What is a Cause and Effect Essay?
With every action comes a certain reaction. To understand how a cause and effect essay works let’s break down its definition. A cause and effect essay is a format of writing where the paper writers describe the reasons and actions that lead to certain consequences or results. Even though the essay can have a variety of different structures, the primary goal is to show a logical consequential correlation between Point A (an action, event, etc.) and Point B (a result, outcome, consequence). However, there are a few steps you need to complete before jumping into writing.
Table Of Contents
The Cause and Effect Essay is one that asks you to explain what reactions come from certain actions and why. Normally, you would be given a certain scenario in which an action occurred. From there, using things such as logic and analysis, outcomes (reactions) must be carefully crafted and explained.
Where Do I Begin?
When you receive your assignments, whether it is for college, university or high school, make sure to read the directions to identify the requirements thoroughly. More often you will have to choose your own cause and effect essay topics. Therefore, brainstorming is a must.
In most cases, the information you already have will not be sufficient to write a detailed, captivating paper, that is why you will be required to perform research to acquire as much additional information as you can. If the format of your essay allows you to include visuals, then the following will help you to support provided information:
- Cause and Effect Venn Diagram
- Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer
- Cause and Effect Anchor Chart
If you are sure that you have acquired enough material and selected one of the cause and effect topics, then it's time to build an outline.
- Pollutions effects on society
- Internet’s influence on youth development
- Drugs impact on the human body
- Uber effect on taxi companies
- Causes and Effects of Lying
- Causes and Effects of Natural Disasters
The cause and effect essay outline is going to serve you as a guide for the rest of the paper. It will help you to stay on track and include all the ideas you have initially pinned down. This paper is commonly written in a 5 paragraph style, but it allows a variation. Depending on the topic of analysis and the depth of the content, cause and effect essays will vary in length. However, the general format will still stay the same. Just like all papers have an introduction, body and a conclusion, the cause and effect essay is no exception.
Before you begin writing, create a cause and effect chart which has two sections. It should include the main points and details relating to Point A and Point B. It will help you to see the bigger picture and to create logical transitions between the two sides
Furthermore, you can create a cause and effect graphic organizer. Not only does it make the process smoother, but getting that visual allows for the creation of even more ideas and analysis!
The main purpose of the introduction is to inform the reader of the topic of conversation, giving if needed. The highlight of the introduction is to provide a relevant thesis statement, explaining the cause and its effect.
Hook: The sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Since we are doing cause and effect, this could be some foreshadowing or some rhetorical question. Its main purpose is to serve as an appetizer for the reader to get a sense of what's to come!
Background Information: In this case, background information is very important. Not only does it give more insight towards the cause, but sometimes can help explain some of the effects. This is especially true if we are talking about a historical topic such as World War 2 or some Natural Disaster. Another key point is to make sure that this information follows a linear path. State information that helps understand the cause(s), instead of just filling up space. It should also be applied towards the main point (thesis) of the essay.
Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is the main point of the entire argument in one sentence. Along with the setting of the situation, it should state the general point of your entire essay in a few words. The goal of the essay is to prove the thesis statement, so make sure that it flows accordingly with what you plan on writing about in your main body paragraphs.
Also, it's super important to base your essay around the thesis statement. The type of content that you provide depicts what kind of thesis statement you should have. Make sure they match!
All body paragraphs should always have some kind of introductory sentence and an assertive concluding sentence. However, the “meat” of the paragraphs isn’t absolute.
Great news, this is the part of the essay where variety is in abundance! Unless we are specifically writing a 5-paragraph essay, there are a lot of options in turns of forming the paper. Assuming we are using the 5 paragraph style, there are 3 options to pick from.
Obviously, these should be picked according to the subject of discussion. Sometimes there are situations where one thing creates mass chaos, or many small parts create one big problem. Depending on the situation, it’s important to pick the paragraph style accordingly.
If we aren’t using the 5 paragraph style, then you are free as a bird when it comes to choosing your approach. The options come from as simple as one cause and one effect body to having multiple paragraphs that each contain a cause-effect style.
Being meticulous in these paragraphs is super important. For example, if you are using the Cause-Effect-Effect style, the first paragraph should specifically be focused on the causes. It’s also incredibly important to make sure that there is an evident correlation between the initial cause and the duel effects. Once again, depending on the content you have to provide, the essay should be organized to suit your information efficiently and neatly.
Just like the introductory paragraph, this paragraph has 3 parts that practically follow the reverse order of the intro. The highlight of the conclusion is to create an impact upon the reader before fully concluding, emphasizing the strength of your argument!
Restatement of Thesis: Now would be a good time to check if your thesis statement was actually proven by your body paragraphs. After confirming the following, the paraphrased sentence should assertively state that the thesis has been proved.
Summarizing Main Argument: You should use this section to simplify your argument into a couple concise sentences. Explain the general outline of the cause and effect from one to three sentences. The strength of this sentences is incredibly important. The manner in which the main argument is summarized shows the reader the proficiency of the content. Also, make sure these summaries come back to that core thesis statement.
Overall Concluding Statement: Just like your hook gave a thrilling intro to your essay, you must know provide a meaningful conclusion. This argument was developed for a specific purpose, whether an essay for college or a presentation at work. Just like in a court case, it’s necessary to provide the importance of your argument. In other words, explain why your argument should be taken seriously and present the consequences if ignored. You wrote this essay for a purpose, not just to get a good grade. (Or at least I hope so….)
Additional Writing Tips
In the preparation stage, it is always a very good idea to read other cause and effect essay examples to understand the structure better. Not only it will allow you learn more about the outline, but help you to distinguish between good and bad papers.
If the project is quite substantial and important, then you will need an in-depth understanding of the topic. One of the things that our writing service always recommend is to involve yourself in extra activities. Cause and effect games will help you understand the concept of action - reaction system and cause and effect worksheets can give you a detailed perception of your topic.
Finally, you have to review the paper on multiple occasions.
- Print out a hard copy and edit it yourself with a red pen. Watch the flow of your transitions. Make sure there is a logical connection between different ideas.
- Send your paper to someone who is more experienced in writing than you are and more aware about your theme. Let them give you professional feedback.
- Send your paper to someone neutral, to receive impersonal, straightforward reader review.
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Selecting the right topic for your cause-and-effect essay is very important. When selecting the topic, make sure that the events you’re writing about definitely have a cause and effect relationship. Sometimes things are statistically significant, but remember the golden rule: correlation is not causation. If you’re not assigned a specific area of study for your essay, then write about something that has a proven link between it. A good topic would be “smoking and insomnia” or “fast food and obesity”. The article mentions several types of the cause-and-effect essay, but you some effects have more than one cause. This is another good type of cause-and-effect essay to explore writing about. A good example of a topic like this would be “causes of amnesia”. In an essay like this, my advice is to try your best to not veer off of your topic. Be brief when branching on to other areas of expertise and stick to your outline while writing.
If you still have any doubts about the quality of your essay, make sure to check out our essay writer service to find the most highly-trained writer that can proofread or write your essay for you.
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What is a Cause and Effect Essay?
A cause and effect essay is the type of paper that author is using to analyze the causes and effects of a particular action or event. A curriculum usually includes this type of exercise to test your ability to understand the logic of certain events or actions.
If you can see the logic behind cause and effect in the world around you, you will encounter fewer problems when writing. If not, writing this kind of paper will give you the chance to improve your skillset and your brain’s ability to reason.
“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
In this article, we’ll find out how to create an outline for your cause and effect essay – the key to successful essay writing.
Types of the Cause and Effect Essay
Before writing this kind of essay, you need to draft the structure. A good structure will result in a good paper, so it’s important to have a plan before you start. But remember, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel: just about every type of structure has already been formulated by someone.
If you are still unsure about the definition of the essay, find that out with our guide: What is an Essay?
Generally speaking, there are three types of cause and effect essays. We usually differentiate them by the number of and relationships between the causes and the effects. Let’s take a quick look at the various kinds:
Many causes, one effect
This kind of essay illustrates how different causes can lead to one effect. The idea here is to try and examine a variety of causes, preferably ones that come from different fields, and prove how they contributed to a particular effect. If you are writing about World War I, for example, mention the political, cultural, and historic factors that led to the great war.
By examining a range of fundamental causes, you will be able to demonstrate your mastery of the topic.
Here is how to structure this type of essay:
- Cause #1
- Cause #2
- Cause #3 (and so on…)
- The effect of the causes
One cause, many effects
This type of cause and effect essay is constructed to show the various effects of a particular event, problem, or decision. Once again, you will have to demonstrate your comprehensive knowledge and analytical mastery of the field. There is no need to persuade the reader or present your argument. When writing this kind of essay, an in-depth knowledge of the problem or event’s roots will be of great benefit. If you know why it happened, it will be much easier to write about the effects.
Here is the structure for this kind of essay:
- The Cause
- Effect #1
- Effect #2
- Effect #3 (and so on…)
Chain of causes and effects
This is the most challenging type. You need to maintain a chain of logic that demonstrates a sequence of actions and consequences, leading to the end of the chain. Although this is usually the most interesting kind of cause and effect essay, it can also be the most difficult to write.
Here is the outline structure:
- Cause #1
- Effect #1 = Cause #2
- Effect #2 = Cause #3
- Effect #3 = Cause #4 (and so on…)
Cause and Effect Essay Outline Example
Let’s take a look at an example. Below, you will find an outline for the topic “The causes of obesity” (Type 1):
- Introduction: Nowadays, people are overweight because of their increasing consumption of unhealthy food, a lack of physical activity, and their refusal to work with fitness trainers.
- People are eating a lot of unhealthy food that is cheap, easy-to-consume and contains a lot of calories. (Include statistics: how many people regularly consume unhealthy food.)
- People don’t move enough. Causes: inactive jobs, laziness, and not enough information about the consequences.
- People don’t want to visit a specialist. If they did, they would be informed about the causes of obesity and offered a plan to solve the problem.
- Effect: Until those problems are solved, people will become more and more obese. (Include a prognosis about obesity rates over the next decade.)
- Conclusion: Junk food, a lack of physical activity, and a refusal to visit a doctor are the three leading causes of obesity. We hope that the situation will change. (Include some examples of what each person can do about the problem)
As you can see, we used a blended strategy here. When writing about the ever-increasing consumption of unhealthy food, it is logical to talk about the marketing strategies that encourage people to buy fast foods. If you are discussing fitness trainers, it is important to mention that people need to be checked by a doctor more often, etc.
How do I start writing once I have drafted the structure?
If you start by structuring each paragraph and collecting suitable examples, the writing process will be much simpler. The final essay might not come up as a classic five paragraph essay – it all depends on the cause-effect chain and the number of statements of your essay.
In the Introduction, try to give the reader a general idea of what the cause and effect essay will contain. For an experienced reader, a thesis statement will be an indication that you know what you are writing about. It is also important to emphasize how and why this problem is relevant to modern life. If you ever need to write about the Caribbean crisis, for instance, state that the effects of the Cold War are still apparent in contemporary global politics.
In the Body, provide plenty of details about what causes led to the effects. Once again, if you have already assembled all the causes and effects with their relevant examples when writing your plan, you shouldn’t have any problems. But, there are some things to which you must pay particular attention. To begin with, try to make each paragraph the same length: it looks better visually. Then, try to avoid weak or unconvincing causes. This is a common mistake, and the reader will quickly realize that you are just trying to write enough characters to reach the required word count.
Moreover, you need to make sure that your causes are actually linked to their effects. This is particularly important when you write a “chained” cause and effect essay (type 3). You need to be able to demonstrate that each cause was actually relevant to the final result. As I mentioned before, writing the Body without preparing a thorough and logical outline is often an omission.
The Conclusion must be a summary of the thesis statement that you proposed in the Introduction. An effective Conclusion means that you have a well-developed understanding of the subject. Writing the Conclusion can be one of the most challenging parts of this kind of project. You typically write the Conclusion once you have finished the Body, but in practice, you will sometimes find that a well-written conclusion will reveal a few mistakes of logic in the Body!
Cause and Effect Essay Sample
Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own cause and effect essay. Link: cause and effect essay sample: advertising ethic issues.
Tips and Common Mistakes from Our Expert Writers