a great skill to have as it helps you look responsible and authoritative.

Writing Tips

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to discuss some topics in detail and talk about its cause and effects. Do not worry as it is natural to get concerned and too much stress is not a good thing. To reduce stress, you should be aware of all the tips and tricks that ease the writing process.

  • Comprehend cause vs. effects – students often mix up the two. Cause is the reason or catalyst behind the occurrence of an event while effect is the consequence.
  • Research – no matter what type of paper you are writing, you must research. Investigate the subject from various viewpoints, think outside the box, and gather information to use later.
  • Build significant links – you should explain effects by appropriately linking them to causes. The relationship has to be solid and thoroughly discussed. Stay away from causes and effects with a barely noticeable link.
  • Quality above quantity – do not pile causes and effects following each other. Ensure that you provide deeper insight into their association and provide evidence to sustain your claims. A high-quality cause-effect link ranks above quantity.
  • Select the method – cause and effects can be arranged in chronological order, considering their significance, or categorize them. Choose a method that is most logical to you.
  • Flawless transition – use transition words to avoid choppiness. Transition words let you switch from one idea to another smoothly. Causes use transition words such as since, first, because, due to, etc. Words for effects include thus, therefore, hence, thereby, consequently, etc.
  • Remember the objective – the purpose of this essay is to enlighten the reader about causes and effects linked to some subject; it rarely involves convincing the reader to adopt your viewpoint.
  • Be impartial – you may like or dislike an idea, agree or disagree with someone, love or hate, but this should never be evident in the paper. You should be objective and unbiased in a cause and effect essay.
  • Do not exaggerate – you may sometimes be tempted to exaggerate the causes or effects in order to make a stronger impact. Avoid exaggeration and strictly stick to the facts.
  • Evidence – stating a cause and its subsequent effect is not enough; you should support it with evidence. Use credible publications, journals, and other valued sources to obtain evidence.

To Wrap Up

As illustrated in this guide, proper organization is essential when writing an excellent cause and effect essay. You should be clear when stating the reasons for a specific problem and describe its impact. Despite the outline having some variations in the main body, you should still write a compelling introduction and a considerate concluding paragraph.

If you invest sufficient time and effort in preparing a cause and effect essay, your professor will grade it appropriately. But, if you are confused when handling such tasks or find them to be too time-consuming for your schedule, you can hire custom essay writing service to help you. You can drop us a request to write a cause and effect essay and have some valuable moments free from related stress and other academic assignments.

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