By: Leanne R.
11 min read
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Jun 9, 2020
A cause and effect essay is another type of expository essay explaining why one thing happens and how it affects the other.
Cause and effect essay writing is based on how an event or thing affects another event. Such essays explain this cause and effect relationship between different things and inform the readers about it.
These effects could both be short and long term.
This blog will make you understand how to write a cause and effect essay step by step and will also provide samples to help you.
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In this world, everything is inherently interconnected.
The rain makes the soil wet, and the plants grow. In the domino effect, when one domino is toppled, it hits the next, and then the next, and so forth, etc.
To understand the question of what does cause and effect mean, this essay will explore the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of a situation.
Cause and effect essay definition states that such an essay serves to illustrate why certain things occur or situations arise. It also examines the consequences of those events, actions or phenomena.
School students and college students equally struggle with writing correctly structured essays that depict precise and factual information.
If you are a high school or college student; chances are that you will have to write this type of essay.
Staying on this website will equip you with the skills to analyze the events and deliver an impactful cause and effect essay.
The theme of this essay type revolves around the causes and multiple effects of certain issues, problems or situations.
At a basic level, these essays are of three types.
1. Effect-Focused Method
The analysis is focused on one or multiple effects that the occurrence of an event has had.
2. Cause-Focused Method
The analysis is focused on the different causes that lead to the event.
3. Causes and Effects-Focused Method
The analysis is focused on both the causes and the effects. The reason why something happened and the impacts it had.
The major aim of these essays is to develop student’s skills in analyzing the events in depth.
These essays test the ability of students to present analytical and problem-solving skills involving various topics that impact our lives and our societies.
Effective topics may revolve around the following subject matters: social, political, medical, environmental and food-related issues. Cause and effect essay topic for college is mostly based on these subjects.
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There are 2 main structures of writing a cause and effect essay. You need to choose one before starting your essay.
1. Block structure
In a block structure essay, you will first write all the causes and then all the effects of your topic.
In block structure, there can be an effect-focused essay or a cause-focused essay.
Here is a visual representation of a block structure for your essay
2. Chain Structure
In the chain structure, you have to write a cause followed by its effect. Every cause should be followed by its possible effect. This is what your essay will look like if you follow the chain structure.
|Cause and Effect 1|
|Cause and Effect 2|
|Cause and Effect 3|
Some of the effective essay topics can be written efficiently by following the block structure. While some others fit into the chain structure.
It all depends on the choice and expertise of the students to present their points in an effective and convincing manner.
Before moving towards writing an essay, drafting an outline is quite important. It is essential in the case of writing a cause and effect essay because students have to consider the causes and effects of some issue or situation, without missing anything.
An essay outline provides the chance of following a specific guideline to ensure all the instructions are followed efficiently.
In order to write a cause and effect essay outline, you can follow this simple structure.
Writing based on personal beliefs and opinions shatters the whole purpose of such essays. You can’t make a logical argument regarding the cause and effects of a particular situation or action.
You therefore need sound reasoning and authentic examples to prove your point.
Staying on this website will allow you the opportunity of learning the tips to create impactful content.
1. Choose an Engaging and Significant Essay Topic
Selecting a topic is the easiest but trickiest part.
Students often get confused when it comes to how to write a cause and effect essay. Because they choose a topic for a cause and effect essay, which sets them for failure.
If you plan to choose the title “My Visit to my Grandparents’ House” and think it is correct as you will write the effects of your visit in the essay, then you are wrong!
Your topic should be based on logic and you should create a connection between the events.
For instance, if you choose the title “Effect of grandparents on my personality”, then this is an effective topic.
Cause and effects of the second world war on the United States or anorexia nervosa are also perfect effect essay topics.
Looking for more topics for your cause and effect essay?
Feel free to explore these cause and effect essay topics and pick any topic of your choice.
2. Start Your Research
After topic selection, move to the research section.
First tip: don’t go straight to the paper and start writing your first draft. Take a deep breath and analyze all aspects of the topic.
Ask questions! Why? What? How? When?
Look at the present state of the topic. Inspect the previous stages and analyze future effects!
The more you research the more familiar you will become with the topic at hand. And it will help understand different aspects of your topic, giving you better ideas to write.
Along with reading different journals, scholarly articles, books for information, another helpful source is cause and effect essay samples. Go through different samples written by other students, this will not only give you insight about your topic, but will also help understand the essay structure better.
3. Craft a Thesis Statement
Once you have decided on your topic and gathered relevant information, the next step is to craft a thesis. The thesis statement of your essay will inform the reader why you chose the particular topic, its importance and the purpose of the paper.
Keep in mind that your thesis shouldn’t be personal. Consider the feelings of your audience and they should also be able to resonate with it. Give reasons as to why you care about a particular issue, that others will understand as well.
Go check out this article for a better understanding of writing a thesis statement
4. Write a Rough Draft
Don’t rush to put words down on paper.
Collect your thoughts and write down all the ideas and important points on paper. Your rough draft can be based only on these key points.
Don’t worry about making it perfect at this stage. Just jot down your thoughts, assemble them and perfect it later.
To write an effective essay, a structured outline should be followed. Once you are done writing, it is essential to polish your final draft.
5. Write a Cause and Effect Essay Introduction
You must have heard the phrase “the first impression is the last impression.” Similarly, the impression that your essay introduction leaves on the reader decides whether they will read further or not.
To make sure that the reader is impressed by your opening lines and is intrigued to learn more, use an attention grabber – hook.
A hook sentence acts as a tool to attract the reader’s attention, motivating them to read further. There are different types of hook sentences that you can use depending on your topic. Learn more about them from our blog on hook examples.
The next step is making your audience/reader familiar with the essay topic. Begin with a general introduction to the topic followed by the thesis statement. Understand the difference between cause and effect before you start writing. Give a general idea of your topic in the first paragraph.
The most important part of the introduction is the thesis statement. A thesis statement is the foundation of your essay and informs the reader of the purpose of writing the essay. Relate your topic to the current situation and its importance.
6. Compose and Arrange the Body Paragraphs
It is important to provide plenty of details you have collected on your topic regarding the causes and effects of your topic.
Assemble all the data with relevant examples to create credibility in your academic writing. The cause and effect essay should be based entirely on facts.
Link the causes to the effects using transitional words in your body paragraphs.
Successfully linking causes and effects depends on the approach you are following for your essay.
You may use either one of the structures mentioned above to present the causes and effects of your topic.
7. End with a Powerful Conclusion
Restate the thesis statement that you proposed in the introductory paragraph in the last paragraph. A well-written and precise conclusion gives closure to the entire argument and context of the essay.
Cause and effect essays are easy to write, just stay focused and try to create impact through your words and use of evidence.
Doing so will create chaos in your essay and the reader won’t be able to understand the information stated in the paragraphs.
When writing the body section, dedicate each paragraph to separate the ideas.
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Following are a few cause and effect essay samples which will help you explore cause and effect essay prompts.
Here are some good cause and effect essay topics:
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Cause and effect papers use strong analytical skills to examine the reasons for or outcomes of an event. These are often written as a way in which someone could potentially discover how something happened.
Such as why one particular decision led them down their current path-or if there were any other factors involved that caused the said outcome
Knowledge is power. Understanding how a single event can result in multiple effects, and then pinpointing that one cause for each of those results will help the students develop into analytical thinkers with the ability to work on their own.
A person who can think about the interconnected causes and effects of social events will be more successful in their day-to-day life. It's no surprise, then, that if you have this skill set your chances for success with solving real-world problems are much greater!
PhD Essay, Literature
Leanne is one of the most experienced writers on our platform and holds a Ph.D. degree from Cambridge. She has worked as a journalist, an editor, and a content creator for newspapers, magazines, and websites around the world. Leanne’s research and writing skills are unsurpassed making her one of the best-reviewed writers on our platform.