Cause and Effect Essay Outline: Types, Examples and Writing Tips

20 June, 2020

9 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

This is a complete guide on writing cause and effect essays. Find a link to our essay sample at the end. Let's get started!

Cause and Effect

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is the type of paper that the 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.

cause and effect essay

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, the  Handmade Writing team will 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 an essay, you can take a look at 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 different causes and the effects. Let’s take a quick look at these three different cases:

1. Many causes, one effect

Cause and effect graphic organizer

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 historical factors that led to the great war.

By examining a range of fundamental causes, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge about the topic.

Here is how to structure this type of essay:

  • Introduction
  • Cause #3 (and so on…)
  • The effect of the causes

2. One cause, many effects

Cause and effect chart

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, 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 its effects.

Here is the structure for this kind of essay:

  • Effect #3 (and so on…)

3. Chain of causes and effects

Cause and effect pictures

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:

  • 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) :

Cause and effect examples

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 food. If you are discussing fitness trainers, it is important to mention that people need to be checked by a doctor more often, etc.

In case you face some issues with writing your Cause and Effect essay, you can always count on our Essay Writers !

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.

Five paragraph essay graphic organizer

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. 

Related Post: How to write an Essay introduction | How to write a Thesis statement

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. Notably, 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

College essay tips

Check out Handmadewriting paper writing Guide to learn more about academic writing!

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10.8 Cause and Effect

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of cause and effect in writing.
  • Understand how to write a cause-and-effect essay.

The Purpose of Cause and Effect in Writing

It is often considered human nature to ask, “why?” and “how?” We want to know how our child got sick so we can better prevent it from happening in the future, or why our colleague a pay raise because we want one as well. We want to know how much money we will save over the long term if we buy a hybrid car. These examples identify only a few of the relationships we think about in our lives, but each shows the importance of understanding cause and effect.

A cause is something that produces an event or condition; an effect is what results from an event or condition. The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a cold may be easily identifiable: a sore throat, runny nose, and a cough. But determining the cause of the sickness can be far more difficult. A number of causes are possible, and to complicate matters, these possible causes could have combined to cause the sickness. That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given effect. Therefore, cause-and-effect discussions are often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments.

Use the complex nature of cause and effect to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to find the exact cause of an event or to name the exact effect. So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of a number of causes or effects to be the primary, or main, cause or effect. As soon as you claim that one cause or one effect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis.

Consider the causes and effects in the following thesis statements. List a cause and effect for each one on your own sheet of paper.

  • The growing childhood obesity epidemic is a result of technology.
  • Much of the wildlife is dying because of the oil spill.
  • The town continued programs that it could no longer afford, so it went bankrupt.
  • More young people became politically active as use of the Internet spread throughout society.
  • While many experts believed the rise in violence was due to the poor economy, it was really due to the summer-long heat wave.

Write three cause-and-effect thesis statements of your own for each of the following five broad topics.

  • Health and nutrition

The Structure of a Cause-and-Effect Essay

The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.

The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways:

  • Start with the cause and then talk about the effects.
  • Start with the effect and then talk about the causes.

For example, if your essay were on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the effect of childhood obesity and then discuss the cause or you could start the same essay by talking about the cause of childhood obesity and then move to the effect.

Regardless of which structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay fully and completely. Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and anecdotes.

Because cause-and-effect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of certain words and phrases that denote such linkage. See Table 10.4 “Phrases of Causation” for examples of such terms.

Table 10.4 Phrases of Causation

The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed.

Be careful of resorting to empty speculation. In writing, speculation amounts to unsubstantiated guessing. Writers are particularly prone to such trappings in cause-and-effect arguments due to the complex nature of finding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make.

Look at some of the cause-and-effect relationships from Note 10.83 “Exercise 2” . Outline the links you listed. Outline one using a cause-then-effect structure. Outline the other using the effect-then-cause structure.

Writing a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-effect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both.

Organize your essay by starting with either the cause-then-effect structure or the effect-then-cause structure. Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and effects using a full range of evidence. If you are writing about multiple causes or multiple effects, you may choose to sequence either in terms of order of importance. In other words, order the causes from least to most important (or vice versa), or order the effects from least important to most important (or vice versa).

Use the phrases of causation when trying to forge connections between various events or conditions. This will help organize your ideas and orient the reader. End your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample cause-and-effect essay.

Choose one of the ideas you outlined in Note 10.85 “Exercise 3” and write a full cause-and-effect essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, strong evidence and examples, and a thoughtful conclusion.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related.
  • The thesis states what the writer sees as the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.

The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of these two primary ways:

  • Start with the cause and then talk about the effect.
  • Start with the effect and then talk about the cause.
  • Strong evidence is particularly important in the cause-and-effect essay due to the complexity of determining connections between phenomena.
  • Phrases of causation are helpful in signaling links between various elements in the essay.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Cause and Effect in Composition

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In composition , cause and effect is a method of paragraph or essay development in which a writer analyzes the reasons for—and/or the consequences of—an action, event, or decision.

A cause-and-effect paragraph or essay can be organized in various ways. For instance, causes and/or effects can be arranged in either chronological order or reverse chronological order. Alternatively, points can be presented in terms of emphasis , from least important to most important, or vice versa.

Examples and Observations

  • "If you prove the cause , you at once prove the effect ; and conversely nothing can exist without its cause." (Aristotle, Rhetoric )
  • Immediate Causes and Ultimate Causes "Determining causes and effects is usually thought-provoking and quite complex. One reason for this is that there are two types of causes: immediate causes , which are readily apparent because they are closest to the effect, and ultimate causes , which, being somewhat removed, are not so apparent and may perhaps even be hidden. Furthermore, ultimate causes may bring about effects which themselves become immediate causes, thus creating a causal chain . For example, consider the following causal chain: Sally, a computer salesperson, prepared extensively for a meeting with a client (ultimate cause), impressed the client (immediate cause), and made a very large sale (effect). The chain did not stop there: the large sale caused her to be promoted by her employer (effect)." (Alfred Rosa and Paul Eschholz, Models for Writers , 6th ed. St. Martin's Press, 1998)
  • Composing a Cause/Effect Essay "For all its conceptual complexity, a cause/effect essay can be organized quite simply. The introduction generally presents the subject(s) and states the purpose of the analysis in a clear thesis . The body of the paper then explores all relevant causes and/or effects, typically progressing from least to most influential or from most to least influential. Finally, the concluding section summarizes the various cause/effect relationships established in the body of the paper and clearly states the conclusions that can be drawn from those relationships." (Kim Flachmann, Michael Flachmann, Kathryn Benander, and Cheryl Smith, The Brief Prose Reader . Prentice Hall, 2003)
  • Causes of Child Obesity "Many of today's kids are engaged in sedentary pursuits made possible by a level of technology unthinkable as recently as 25 to 30 years ago. Computer, video, and other virtual games, the ready availability of feature films and games on DVD, plus high-tech advancements in music-listening technology have come down into the range of affordability for parents and even for the kids themselves. These passive pursuits have produced a downside of reduced physical activity for the kids, often with the explicit or implicit consent of the parents. . . . "Other fairly recent developments have also contributed to the alarming rise in child obesity rates. Fast food outlets offering consumables that are both low in price and low in nutritional content have exploded all over the American landscape since the 1960s, especially in suburban areas close to major highway interchanges. Kids on their lunch breaks or after school often congregate in these fast food outlets, consuming food and soft drinks that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and fat. Many parents, themselves, frequently take their children to these fast food places, thus setting an example the kids can find justification to emulate." (MacKie Shilstone, Mackie Shilstone's Body Plan for Kids . Basic Health Publications, 2009)
  • Cause and Effect in Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" "'A Modest Proposal' is a brilliant example of the use of non-argumentative devices of rhetorical persuasion . The whole essay, of course, rests broadly upon the argument of cause and effect : these causes have produced this situation in Ireland, and this proposal will result in these effects in Ireland. But Swift, within the general framework of this argument, does not employ specific argumentative forms in this essay. The projector chooses rather to assert his reasons and then to amass them by way of proof ." (Charles A. Beaumont, Swift's Classical Rhetoric . Univ. of Georgia Press, 1961)
  • Effects of Automobiles "I worry about the private automobile. It is a dirty, noisy, wasteful, and lonely means of travel. It pollutes the air, ruins the safety and sociability of the street, and exercises upon the individual a discipline which takes away far more freedom than it gives him. It causes an enormous amount of land to be unnecessarily abstracted from nature and from plant life and to become devoid of any natural function. It explodes cities, grievously impairs the whole institution of neighborliness, fragmentizes and destroys communities. It has already spelled the end of our cities as real cultural and social communities, and has made impossible the construction of any others in their place. Together with the airplane, it has crowded out other, more civilized and more convenient means of transport, leaving older people, infirm people, poor people and children in a worse situation than they were a hundred years ago." (George F. Kennan, Democracy and the Student Left , 1968)
  • Examples and Effects of Entropy "Because of its unnerving irreversibility, entropy has been called the arrow of time. We all understand this instinctively. Children's rooms, left on their own, tend to get messy, not neat. Wood rots, metal rusts, people wrinkle and flowers wither. Even mountains wear down; even the nuclei of atoms decay. In the city we see entropy in the rundown subways and worn-out sidewalks and torn-down buildings, in the increasing disorder of our lives. We know, without asking, what is old. If we were suddenly to see the paint jump back on an old building, we would know that something was wrong. If we saw an egg unscramble itself and jump back into its shell, we would laugh in the same way we laugh as a movie run backward." (K.C. Cole, "The Arrow of Time." The New York Times , March 18, 1982)
  • Writing Cause and Effect Essays for English Learners
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • Cause and Effect Essay Topics
  • Practice in Making a Simple Outline for a Cause & Effect Paragraph
  • How to Teach Topic Sentences Using Models
  • 50 Cause and Effect Journal Prompts
  • Definition and Examples of Climactic Order in Composition and Speech
  • Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
  • Definition and Examples of Paragraphing in Essays
  • Definition and Examples of Ethos in Classical Rhetoric
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • How to Use Exemplification in Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • Moving Past the Five Paragraph Essay
  • Practice in Using Quotation Marks Correctly
  • What is Classification in Grammar?

effect essay definition

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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: Writing Guide

Are you struggling with how to write a cause and effect essay? Worry no more! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of creating a compelling and well-structured essay that demonstrates critical thinking and persuasive argumentation. Let’s dive into the world of cause and effect essays and transform your writing skills!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Cause and effect essays are a type of expository writing which explore the relationship between a particular condition and its resulting effects.
  • Crafting an effective cause and effect essay outline requires understanding logical organization, critical thinking skills, structure selection based on topic focus, evidence from reliable sources, strong thesis statements & clear transitions.
  • Common mistakes to avoid include using weak evidence or inadequate organization that can lead to confusion for the reader.

Cause and Effect Essays and Their Peculiarities

Cause and effect essays are a unique form of academic writing that focuses on the reasons and consequences of a particular issue or event. These essays require a clear thesis statement, logical organization, and critical thinking skills to effectively present cause and effect arguments.

As opposed to other forms of essays, cause and effect essays aim to explain complex relationships in an orderly, rational format, utilizing an impartial, analytical tone.

Defining Cause and Effect Essays

A cause and effect essay, also known as an effect essay, is a type of expository writing that explores the relationships between particular conditions and their resultant effects. The effect essay definition helps readers understand the correlation between occurrences or situations and their results, as these essays delve into how one event (the cause) gives rise to another event (the effect).

Some common examples of cause and effect essays include topics such as the effects of climate change, the causes of poverty, and the effects of technology on society. These topics often lead to engaging cause and effect discussions, allowing readers to better understand the connections between various factors.

Objectives of Cause and Effect Essays

The main objectives of cause and effect essays are to:

  • Examine the causes and consequences of a particular issue
  • Instruct the reader regarding the relationship between two or more occurrences or circumstances
  • Identify and discuss events that lead to certain outcomes

These essays not only elucidate the cause and effect relationships between events or circumstances, but also help cultivate critical thinking and persuasive writing aptitudes.

Examples of cause and effect essays include “The Causes of Global Warming” and “The Effects of Social Media on Teenagers”. By understanding the objectives and structure of cause and effect essays, you can effectively analyze complex relationships and present your arguments in a clear, logical manner.

Crafting a Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Creating an outline for your cause and effect essay is an essential step in the writing process. An effective outline will help you organize your ideas, choose the appropriate structure, and ensure that your essay follows a logical flow.

This section will guide you through the process of crafting a cause and effect essay outline that includes an introduction, body paragraphs for each point, and a conclusion summarizing the main points of your essay.

Choosing the Right Structure

Selecting the right structure for your essay is crucial. Depending on your topic and focus, you may choose to focus on causes, effects, or a combination of both. For instance, an effect essay structure that examines causes elucidates how one or typically more causes lead to a single effect, with each cause being scrutinized in a distinct paragraph.

On the other hand, an essay that focuses on multiple effects involves analyzing how one or more effects result from a particular cause, with each effect examined in a separate paragraph.

Another option for structuring your essay is to explain the “domino effect,” where each body paragraph is dedicated to an event caused by some other event and resulting in one more event. This structure necessitates that causes assemble a chain, uniting the initial and final event in a logical sequence, elucidating the cause and effect process.

Developing Your Outline

When developing your cause and effect essay outline, consider the essay’s structure, the major topics to be addressed, and the data to be employed to sustain the topics. Moreover, it is essential to ensure that your essay is arranged in a rational fashion, and that the topics are clearly interrelated.

A well-constructed outline will include:

  • An engaging introduction that elucidates the issue
  • Pertinent body paragraphs that examine ideas related to the topic
  • An unambiguous conclusion that synthesizes everything without introducing fresh ideas.

By following these guidelines, you can create a detailed outline that will ensure your essay is well-organized, persuasive, and easy to follow.

Writing the Cause and Effect Essay

Now that you have a solid outline, you can begin writing your cause and effect essay. This section provides a step-by-step guide on how to write a cause and effect essay, including:

  • Brainstorming ideas and topics
  • Formulating a thesis statement
  • Constructing body paragraphs
  • Revising and editing your essay

By following these steps, you will be well on your way to crafting a compelling and well-structured cause and effect essay.

Brainstorming Ideas and Topics

The first step in writing a cause and effect essay is brainstorming potential topics and ideas. Consider your personal interests, the relevance of the topic to your audience, and the presence of clear causal relationships to guide your brainstorming process. Some possible areas to explore include:

  • Natural phenomena
  • Cultural movements
  • The development of ideas
  • The interconnectedness of characters, settings, and events in a work of literature

Remember that the goal of a cause and effect essay is to educate readers on the links between conditions and their repercussions, so it’s important to select a topic that allows for a clear understanding of these relationships.

Formulating a Thesis Statement

Once you have chosen your topic and brainstormed ideas, you need to create a strong thesis statement that identifies the cause-and-effect relationship you will explore in your essay. A good thesis statement should express an opinion about the topic, and the claims you make should uphold the opinion expressed in the thesis statement. For example, a thesis statement for an essay on social media addiction might be: “Social media addiction has a negative impact on mental health, as it leads to increased anxiety, depression, and isolation.”

With a strong thesis statement in place, you can proceed to construct well-organized body paragraphs that explore specific aspects of the causal relationship. Explaining complex relationships requires a clear and concise approach to ensure the reader’s understanding.

Constructing Body Paragraphs

When writing your body paragraphs, ensure that each paragraph focuses on one specific aspect of the cause-and-effect relationship, using clear topic sentences, transitions, and evidence from reputable sources to support your claims. For example, in an essay about social media addiction, one paragraph might explore the negative effects of virtual interactions on face-to-face communication, while another paragraph might discuss the link between social media use and increased anxiety levels.

Appropriate transitions and topic sentences are essential to maintain coherence and readability in your essay, so be sure to incorporate them throughout your body paragraphs.

Revising and Editing the Essay

After completing your first draft, take some time to revise and edit your essay to ensure clarity, logic, and persuasive argumentation. Begin by identifying major areas of concern, such as a lack of clear thesis statement or insufficient evidence to support your claims. Utilize peer reviews and editing checklists to receive feedback from others and identify any flaws in your essay.

Revise your essay for content, structure, and organization, ensuring that your essay is properly organized and that the content is clear and concise. Edit for sentence-level issues and typos, checking for grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes.

As a final step, proofread your essay by reading it aloud to detect any problems with continuity or coherence.

Examples of Cause and Effect Essays

Analyzing and learning from examples of cause and effect essays can greatly improve your own writing. By examining these examples, you can gain a better understanding of different organization patterns, structures, and writing styles commonly used in cause and effect essays.

In this section, we will explore how analyzing essay examples can help you refine your writing skills and apply the lessons learned to your own cause and effect essay.

Analyzing Essay Examples

When examining cause and effect essay examples, pay close attention to the organization, structure, and writing style employed by the author. This will help you understand how different organization patterns, such as the cause then effect structure or effect then cause structure, can be used in your own essay. By analyzing these examples, you can also learn how to effectively use evidence from reputable sources to support your claims and strengthen your argument.

Applying the lessons learned from analyzing essay examples can help ensure that your own cause and effect essay is well-structured, logical, and persuasive.

Applying Lessons from Examples

Now that you have analyzed examples of cause and effect essays, it’s time to apply the lessons learned to your own writing. Use the insights gained from examining these examples to create a strong thesis statement, organize your essay effectively, and present persuasive cause and effect arguments.

By incorporating the lessons learned from analyzing examples, your cause and effect essay will be well-structured, logically organized, and supported by strong, relevant evidence from reputable sources. This will ensure that your essay is not only compelling and engaging, but also informative and educational for your readers.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Even experienced writers can make mistakes when crafting cause and effect essays. By being aware of common pitfalls and knowing how to avoid them, you can ensure that your essay is strong, logical, and well-supported.

In this section, we will discuss some common mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them in your cause and effect essay.

Logical Fallacies

One common mistake in cause and effect essays is the use of logical fallacies, which are errors in reasoning that render an argument invalid. Examples of logical fallacies include false cause, hasty generalization, and straw man arguments. To avoid logical fallacies in your essay, ensure that your arguments are based on sound reasoning and supported by strong evidence from reputable sources.

By being aware of logical fallacies and ensuring that your arguments are based on sound reasoning, you can create a persuasive and logical cause and effect essay that effectively demonstrates the relationships between events or conditions and their outcomes.

Weak Evidence

Another common mistake in cause and effect essays is the use of weak or anecdotal evidence to support claims. This can undermine the credibility of your argument and make it less persuasive to your readers. To avoid using weak evidence, ensure that your claims are supported by:

  • Strong, relevant evidence from reputable sources
  • Statistical data
  • Expert opinions
  • Case studies

By using strong evidence, you can strengthen your argument and make it more convincing to your readers.

By using strong, relevant evidence to support your claims, you can create a compelling and well-supported cause and effect essay that effectively demonstrates the relationships between events or conditions and their outcomes.

Inadequate Organization

Inadequate organization is another common mistake in cause and effect essays. A poorly organized essay can be difficult to follow and may lead to confusion for your reader. To avoid this issue, organize your essay effectively using clear transitions, topic sentences, and a logical flow of ideas, especially when discussing multiple causes in cause and effect essays.

By organizing your essay effectively, you can maintain coherence and readability, ensuring that your cause and effect essay is both engaging and informative for your readers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start off a cause and effect essay.

To begin a cause and effect essay, start with an engaging introduction that introduces the topic and provides a clear thesis statement which states the main cause, main effect, or both.

Following this, organize the essay by presenting either the cause-then-effect structure or the effect-then-cause structure.

How do you write cause and effect examples?

Cause and Effect examples can be written in sentences by presenting either the cause first followed by the effect, or the effect first followed by the cause.

For example, “I ate tons of junk food, so now I feel sick” or “I feel sick because I ate tons of junk food.”

What is cause and effect essay?

A cause and effect essay is an expository essay that analyzes the relationships between specific conditions and their consequences, often within a larger issue.

It examines how one event (the cause) can lead to another event (the effect).

How do I choose the right structure for my cause and effect essay?

When deciding which structure to use for your cause and effect essay, consider the topic and focus of your writing. You could opt for focusing solely on causes or effects, or a mixture of both depending on the subject matter.

For example, if you are writing about the causes of global warming, you may want to focus on the effects of human activities on the environment. On the other hand, if you are writing about something, you are writing about something.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a cause and effect essay?

Avoid logical fallacies, weak evidence, and inadequate organization when writing a cause and effect essay to ensure your argument is convincing and clear.

In conclusion, writing a cause and effect essay can be a rewarding and educational experience. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can create a well-structured, logically organized, and persuasive essay that effectively demonstrates the relationships between events or conditions and their outcomes. Apply the lessons learned from analyzing examples, avoid common mistakes, and use strong evidence to support your claims, and you will be well on your way to crafting a compelling and engaging cause and effect essay.

effect essay definition

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: Full Guide

effect essay definition

Ever wondered how things are connected in our world? Think of the butterfly effect—where a butterfly's wings in Brazil can set off a tornado in Texas. It's a quirky idea, but it shows how events are intertwined. Writing a cause and effect essay is like unraveling these connections, connecting the dots to reveal how things influence each other and shape our experiences.

In this guide, experts from our paper writing service will explore the concept of causality and share practical tips for creating great cause and effect essays. These essays won't just provide information—they'll leave a lasting impression on your readers.

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is a form of writing that aims to explore and explain the relationships between different events, actions, or circumstances. The central idea is to investigate why certain things happen (causes) and what results from those occurrences (effects). It's like peeling back the layers to reveal the interconnectedness of events, understanding the domino effect in the narrative of life.

What is a Cause and Effect Essay

Here's a breakdown of the key components:

  • Causes: These are the factors or events that initiate a particular situation. They are the reasons behind why something occurs. For instance, if you're exploring the cause of obesity, factors like unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity could be identified as causes.
  • Effects: The effects are the outcomes or consequences that result from the identified causes. Following the obesity example, effects could include health issues, reduced quality of life, or increased healthcare costs.
  • Connection: The heart of a cause and effect essay lies in demonstrating the link between causes and effects. It's not just about listing events but explaining how one event leads to another in a logical and coherent manner.

When crafting such an essay, you're essentially acting as a storyteller and investigator rolled into one. Your goal is to guide the reader through the web of interconnected events, providing insights into the 'why' and 'what happens next.'

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay with Easy Steps

Understanding how to write a cause and effect essay is like putting together a puzzle. Here are ten simple steps to help you write an engaging essay that looks into how things are connected.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay with Easy Steps

1. Select a Specific Topic

  • Choose a cause and effect relationship that sparks your interest.
  • Ensure your topic is focused and manageable for a thorough exploration.

2. Explore Causal Links

  • Conduct thorough research to uncover hidden connections and supporting evidence.
  • Look beyond the obvious to identify intricate relationships between causes and effects.

3. Craft a Clear Thesis Statement

  • Develop a precise thesis that clearly articulates the main cause and the resulting effects.
  • Your thesis serves as the roadmap for your essay, guiding readers through your analysis.

4. Organize Chronologically or by Significance

  • Structure your essay in a logical order, either chronologically or by the significance of events.
  • This organization enhances clarity and helps readers follow the cause-and-effect progression.

5. Utilize Transitional Phrases

  • Employ transition words and phrases to ensure seamless flow between causes and effects.
  • Clear transitions enhance readability and strengthen the coherence of your essay.

6. Support Arguments with Credible Evidence

  • Back up your claims with relevant data, examples, and statistics.
  • Strong evidence adds credibility to your analysis and reinforces the cause-and-effect relationships you present.

7. Illustrate Chain Reactions

  • Show how a single cause can trigger a chain of effects, and vice versa.
  • Illustrate the ripple effects to emphasize the complexity of the relationships.

8. Analyze Root Causes

  • Move beyond surface-level explanations and explore the underlying factors contributing to the cause-and-effect scenario.
  • Deep analysis adds depth and nuance to your essay.

9. Consider Alternative Causes

  • Address potential counterarguments to showcase a comprehensive understanding.
  • Acknowledging alternative causes strengthens your essay's overall credibility.

10. Conclude with Impact

  • Summarize key points and emphasize the broader significance of your analysis.
  • Leave your readers with a thought-provoking conclusion that ties together the cause-and-effect relationships explored in your essay.

Cause and Effect Essay Structure Types

When setting up your essay, you can choose from different structures to make it organized. Let's look at two common types of cause and effect essay structures:

Cause and Effect Essay Structure Types

  • Block Structure:

The block structure is a clear and organized way to present causes and effects in your essay. Here, you dedicate one section to discussing all the causes, covering multiple causes within each category. After that, you have another section to explore all the effects. This separation makes your ideas easy to understand.

Using the block structure allows you to dive deep into each category, thoroughly looking at causes and effects separately. It's handy when you want to give a detailed analysis and show the importance of each part of the causal relationship. This way, readers can fully grasp each element before moving on.

  • Chain Structure:

On the other hand, the chain structure focuses on how events are connected and create ripple effects. It highlights how one cause leads to a specific effect, and that effect becomes the cause of more effects in an ongoing chain. This method is potent for illustrating the complexity of causal relationships.

The chain structure works well when you want to emphasize the sequence of events or deal with intricate cause-and-effect scenarios. It allows you to show how actions trigger a series of reactions, displaying the domino effect that leads to a specific outcome.

Regardless of the structural style you choose, if you require assistance with your academic paper, reach out to us with your ' write my paper for me ' request. Our experienced team is ready to tailor your paper to your specific requirements and ensure its excellence.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Creating an effective cause and effect essay begins with a well-structured outline. This roadmap helps you organize your thoughts, maintain a logical flow, and ensure that your essay effectively conveys the causal relationships between events. Below, we'll outline the key components of the essay along with examples:

I. Introduction

  • Hook: Start with an engaging statement or fact. Example: 'Did you know that stress can significantly impact your overall health?'
  • Background Information: Provide context for your topic. Example: 'In today's fast-paced world, stress has become an increasingly prevalent issue.'
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main cause and its corresponding effects. Example: 'This essay will explore the causes of stress and their profound negative effects on physical and mental health.'

II. Body Paragraphs

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the first cause you'll discuss. Example: 'One major cause of stress is heavy workload.'
  • Supporting Details: Provide evidence and examples to support the cause. Example: 'For instance, individuals juggling multiple job responsibilities and tight deadlines often experience heightened stress levels.'
  • Transition: Link to the next cause or move on to the effects.
  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the first effect. Example: 'The effects of chronic stress on physical health can be devastating.'
  • Supporting Details: Present data or examples illustrating the impact. Example: 'Studies have shown that prolonged stress can lead to cardiovascular problems, including hypertension and heart disease.'
  • Transition: Connect to the next effect or cause.

C. Causes (Continued)

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the next cause in a new cause and effect paragraph. Example: 'Another significant cause of stress is financial strain.'
  • Supporting Details: Explain how this cause manifests and its implications. Example: 'Financial instability often results in anxiety, as individuals worry about bills, debts, and their financial future.'
  • Transition: Prepare to discuss the corresponding effects.

D. Effects (Continued)

  • Topic Sentence: Discuss the effects related to financial strain. Example: 'The psychological effects of financial stress can be profound.'
  • Supporting Details: Offer real-life examples or psychological insights. Example: 'Depression and anxiety are common consequences of constant financial worries, affecting both mental well-being and daily life.'

III. Conclusion

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize the main cause and effects. Example: 'In summary, the heavy workload and financial strain can lead to stress, impacting both physical and mental health.'
  • Closing Thoughts: Reflect on the broader significance of your analysis. Example: 'Understanding these causal relationships emphasizes the importance of stress management and financial planning in maintaining a balanced and healthy life.'

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

To help you grasp cause and effect essay writing with clarity, we have prepared two distinct essay examples that will guide you through the intricacies of both block and chain structures. Additionally, should you ever find yourself requiring assistance with academic writing or descriptive essays examples , simply send us your ' write my research paper ' request. Our expert writers are here to provide the support you need!

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Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Choosing a good topic starts with recognizing cause and effect key words. Here are 10 interesting topics that let you dig into fascinating connections and their important consequences:

  • The Relationship Between Lack of Exercise and Mental Health in Older Adults
  • Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Workplace Productivity
  • The Impact of Cyberbullying on Adolescents' Emotional Well-being
  • Influence of Social Media Advertising on Consumer Purchasing Decisions
  • Consequences of Oil Spills on Coastal Ecosystems
  • How Noise Pollution Affects Concentration and Academic Performance in Schools
  • The Connection Between Fast-Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity
  • Effects of Urbanization on Water Quality in Local Rivers
  • The Relationship Between Indoor Plants and Air Quality in Homes
  • Impact of Plastic Pollution on Wildlife in Urban Environments
  • The Effect of Meditation on Stress Reduction in College Students
  • How Increased Screen Time Affects Teenagers' Attention Span
  • The Impact of Single-Use Plastics on Marine Microorganisms
  • The Relationship Between Smartphone Use and Sleep Quality in Adults
  • Effects of High-Fructose Corn Syrup on Metabolic Health
  • The Consequences of Deforestation on Local Biodiversity
  • Influence of Social Media Comparison on Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescents
  • The Connection Between Air Pollution and Respiratory Health in Urban Areas
  • Effects of Excessive Gaming on Academic Performance in High School Students
  • The Impact of Fast Food Consumption on Childhood Obesity Rates

Final Words

Knowing what a cause and effect essay is and how to write it helps you uncover connections in different topics. With this guide, you can share your ideas in a clear and impactful way.

Meanwhile, if you're in need of a reaction paper example , rest assured we have you covered as well. So, seize this opportunity, put your thoughts on paper logically, and witness your essays leaving a lasting and influential mark.

Let's Turn Those 'What Ifs' into 'A+ Ifs'!

Don't procrastinate when you can cause an effect on your grades right now!

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

effect essay definition

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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Cause and Effect Essay: Step By Step Writing Guide 🤓| Studyfy

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

effect essay definition

Writing essays is inevitable for all students. And while many of them consider this kind of academic assignment difficult and boring, others truly enjoy writing their essays on the widest array of topics. Do you want to know their secret? It’s simple: they just know how to write essays well! And those who don't also have a solution – they are ready to pay for essay best services to get completed paper without a hassle. Finding the essay writing service out there to fall back on is great but honing your own writing skills will never go amiss.

If you are reading this article, then you’re already on your way to start loving essay writing. By the time you finish reading it, you will have all the necessary instruments at hand to craft an impressive essay of one particular type – that is, a cause and effect essay (sometimes also called cause-effect or reason and result essay).

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

It is impossible to do something well without knowing what exactly it is that you have to do. So, let’s start with the basics – the cause and effect essay definition.

A cause and effect essay (also called cause-effect or reason and result essay) is a type of an analytical academic paper in which the relationship between causes and effects of a particular event or phenomenon is being analyzed. It usually answers the questions, “why?” (cause) and “what is the result?” (effect), and utilizes subjunctive mood extensively. If already at this moment you feel you're unlikely to be able to cope with writing an essay yourself – relax and get help from professional dissertation writing services .

How to Make a Correct Cause and Effect Essay Structure

Now that we know what a cause and effect essay is, we can start working on its structure. Having a clear structure is essential for the successful completion of your assignment. So, it’s highly important to devote enough time to this part of the task. If you think it's pretty challenging for you or you simply don't want to spend time on it, you can always look for coursework writing help , custom essay writing and get help from experts in the field.

There are two main ways to structure a cause and effect essay – using a block or a chain pattern. Your essay outline will differ depending on what option you choose.

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Cause and Effect Essay Outline

A cause and effect essay outline consists of a minimum of four sections – an introduction, at least two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section, in turn, consists of several parts, and their contents vary depending on what pattern – block or chain – you choose.

Let’s start with a block structure.  This is how it will look like:

  • Introduction;
  • Body paragraph I: cause;
  • Body paragraph II: effect;
  • Conclusion.

Depending on your topic and approach, you can focus more on the effects or the causes and have various numbers of both. For example, if you put the main focus on the effects, your outline may look like this:

  • Body paragraph I: effect #1;
  • Body paragraph II: effect #2;
  • Body paragraph III: cause;

If you choose the chain pattern, it will mean that in your body paragraphs, every cause will be immediately followed by its effect. The outline will then be as follows:

  • Body paragraph I: cause #1 -> effect #1;
  • Body paragraph II: cause #2 -> effect #2;   

In this case, too, the numbers of causes and effects may vary – it is their sequence that matters.

Now, let’s look closer at every section of the structure.

Introduction

Every essay starts with an introduction. In this section, you must introduce your topic to the reader, give some background information, and explain how you’re going to approach the discussion.

This is what an introduction section of a cause and effect essay must include:

  • Background information;
  • Thesis statement.

If you’re wondering how to start a cause and effect essay, you can use some of the proven techniques like using a quote, a rhetorical question, or a statement that is surprising or paradoxical. Then, after giving some background information, move on to a thesis statement.

A thesis is the part of your essay in which the main point of discussion is stated. It should be clear and concise and allow no ambiguity.

Example: “The gender gap is still very far from being closed. Globally, gender parity stands at 68.6%, according to the Global Gender Gap Report (2020). In this essay, we’ll look closely at some of the causes and effects of this phenomenon”.

Body Paragraphs (Causes)

Depending on what type of structure you choose, your body paragraphs may be slightly different. But, in any case, they should contain the following elements:

  • thesis (main cause or effect);
  • arguments (evidence);
  • conclusion, and transition to the next section.

These may be arranged in a different way, but their presence is essential. Let’s again turn to our gender inequality topic and see how it works. In the causes section, we will list the various causes of the discussed phenomena:

  • Cause #1 – societal mindset;
  • Cause #2 – lack of sufficient childcare;
  • Cause #3 – lack of political representation.

Each of these causes should be supported by evidence to be persuasive to the reader. This is how it may be put in a paragraph:

“One of the main causes of such inequality is the societal mindset that still regards women as primarily being responsible for providing home comfort and childcare. Most men still expect their wives to stay at home and sacrifice their careers in order to take the majority of household responsibilities (support with evidence – statistical figures, etc.).

Treat the next causes in the same manner.

Body Paragraphs (Effects)

This paragraph is basically the same as the previous one, with the only difference that here, we will discuss the effects of the phenomenon. Let’s continue with our topic:

  • Effect #1 – higher levels of frustration;
  • Effect #2 – lower income;
  • Effect #3 – feelings of insecurity and vulnerability.

Keep in mind that the effects must be direct consequences of your causes – you can’t just pick random facts. You should also make that connection clear in your text.

Example: “Such prejudiced societal mindset regarding women and their role in the society results in higher levels of frustration among women. They feel that they have reached their glass ceiling just because of the fact that they have been born female – i.e., something they just couldn’t affect in any way (support with evidence)”.

Then, go on in the same manner in the next body-effects paragraphs.

After you’ve discussed all the causes and effects that you planned, continue with making a short conclusion. It must contain the following points:

  • Reiteration of your thesis;
  • Short summary of the essay’s key points;
  • Concluding afterthoughts.

This is what it will look like in our case:

“As we see, gender inequality is still a pressing issue in the modern world, and it’s far from being solved. This phenomenon has multiple causes, the most obvious of which are society’s prejudiced attitude, lack of childcare, and lack of political representation for women. The effects of these problems are plausible: women end up feeling frustrated, having lower income, and being generally vulnerable. In order to change the situation, we mustn’t avoid discussions of this issue and should try to find solutions to the problems that cause it”.

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Interesting Cause and Effect Essay Topics

If you’re looking for an interesting topic for cause and effect essay, this section is for you. Listed below are some good cause and effect essay topics on various popular themes – history, politics, society, and more. Use them as examples to brainstorm ideas of your own.

History and politics:

  • The economic consequences of the Civil War in the U.S.
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union and its effect on the world’s power balance.
  • World War II and its effect on the world economy.
  • Brexit: was it necessary and how it will affect the U.K.
  • Gender inequality as a major source of stress for modern women.
  • How having children changes the life of a family.
  • Social media as the major source of procrastination for students.
  • Why do people commit crimes?
  • How outstanding writing skills can help your future career.
  • Burnout at work as a major career threat.
  • Why it is important to go to college.
  • Starting a business as a student. How it can affect your studies and future career.  

Environment:

  • Air pollution as one of the main threats to public health.
  • The effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the environment.
  • How melting glaciers in the Arctic affect climate change on our planet.
  • Multiple effects of global warming on the Earth’s population.
  • Why we all need to go green right now.

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

Now that you have all the tools necessary to create a good cause and effect essay of your own let’s look at an example to see how all the components work together. Let’s assume that our topic is “Procrastination among college students.” Here, we will use a block structure, and this is how our example cause and effect essay will look like.

Procrastination Among College Students.

Our first paragraph is an introduction. Here we introduce our topic with a hook statement, give some background information, and make a thesis statement. 

Procrastination is dangerous for college students. At the same time, it’s extremely common among them: various studies show that up to 95% of college students engage in it from time to time, and almost 50% do this systematically. The causes of this phenomenon are multi-faceted and profound, and it’s vital to discover them in every particular case to be able to fight procrastination effectively. But to start treating procrastination as a problem, students must be aware of its harmful consequences. There are many of them, but one of the most acute ones for college students is its negative effect on their academic performance.

Here, the topic suggests that we have to focus more on the effects than on the causes, so the first body paragraph will be about an effect mentioned in the title. First, we will name the effect and then bring arguments and evidence to support our claim.

Procrastination is putting off things one has to do till the last minute and spending one’s time on some other, less important occupations. When students procrastinate instead of doing their academic assignments, they usually end up not having enough time to complete their tasks properly by the deadline. As a result, they only do what they can in the amount of time left, and the quality of their work may suffer. For most students, it means receiving lower grades than they could have achieved had they spent their time more wisely. And this is not a mere assumption: a study conducted by Warwick Business School has proven that procrastination leads students to lower grades (2019). One may argue that it depends largely on how gifted a student is, but even the talented ones may get to the point when the assignment is so difficult that they cannot do it well quickly.

Our second body paragraph will be about another effect. We will write it using the same scheme as in the previous paragraph.

What’s worse, procrastination can also cause mental health problems among students (Source, year). When a person finds out that they only have several hours to complete an assignment that requires several days to be done well, they are most likely to succumb to anxiety. Science proves this, too: for example, a 2010 study titled “I’ll Go to Therapy, Eventually” found a clear connection between procrastination and poorer mental health. Then, worries about failing to do a task properly resulted in even more anxiety and stress, and if a student eventually gets a lower grade than expected, it may lead to a feeling of guilt, regret, and even to depression, especially if the situation is repeated often.

In the third body paragraph, we will talk about the causes. 

It may be tempting to just label students who keep putting off their assignments as sluggards, but there are more complex and profound reasons for procrastination than mere laziness. As A. Chris Heath, MD, a psychiatrist from Dallas, says, procrastination usually happens because the task seems too difficult. It can also be an issue of self-esteem, he adds, – when a person thinks he or she is not good enough to cope with a demanding task. There are many other causes for procrastination among students, like having trouble concentrating or not possessing enough organizational skills. But whatever the reasons are, the results procrastination leads to are always devastating.

Conclusion. Here, we reiterate our thesis, site the significance of the topic, and add some afterthoughts.

As we see now, procrastination is a huge problem for college students. Being considered a result of pure laziness by many, it is often overlooked as a common problem. But this approach can be very dangerous.
In reality, procrastination has deeper roots, and the effects it causes are quite harmful. If treated lightly, systematic procrastination eventually leads college students to lower grades, mental health problems, and poorer overall academic performance.
So, it’s essential for every college student not to ignore the problem and find the causes of procrastination in their particular case as early as possible to be able to avoid its dreadful consequences.

That’s it! Feel free to use this essay as a model to generate your unique cause and effect essay ideas. If you need another example, download cause and effect essay sample here.   

Wrapping Up

In this article, we’ve covered all the important issues on how to write a cause and effect essay. After reading it thoroughly, you should know what a cause and effect essay is, how to structure it well, and make an outline that will work. We’ve also explained how to work on every paragraph of your text and provided some good essay topics as well as examples of a cause and effect essay with commentary. 

Still puzzled about how to write your cause and effect essay properly? Get instant write a paper for me help from professional editors and writers.  With such detailed instruction, you cannot fail, if you are diligent enough to practice writing essays on your own using the information given. Don’t get downhearted if you won’t be able to write a flawless paper from the first try; remember: practice makes perfect. So, put effort into your essay writing, and this will pay you back in the future – not only with excellent marks but with better critical thinking and logical skills, too.

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24 Cause and Effect

It is often considered human nature to ask, “why?” and “how?” We want to know how our child got sick so we can better prevent it from happening in the future, or why our colleague received a pay raise because we want one as well. We want to know how much money we will save over the long term if we buy a hybrid car. These examples identify only a few of the relationships we think about in our lives, but each shows the importance of understanding cause and effect.

A cause is something that produces an event or condition; an effect is what results from an event or condition. The purpose of the  cause-and-effect essay  is to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a cold may be easily identifiable: a sore throat, a runny nose, and a cough. But, determining the cause of the sickness can be far more difficult. A number of causes are possible, and to complicate matters, these possible causes could have combined to cause the sickness. That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given effect. Therefore, cause-and-effect discussions are often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments.

Use the complex nature of cause and effect to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to find the exact cause of an event or to name the exact effect. So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of a number of causes or effects to be the primary, or main, cause or effect. As soon as you claim that one cause or one effect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis.

Consider the causes and effects in the following thesis statements. Identify whether each statement is identifying a cause or an effect. Then, list a cause and effect for each one on your own sheet of paper.

  • The growing childhood obesity epidemic is a result of technology.
  • Much of the wildlife is dying because of the oil spill.
  • The town continued programs that it could no longer afford, so it went bankrupt.
  • More young people became politically active as use of the Internet spread throughout society.
  • While many experts believed the rise in violence was because of the poor economy, it was really because of the summer-long heat wave.

Write three cause-and-effect thesis statements of your own for each of the following five broad topics.

  • Health and nutrition

The Structure of a Cause-and-Effect Essay

The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.

The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways:

  • Start with the cause and then write about the effects.
  • Start with the effect and then write about the causes.

For example, if your essay were on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the effect of childhood obesity and then discuss the cause or you could start the same essay by writing about the cause of childhood obesity and then move to the effect.

Regardless of which structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay fully and completely. Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and anecdotes.

Because cause-and-effect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of certain words and phrases that denote such linkage. See the table below for examples of such terms.

Phrases of Causation

  • as a result
  • consequently

The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed.

Be careful of resorting to empty speculation. In writing, speculation amounts to unsubstantiated guessing. Writers are particularly prone to such trappings in cause-and-effect arguments because of the complex nature of finding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make.

Look at some of the cause-and-effect relationships from Exercise 1. Outline the links you listed. Outline one using a cause-then-effect structure. Outline the other using the effect-then-cause structure.

Writing a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-effect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both.

Organize your essay by starting with either the cause-then-effect structure or the effect-then-cause structure. Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and effects using a full range of evidence. If you are writing about multiple causes or multiple effects, you may choose to sequence either in terms of  order of importance . In other words, order the causes from least to most important (or vice versa), or order the effects from least important to most important (or vice versa).

Use the phrases of causation when trying to forge connections between various events or conditions. This will help organize your ideas and orient the reader. End your essay by drawing a conclusion based on the information presented. You may find it helpful to think of the conclusion as an answer to the question: “so what” or as a continuation of the statement “and so. . . “. In some cases, may be appropriate to issue a call to action in your essay’s conclusion.

Choose a local issue or topic that concerns you. Examine both the causes and effects of this issue or topic, and write a paragraph that outlines these using the components of a cause and effect essay.

Assignment 1

Choose one of the ideas you outlined in Exercise 3 and write a full cause-and-effect essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, strong evidence and examples, and a thoughtful conclusion.

Key Takeaways

The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related.

  • The thesis states what the writer sees as the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.
  • Start with the cause and then write about the effect.
  • Start with the effect and then write about the cause.
  • Strong evidence is particularly important in the cause-and-effect essay because of the complexity of determining connections between phenomena.
  • Phrases of causation are helpful in signaling links between various elements in the essay.

Cause and Effect Essay Example

Effects of Video Game Addiction

By Scott McLean

Video game addition is a serious problem in many parts of the world today and deserves more attention. It is no secret that children and adults in many countries throughout the world, including Japan, China, and the United States, play video games every day. Most players are able to limit their usage in ways that do not interfere with their daily lives, but many others have developed an addiction to playing video games and suffer detrimental effects.

An addiction can be described in several ways, but generally speaking, addictions involve unhealthy attractions to substances or activities that ultimately disrupt the ability of a person to keep up with regular daily responsibilities. Video game addiction typically involves playing games uncontrollably for many hours at a time—some people will play only four hours at a time while others cannot stop for over twenty-four hours. Regardless of the severity of the addiction, many of the same effects will be experienced by all.

One common effect of video game addiction is isolation and withdrawal from social experiences. Video game players often hide in their homes or in Internet cafés for days at a time—only reemerging for the most pressing tasks and necessities. The effect of this isolation can lead to a breakdown of communication skills and often a loss in socialization. While it is true that many games, especially massive multiplayer online games, involve a very real form of e-based communication and coordination with others, and these virtual interactions often result in real communities that can be healthy for the players, these communities and forms of communication rarely translate to the types of valuable social interaction that humans need to maintain typical social functioning. As a result, the social networking in these online games often gives the users the impression that they are interacting socially, while their true social lives and personal relations may suffer.

Another unfortunate product of the isolation that often accompanies video game addiction is the disruption of the user’s career. While many players manage to enjoy video games and still hold their jobs without problems, others experience challenges at their workplace. Some may only experience warnings or demerits as a result of poorer performance, or others may end up losing their jobs altogether. Playing video games for extended periods of time often involves sleep deprivation, and this tends to carry over to the workplace, reducing production and causing habitual tardiness.

Video game addiction may result in a decline in overall health and hygiene. Players who interact with video games for such significant amounts of time can go an entire day without eating and even longer without basic hygiene tasks, such as using the restroom or bathing. The effects of this behavior pose significant danger to their overall health.

The causes of video game addiction are complex and can vary greatly, but the effects have the potential to be severe. Playing video games can and should be a fun activity for all to enjoy. But just like everything else, the amount of time one spends playing video games needs to be balanced with personal and social responsibilities.

External Links

“ Women in Science ” (https://tinyurl.com/y8pggr7g) by K.C. Cole. The link to the essay is correct. It seems to be titled “Hers” but it is the correct essay.

“ Cultural Baggage ” (https://tinyurl.com/yc7qeuyp) by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Robin Tolmach Lakoff discusses the power of language to dehumanize in “ From Ancient Greece to Iraq: The Power of Words in Wartime”  (https://tinyurl.com/y76bt3ah).

Alan Weisman examines the human impact on the planet and its effects in “ Earth without People ” ( https://tinyurl.com/mswazr ).

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Content taken from Chapter 5 – Rhetorical Modes  by Jenifer Kurtz is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

English 101: Journey Into Open Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Cause and Effect Essay

Definition of cause and effect essay.

Human beings often try to find root causes of things, happenings and phenomena. This research leads to the discovery of effects, too. It is because human beings always desire to understand reasons for things, and why they happen. A composition written to find out reasons and results is called a cause and effect essay . It makes discovery of the causes of something and resultantly finds out effects.

Signal Words for Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and effect uses special words for causes, effects, and predictions, such as led to, because, cause, reason, explanation, so etc. However, for effects, the words most commonly used are therefore, as a result, consequently, thus, then, and thanks to . For predictions, the most commonly used words are if, when, after, as soon as, may, might, or possible .

Examples of Cause and Effect Essay in Literature

Example #1: why we crave horror movies (by stephen king).

“I think that we’re all mentally ill: those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better—and maybe not all that much better, after all. We’ve all known people who talk to themselves, people who sometimes squinch their faces into horrible grimaces when they believe no one is watching, people who have some hysterical fear—of snakes , the dark, the tight place, the long drop … and, of course, those final worms and grubs that are waiting so patiently underground. When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare. Why? Some of the reasons are simple and obvious. To show that we can, that we are not afraid, that we can ride this roller coaster. Which is not to say that a really good horror movie may not surprise a scream out of us at some point, the way we may scream when the roller coaster twists through a complete 360 or plows through a lake at the bottom of the drop. And horror movies, like roller coasters, have always been the special province of the young; by the time one turns 40 or 50, one’s appetite for double twists or 360-degree loops may be considerably depleted.”

Stephen King tells the reasons people like to watch something horrible or terrible. This passage sheds light on those reasons.

Example #2: Innocents Afield (by Buzz Bissinger)

“We are clinging to the supposed virtues of high school athletics with particular zeal. Everybody knows that pro sports is too far gone (take your pick of recent scandals). Everybody knows that college sports is too far gone (take your pick of recent scandals). But still there’s high school sports, still the classic battle of one rival against the other in shaggy glory, what James Jones described in From Here to Eternity as “the magnificent foolishness of youth as if the whole of life depended on this game.” A half-century later, the depiction of noble sacrifice at the high school level still forms our baseline, gives us hope that something in sports is still unsullied, restores our faith in the family values fad that has overtaken the low-carb diet.”

This passage sheds light on the reasons that school sports are necessary. The whole essay revolves around the games, reasons for the games, and their effects.

Example #3: Black Men and Public Space (by Brent Staples)

“My first victim was a woman—white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties. I came upon her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park, a relatively affluent neighborhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section of Chicago . As I swung onto the avenue behind her, there seemed to be a discreet, uninflammatory distance between us. Not so. She cast back a worried glance. To her, the youngish black man—a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket—seemed menacingly close. After a few more quick glimpses, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest. Within seconds she disappeared into a cross street.”

This passage describes the cause of a woman’s fear in a narrative , as well as the effect of her fear. As it is part of a long essay, the next passage sheds light on the effects on women.

Function of Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay explains the real situation to readers. Readers understand what lies behind a happening, and how it effects, or how it will impact, human beings. Mostly, such essays are used for scientific topics. It is because these essays explore the nature of things, and their likely effects on us, or the things around us.

Related posts:

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Cause & effect essays Aka reason and result

The Cause and effect essay is another common essay type, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs examining causes and effects. This page gives information on what a cause and effect essay is , how to structure this type of essay, and how to use cause and effect structure words (transition signals) for this type of essay. There is also an example cause and effect essay on the topic of women at work, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area.

What are cause & effect essays?

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effect essay definition

A cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, then discusses the results (or effects). For this reason, cause and effect essays are sometimes referred to as reason and result essays. They are one of the most common forms of organisation in academic writing. Sometimes the whole essay will be cause and effect, though sometimes this may be only part of the whole essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the causes or the effects, not both, are discussed. See the examples below.

  • Discuss the causes and effects of global warming ['cause and effect' essay]
  • Explain the high death rate in Chernobyl ['causes' only essay]
  • Discuss the WTO and its effects on the Chinese economy ['effects' only essay]

There are two main ways to structure a cause and effect essay. These are similar to the ways to structure problem-solution essays , namely using a block or a chain structure. For the block structure, all of the causes are listed first, and all of the effects are listed afterwards. For the chain structure, each cause is followed immediately by the effect. Usually that effect will then be the cause of the next effect, which is why this structure is called 'chain'. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is generally clearer, especially for shorter essays, while the latter ensures that any effects you present relate directly to the causes you have given.

The two types of structure, block and chain , are shown in the diagram below.

Cause and Effect Structure Words

Cause and effect structure words are transition signals which show the cause and effect relationships. It is important to be clear which is the cause (or reason) and which is the effect (or result), and to use the correct transition word or phrase. Remember that a cause happens first , and the effect happens later .

Below are some common cause and effect structure words. X is used to indicate a cause, while Y is used to indicate the effect.

  • The first cause of (Y) is (X)
  • The next reason is (X)
  • Because of (X), (Y)
  • As a result of (X), (Y)
  • As a consequence of (X), (Y)
  • because/since/as (X)
  • to result from (X)
  • (X) results in (Y)
  • to be the result of (X)
  • (Y) is due to (X)
  • Owing to (X), (Y)
  • (Y) is because of (X)
  • (Y) is the effect of (X)
  • (Y) is the consequence of (X)
  • Worsening pollution levels in cities are due to the increased use of cars.
  • Because of the increased use of cars, pollution levels in cities are worsening.
  • As a result of the increased use of cars, pollution levels in cities are worsening.
  • The effect of the increased use of cars is a worsening of pollution levels in cities.
  • The first effect of (X) is (Y)
  • Another result of (X) is (Y)
  • As a result, (Y)
  • As a consequence, (Y)
  • Consequently (Y)
  • Therefore, (Y)
  • (X) causes (Y)
  • (X) has an effect on (Y)
  • (X) affects (Y)
  • (X) is one of the causes of (Y)
  • (X) is the reason for (Y)
  • Cars are used increasingly for urban transport. As a consequence , pollution levels in cities are worsening.
  • Increased use of cars for urban transport adversely affects pollution levels in cities.
  • Increased use of cars for urban transport is one of the causes of worsening pollution levels in cities.

Example essay

Below is a cause and effect essay. This essay uses the block structure . Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. Causes, Effects, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary , as these repeat the causes and effects contained in the main body.

Title: More and more women are now going out to work and some women are now the major salary earner in the family. What are the causes of this, and what effect is this having on families and society?

In the past, most women stayed at home to take care of domestic chores such as cooking or cleaning. Women's liberation and feminism have meant that this situation has been transformed and in contemporary society women are playing an almost equal role to men in terms of work. This has had significant consequences , both in terms of the family , for example by improving quality of life and increasing children's sense of independence , and also for society itself with greater gender equality . The main reasons behind the increase of women in the workplace are women's liberation and feminism. The women's liberation movement originated in the 1960s and was popularised by authors such as Simone de Beauvoir. As a consequence of this, new legislation emerged, granting women equal rights to men in many fields, in particular employment. Because of feminist ideas, men have taken up roles which were previously seen as being for women only, most importantly those related to child rearing. As a result of this, women have more time to pursue their own careers and interests. These have led to some significant effects, both to family life and to society as a whole. Although the earning capacity of a woman in her lifetime is generally much less than that of a man, she can nevertheless make a significant contribution to the family income. The most important consequence of this is an improved quality of life. By helping to maintain a steady income for the family, the pressure on the husband is considerably reduced, hence improving both the husband's and the wife's emotional wellbeing. Additionally, the purchasing power of the family will also be raised. This means that the family can afford more luxuries such as foreign travel and a family car. A further effect on the family is the promotion of independence in the children. Some might argue that having both parents working might be damaging to the children because of a lack of parental attention. However, such children have to learn to look after themselves at an earlier age, and their parents often rely on them to help with the housework. This therefore teaches them important life skills. As regards society, the most significant impact of women going to work is greater gender equality. There are an increasing number of women who are becoming politicians, lawyers, and even CEOs and company managers. This in turn has led to greater equality for women in all areas of life, not just employment. For example, women today have much stronger legal rights to protect themselves against domestic violence and sexual discrimination in the workplace. In conclusion, the increasing number of women at work has brought about some important changes to family life, including improved quality of life and increased independence for children, as well as affecting society itself. It is clear that the sexes are still a long way from being equal in all areas of life, however, and perhaps the challenge for the present century is to ensure that this takes place.

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Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

Cause and Effect Essay

3.1 purpose & structure.

This section will help you determine the purpose and structure of cause and effect in writing.

The Purpose of Cause and Effect in Writing

The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a cold may be easy to identify: a sore throat, runny nose, and a cough. But determining the cause of the cold itself can be far more difficult. A number of causes are possible, and to complicate matters, these possible causes could have combined to cause the cold. That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given effect. Therefore, cause-and-effect discussions are often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments.

For instance, the issue of climate change has been a hotly debated argument for decades now, with scientists and environmentalists declaring a number of causes in the last fifty years that have led to our current circumstances. On the other side of the debate are politicians and industry leaders (such as oil, coal, and factory executives) who claim climate change is a myth and has not been the cause of the natural events that have taken place (such as rising sea levels, hotter summers, droughts, wildfires, etc.).

Who’s right? It’s difficult for us to know the exact causes of the strange events occurring around us today, or to know if they even are strange. Just because we’ve never experienced so many disastrous flash floods before doesn’t necessarily mean we are headed for global catastrophe—or does it? For those of us who demand the “right” answer to every question, cause-and-effect writing can be frustrating to read and write.

Use the complex nature of causality to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to find the exact cause of an event or to name the exact effect . So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of many causes (or effects) to be the main or most important one. As soon as you claim that one cause or one effect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis.

The Structure of a Cause and Effect Essay

The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic (for instance, climate change), which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of the particular climate-change event you are focusing on.

The cause-and-effect essay is organized in one of the following ways:

  • Start with the cause and then talk about the effects (“cause-then-effect”).
  • Start with the effect and then talk about the causes (“effect-then-cause”).

For example, if your essay were on the topic of childhood obesity, you could focus your thesis by talking about childhood obesity as an effect (or a consequence) of one or more particular causes, such as events that happened prior to the weight gain.

Or you could write the same essay from the opposite perspective: by talking about childhood obesity as the cause of one or more effects, such as high blood pressure or adult diabetes.

Regardless of which structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay fully and completely. Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, anecdotes, etc.

Very often cause-and-effect essays include a paragraph of DEFINITION in which the writer defines a term or idea to aid the reader in understanding the importance of the topic. If, for instance, the topic is about a medical condition written for a general AUDIENCE , the writer would want to explain in greater detail the complexities of the condition. In the example above, childhood obesity may need a paragraph of DEFINITION addressing the term obesity – what constitutes obesity? What are the ages of childhood in this case? How long has this condition been studied and where?

Because cause-and-effect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of certain words and phrases that make that relationship clear.  Certain  transitional words and phrases  aid in keeping the reader oriented in the sequencing of an argument. Some of these phrases are listed here:

Phrases of Causation

The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed.

Be careful not to resort to empty speculation. In writing, speculation amounts to unsubstantiated guessing. Writers are particularly prone to such trappings in cause-and-effect arguments due to the complex nature of finding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make.

Basic Components of a Cause-&-Effect Essay

Causality- you should be able to make a clear and logical connection between two or more phenomena in which you can argue that one is the cause of the other(s).

Thesis- your argument about the cause-and-effect relationship between two or more phenomena in which you make clear your cause-then-effect or effect-then-cause structure.

Definition- usually appearing right after the introduction, a definition paragraph provides any necessary information the reader might need to understand the complexity of the topic.

Evidence- clear and logical support to back up your thesis in the form of studies, statistics, interviews, quotes from experts, etc. Usually one form of evidence appears per body paragraph.

Phrases of Causation- to keep your reader from getting confused about the causality you are demonstrating.

Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-effect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both.

Provide a paragraph in which you define the topic more clearly or closely for your reader. You will need to understand your audience (experts in the field? General readers? Teenagers?) so that you can cater the definition to their background. Take the time to not only define any terms in your topic that need clarification, but also expand a little on the background of the topic.

Organize your essay by starting with either the cause-then-effect structure or the effect-then-cause structure. Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and effects using a full range of evidence. If you are writing about multiple causes or multiple effects, you may choose to sequence either in terms of order of importance. In other words, order the causes from least to most important (or vice versa), or order the effects from least important to most important (or vice versa).

Use the phrases of causation when trying to forge connections between various events or conditions. This will help organize your ideas and orient the reader. End your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related.
  • The thesis states what the writer sees as the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.
  • The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of these two ways:
  • Start with the cause and then talk about the effect.
  • Start with the effect and then talk about the cause.
  • Strong evidence is particularly important in the cause-and-effect essay due to the complexity of determining connections between phenomena.
  • Phrases of causation are helpful in signaling links between various elements in the essay.
  • In certain cases, a p aragraph of definition is necessary to provide readers with important information they will need to evaluate the complexity of the topic.
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  • Effects of Video Game Addiction. Authored by : Scott McLean. Located at : http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/successful-writing/s19-09-cause-and-effect-essay.html . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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Cause and Effect Essay

I. what is a cause and effect essay.

A cause and effect essay is one that shows how two or more events are connected. This type of essay is meant to explain and analyze why something happened or how something occurred. Phrases you may have heard that are similar to cause and effect are action and consequence and chain of events .

II. Examples of a Cause and Effect Essay

Here are some examples of a cause and effect essay.

How heat makes water boil . This essay would explain that heat causes additional energy in the water. The effect of adding heat energy to water is that the water turns to vapor. When the water turns to vapor, it forms bubbles in the liquid water.

Why brushing your teeth causes good health. This essay would offer facts or data that the bacteria in plaque are unhealthy for you. It would then show that brushing your teeth causes your mouth to have less plaque. The essay would outline a two-step cause and effect: Brushing your teeth has the effect of reducing the amount of plaque in your mouth, and reduced amount of plaque has a positive effect on your health.

How the Stamp Act caused anger in the American colonies . This essay would include enough context for the reader to understand the historical time period. It would then present the Stamp Act (A list of unfair taxes) as the cause of colonial anger. The essay would show the effects of the Stamp act by explaining how the colonists protested with violence.

III. Types of Cause and Effect Essays with Topics

Cause and effect essays can be looked at in two broad categories. The first is an essay that examines how multiple causes lead to a single large effect. The second is an essay that shows how one large cause has multiple effects.

a. Multiple causes leading to one effect

Example 1 “Why Gorillas are Endangered”

This essay would examine the causes that combine to create a single effect: a low number of Gorillas. The writer could identify three main causes: loss of habitat, poaching, and war. One paragraph would explain how habitat loss makes it harder for gorillas to find food. A second paragraph would show that people kill gorillas for trophies and food. A third paragraph would state that gorillas are killed by bombs and landmines when people are at war in the area. The essay would conclude by combining the evidence of these three causes, to explain how it endangers gorillas.

Other topics for this type of cause and effect essay are:

  • How World War II began
  • How to coach a winning team
  • What astronauts will do to make Mars inhabitable

b. One cause leading to multiple effects

Example 2 “How Exercise Improves your Health”

An essay of this type would be about how exercise can have several positive effects on your health.

The essay would begin by defining what exercise is, and explain how common exercises are performed. The writer would then focus, one paragraph at a time, on several positive effects of exercise. For instance, there could be a paragraph about how exercise leads to a healthier heart. Evidence to support the connection between exercise and a healthy heart would be included. Another paragraph would show the effect that exercise can have on muscle strength and bone density. A third paragraph would give evidence that exercise causes a reduction in stress. The essay would end by connecting these three effects back to the same single cause: Exercise.

  • How a good education improves a person’s life
  • Why you should organize your life
  • What being a volunteer can teach you

IV. Parts of a cause and effect essay

A thesis is a clear statement about what your essay will show. In the cause of a cause and effect essay, a thesis will include both the cause(s) and the effect(s) that will be explained later in the essay.

  • Gorillas are endangered because of poaching, war, and loss of habitat.
  • Exercise causes many beneficial changes to your health.

b. Context or starting point

The writer must give the readers enough background information so that they can follow the thesis and understand the value of the information.

  • In the cause and effect essay about gorillas being endangered, the writer should include information about where gorillas live, what interactions people have with them, and their population.
  • In the essay about exercise, the writer would need to explain about cardiovascular exercise and strength training exercise. The essay would also give a brief explanation of how these activities are performed.

c. An action or event

This is a central part of a cause and effect essay. The action or event needs to be described in such a way that the reader can understand what the action or event caused.

  • In an essay about exercise, running may be chosen as an event to describe. The essay would explain how running causes the heart and lungs to work hard.
  • An essay about endangered gorillas would need to describe poaching (illegal hunting).

d. The consequence or effect

The effect of the event must be described in a cause and effect essay.

  • In the essay about exercise, the effect of running is a healthier heart and lungs.
  • In the essay about gorillas, the effect of poaching is that there are fewer wild gorillas left to breed.

V. Tips for writing a strong cause and effect essay

A. clearly identify the causes and effects for the reader.

A strong cause and effect essay identifies the cause(s) and effect(s) for the reader. Remember that a cause is the reason; it explains why something happened. Meanwhile, an effect is what happened or the result.

a. Determine the type of cause and effect essay

The topic of a cause and effect essay must be a single idea. Once you have chosen the single idea, you should determine if it is more useful to analyze it as a cause or as an effect (See Part III above).

Look at the table below. In the column on the left, we have essays with a single cause and multiple effects. In the column on the right, we have essays with multiple causes creating a single effect.

As you can see, topics can be looked at from either standpoint, but an essay normally only focuses on one. It can become confusing to write and read an essay that covers multiple effects and multiple causes! So, be sure that you know the central topic and which type of essay structure you are using.

c. Explain and analyze instead of just listing effects and causes

A strong cause and effect essay does more than just list information. It also analyzes how the information fits together, and explains the important parts to the reader. The explanation is often combined with the ‘effect’ part of the essay. This part of the essay is the evidence or reasoning that allows the reader to connect the cause with the effect clearly.

Incomplete:  Listing information without explanation

Exercise, like running, is good for your heart and lungs. A healthy cardiovascular system is important for your health, so running is good for you.

Complete: Explaining the cause (running) and effect (health) sequence connecting the information

Exercise, like running, is good for your heart and lungs. This is because running makes the heart and lungs work hard. The hard work of running makes them become stronger. A stronger heart and lungs means a healthier cardiovascular system. Therefore, running is good for you.

Incomplete: Listing information without explanation

Poaching kills too many gorillas. Because of poachers, there are fewer gorillas in the wild, and they become endangered.

Complete: Explaining the effect (fewer gorillas will be born) of poaching (cause)

Poaching kills too many gorillas. Poaching removes not only the gorilla, but future generations as well. Gorillas have an average of three babies in their lifetime. Because of poachers, there are fewer gorillas in the wild. Even worse, there will be fewer gorillas born in the future.

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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

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A cause and effect essay explores why events happen (cause) and what occurs as an outcome (effect). It's a type of essay that explains connections between different things, events or phenomena. Cause and effect essays should clearly state causal relationships and help readers understand how things are interconnected.

Writing a cause and effect essay is quite a difficult task since not everything can be explained by lookingat the issue from the fist glance. You often should conduct additional research to make sure that your conclusion is right. By using our expert tricks and tips, you can ease your task and prepare an interesting project. This blog post will shed more light on such aspects:  

  • Purpose of a cause and effect essay
  • Essay outlines
  • Methods of organizing information
  • Step-by-step writing process.

Also, get ready to find some examples that will surely come in handy. So let’s get started!

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay: Definition and Purpose

A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that defines a causal relationship between two objects, events or phenomena. Its main purpose is to explain the impact of one thing on another one. Writing a paper on causal topics requires a clear definition of the cause-and-effect link. This means that students should identify such situation and share their opinion on the consequences. To prepare for the writing process, you should conduct preliminary research. Prewriting includes 3 preparatory stages:  

  • Choosing an appropriate causal situation
  • Defining roots and consequences of some phenomena
  • Offering solutions for negative impact (if there is any).

This information will be enough to cover any issue. But it will take time to prepare necessary evidence. You should use all available sources and write a plan for your paper. Make sure that the accuracy of the received information is beyond doubt. To make your work simpler, you should determine the topic you are particularly interested in. Preparing a project that you aren’t passionate about is a huge mistake that any professional can easily see. Keep reading to find out what makes a cause and effect essay successful and how to write it with ease.   In case you are looking for other essays such as problem and solution essays , browse one more of our blogs.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

Writing a cause and effect essay requires studying all important details thoroughly since there is no other way to get a comprehensive view of the situation. Students should make the list of reasons for a particular event, and then share observations in a logical order. Here’re several useful suggestions that will help you get started:  

  • Have a brainstorming session. Consider social movements, historical events, or recent trends to come up with an excellent cause and effect essay topic.
  • Do preliminary research. Research allows you to see what material is available on your topic and helps get the whole picture.
  • Build an effective thesis statement. Identify a causal relationship and write your essay on the basis of your thesis.
  • Jot down your main points. This basically means preparing an outline which will be discussed further in this blog post.
  • Write your rough draft. Expand the critical points listed in your outline to write the draft of your essay.

Keep in mind that it’s you whose work’s result depends on, so make sure that you have prepared convincing arguments.

Create Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Writing an informative piece begins with searching for an unusual topic. But it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do anything else. Your task is to attract the readers’ attention, and this is impossible to achieve without preparing a structured cause and effect essay outline. Start by developing an informative plan, including these sections:

  • Introduction At the beginning, provide some memorable fact or news to attract attention. Provide some background and define your thesis statement.
  • Main body The main task is to convince readers that a chosen causal relationship matters. Specify the reason and how it affects some object or event. Use convincing arguments and don’t forget about the reliability of your information.
  • Conclusion Wrap up the main causes and effects and explain the significance of your topic. You may leave an open question for further consideration.

Forget about literally copying ideas from other sources. Your paper will be successful if you support each assumption with arguments. The focus on credibility is an important requirement that will enable you to make the right impression.

Cause and Effect Essay Structure

A cause and effect essay structure doesn’t differ from the rules of organizing your ideas in other text forms. Students are still required to come up with an introduction, the main points for body paragraphs, and summarize all presented information. Each block should resonate with your thesis. Generally, a cause and effect essay follows a 5 paragraph essay outline . However, the number of body paragraphs depends on the number of main points. Sometimes, one thing may have multiple effects. In this case, you should be prepared to create more paragraphs. Your finished text must be clear from speculation and guesses. Compiling a cause-and-effect chain is mandatory for the academic paper as well.  

Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

Typically, a cause and effect essay introduction includes such elements:

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement.

While working on your introduction, keep in mind that you will need to come up with the hook in an essay that will attract your audience’s attention. Then, you should provide some context to get readers familiar with your subject. Finally, you will develop your thesis statement listing causes and effects that will be discussed. If you still don’t have any ideas how to start a cause and effect essay, we recommend reading these tips:  

  • Avoid using parenthetical words. The phrases that will be used in the introduction can be deadly boring, so exclude such expressions as “as everyone knows” or “nowadays”.
  • Prepare several interesting facts or news. The best introduction you can come up with includes fascinating details. Thus, you will be able to get any attention you want.
  • Remember your main idea. Don’t deviate from the chosen topic. Be concise and stay on point.

A successful introduction should follow these common recommendations. So make sure you don’t skip our suggestions. Can't work those entire cause-and-effect writing out yet? Don't worry, professional college essay writers are always there for you.

Cause and Effect Essay Body: Block Method

The most difficult thing about writing a cause and effect essay is that readers may not follow all arguments and proofs. To save your work from possible confusion, you can structure your essay using body paragraphs. There are 2 methods to arrange your ideas in your main body:

  • Block method
  • Chain method.

The idea behind the block method is to provide arguments that are related to causes of events, and, then, use some evidence to show the effects. With this method, you can divide causal information into several blocks. This can simplify perception of your paper. You will get something like this:

It’s somewhat difficult for beginners to write a cause and effect essay body using this method. There may be too much space between the reasons and effects. However, using this method helps you eliminate any possible confusion in readers. Make a short outline of your presentation and use it to think over some basic structure. This trick will help you focus on the main facts and unbiasedly assess any situation.  

Cause and Effect Essay Body: Chain Method

Chain method is another way to organize information in a cause and effect essay body. Unlike the block method, building a chain is much easier for beginners. Since great attention is paid to cause-and-effect links, you should use an appropriate practical chain method. By choosing this option, you can sort out all arguments without missing any important details. Here’s how it will look like:  

By following this step-by-step cause and effect description in your project, you’ll be able to select a course and follow it throughout your whole work. As a result, you will draw up the main body that is structured according to academic requirements. You will be able to focus on a certain thought thanks to a clear understanding of your motives. This approach has been developed for students to choose the main idea first and only then proceed to writing their essay. Still, reasons and consequences do not take a back seat since an essay’s structure is united by some common idea.  

Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

Cause and effect essay conclusion is probably the easiest section. Here, students don't have to introduce any new ideas. You will deal with an entirely different task – summarizing your critical points. Make sure you include these details:

  • Summary of main ideas
  • Reworded thesis statement
  • Food for thought.

Since your goal is to study cause-and-effect links, a conclusion is a great section to make some analysis. Students should organize their writing so that readers won’t have any questions after reading it. This being said, your final paragraph should confirm your thesis statement expressed in an introduction. In case you still have some questions, find an appropriate conclusion essay example .

Tips for Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

To make writing a cause and effect essay bring the result you need, use these simple tips:

  • Look through different cause and effect essay topics . Choosing an unusual one is your lucky ticket, so you should use sensational details.
  • Listed arguments should confirm your thesis and fit logically into the structure.
  • Use striking examples to demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Study the existing opinions and make your choice. If you have a different point of view, find some evidence.
  • Before submitting your paper, proofread it for grammar and stylistic mistakes.
  • Make your essay title succinct and memorable. However, avoid long titles.

If you aren’t sure about the chosen topic, consult your professor. An expert opinion will help you choose a different direction and achieve the result you need. An irrelevant work is much worse than the one written with errors.

>> Read more: How to Write an Essay

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

Sometimes, all you need is good cause and effect essay examples. Luckily, we have lots of samples available on our website. Feel free to explore our collection of examples in the Sample section or check our ready-made essay below. Use this beautiful opportunity to save your time looking for essays. Alongside cause & effect, StudyCrumb proposes pretty great help with essay of any complexity.

Cause and Effect Essays: Final Thoughts

It takes some effort and practice to master your cause/effect essay writing skills. Choosing a topic, preparing an outline, and searching for reliable arguments takes much time. You can achieve your goal by composing an essay using our guide.

Illustration

Our experts are ready to offer exceptional writing services and help with any academic paper. Professional approach and timely delivery are far from being the only advantages. Your work will be done by genuine experts who know how to convey any idea and develop a solid justification of cause and effect.  

FAQ About Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

1. which are the three types of cause and effect essays.

There are several types of cause and effect essays. To choose a preferable option, you should decide on the kind of work you are going to prepare. Each student can choose any of these 3 types:

  • One cause and many effects
  • One effect and many causes
  • Cause-and-effect chain.

These options are popular, so you should look for a narrative structure that suits your chosen type.

2. Which topic is narrow enough to address in a cause-and-effect essay?

You are assigned an essay, but you don’t understand which topic is narrow enough to address in a cause-and-effect essay? To get an answer, you won’t need to conduct any research since such a direction as Renewable Energy Resources is quite common. The main difficulty is that it will be impossible to cover this topic in a short essay. As your statement, you can use a variety of opinions on the existence of renewable resources.

3. What is the format of a cause and effect Essay?

The format choice affects your paper’s style, so you should decide between two popular options: MLA and APA. The difference is that the chosen cause and effect essay format assumes compliance with specific requirements. Select an applicable style depending on your field of study.

4. How many paragraphs should a cause and effect essay have?

The number of paragraphs in a cause and effect essay depends on the complexity of your topic. For this reason, you should decide on the number of causes and effects that can be covered. Usually, a complete essay consists of:

  • Introduction
  • 3 Body paragraphs
  • Conclusion.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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Cause and Effect: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Allison Bressmer

Allison Bressmer

Cause and Effect Title

You may be familiar with the Biblical quote “You reap what you sow.” The things you do are like planted seeds, and those seeds produce a crop which is the result of your actions.

The quote is an example of the cause and effect relationship. Your action, sowing good or bad seeds, produces a reaction, a healthy or rotten harvest.

A cause is an action, and the effect is the resulting reaction.

Definition of Cause and Effect

What does cause and effect mean, examples of cause and effect in sentences, cause and effect relationship examples, cause and effect words.

In the cause and effect relationship, one or more things happen as a result of something else.

A cause is a catalyst, a motive, or an action that brings about a reaction—or reactions. A cause instigates an effect.

An effect is a condition, occurrence, or result generated by one or more causes. Effects are outcomes.

Cause and effect synonyms

Cause and effect means that things happen because something prompted them to happen.

A cause is why something happens. An effect is what happened.

For example, you have a picnic planned for Sunday afternoon. However, the weather becomes stormy and you have to cancel your outdoor plans.

In this situation, the cause is the stormy weather and the effect of that stormy weather is the picnic cancellation.

Cause and effect definition

Cause and effect are intertwined. American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.”

You can’t have an effect without a cause, nor can you have a cause without an effect.

In cause and effect relationships, there may be multiple causes and multiple effects. The relationship may cycle on with a cause leading to effects that become a cause for more effects!

Let’s say that you oversleep and are late to a meeting and, because you’re late to the meeting, you miss out on the delicious pastries the boss brought in. Since you missed the pastries, you’re hungry and aggravated. This may in turn have an effect on your next interaction with a colleague or client.

Cause and effect circle

Cause and effect sentences show a clear, direct relationship between events. They show how one event or action triggers an outcome. They may also show how an effect has more than one cause, or a cause has more than one effect.

Cause and effect sentences can present the cause first and follow it with the effect, or present the effect first and follow it with the cause.

The order of cause and effect

  • I ate tons of junk food, so now I feel sick.
  • I feel sick because I ate tons of junk food.

These sentences have the same cause and effect presented in a different order. These sentences share the same meaning and show the same relationship.

In the next five sentences, determine which comes first, the cause or the effect.

He lied to me, so I ended our relationship.

Since I was up all night with my sick child, I’m exhausted this morning.

She never gave up on her writing, and now she’s published a book!

They could finish the race because they had trained for it so diligently.

They gave the restaurant a critical review because their food was burnt to a crisp.

In the first three sentences, the cause comes first. In sentences four and five, the effect comes first.

Cause and effect relationships exist in just about every subject area.

We can see the causes of local, national, or global events, and the effects of those events. We can ask, “What were the causes of World War II?” and then “What were the effects of World War II?”

We can examine what caused an economic recession or depression and the effects of that crisis on society.

In these cases, as with many others, there are multiple causes and multiple effects.

In 2020, the world was hit with a global pandemic. Scientists saw the effects of the disease on people’s health and lives and began searching for the cause of the virus.

As the story goes, Sir Isaac Newton observed an effect, an apple falling from a tree. This prompted him to seek the cause of that fall—why did the apple fall down, not sideways or up? His observation of that effect led him to discover the cause: gravity.

When conducting experiments, scientists perform an action (cause) to see what will happen as a result (effect).

Most of us probably had to do an experiment with plants in school. We examined what happened to our two plants (effects) depending on whether we gave or withheld from them proper light and water (cause).

The Natural World

Nature is full of examples of cause and effect.

  • Plants grow as a result of the sun’s heat and light.
  • Bears hibernate so they can conserve energy and won’t require food during the winter months when food is scarce.
  • The moon’s gravitational pull causes the ocean’s tides.

Narrative stories, both fiction and non-fiction, are often driven by cause and effect.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby , Gatsby bases all of his action on pleasing Daisy because he is obsessed with winning her love.

Our everyday lives are full of cause and effect experiences.

  • As a result of studying hard, you aced your test!
  • You called in sick because you woke up with a fever.
  • You meet friends for drinks because it’s your birthday.

There are words that signal a cause and effect relationship. These words can help readers recognize the cause and effect structure of a passage, making it easier to comprehend content.

Words that signal a cause include:

Words that signal effect include:

Signal Words in Cause and Effect Sentences

Observe how the signal words communicate the relationship in these cause and effect example sentences:

As a result of COVID, many high school students couldn’t experience graduation ceremonies.

There was a multi-car accident on the highway, so traffic was at a standstill.

I’ve started eating a much healthier diet. Consequently , I’ve lost weight and have more energy.

Thanks to my caring friends, I recovered from a difficult situation.

Since the weather was perfect, we spent the entire day outdoors.

My partner got his dream job 200 miles away from where we currently live. As a result , we have to sell the home and move.

His financial hardships are due to his careless spending.

She campaigned the hardest, therefore she won the vote.

The doctor’s optimism is the reason for our positive outlook.

Your sister is several years older than you. Accordingly , she has more responsibility and independence.

TIP: Observe the sentences that start with cause signal words ( As a result , Thanks to , Since ). There are two clauses in those sentences and they are connected by a comma.

The first clause is dependent meaning that it must be attached to an independent clause to make sense. When left alone, dependent clauses can become sentence fragments which are grammatically incorrect.

ProWritingAid is a thorough grammar checker that will alert you to any fragments and make suggestions for revision.

Cause and effect sentence fragment

A Final Word on Cause and Effect

A cause and effect relationship is one in which an event generates an outcome. We see these relationships everywhere: from history to science to nature to literature to daily life!

When you’re reading or writing about cause and effect, look for or use signal words that make the relationship between the event (cause) and the outcome (effect) clear.

Take your writing to the next level:

20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

effect essay definition

Good writing = better grades

ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of all your assignments.

Allison Bressmer is a professor of freshman composition and critical reading at a community college and a freelance writer. If she isn’t writing or teaching, you’ll likely find her reading a book or listening to a podcast while happily sipping a semi-sweet iced tea or happy-houring with friends. She lives in New York with her family. Connect at linkedin.com/in/allisonbressmer.

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7: Cause-and-Effect Essay

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  • 7.1: Introduction to Cause-and-Effect Essay
  • 7.2: “Cultural Baggage” by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 7.3: “Women in Science” by K.C. Cole
  • 7.4: Writing for Success- Cause and Effect
  • 7.5: Student Sample- Cause-and-Effect Essay

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Unit 03: Reasons and Results – The Cause-and-Effect Essay

Gray Newton's Cradle

“Why did that happen?” “What were the effects?”

These are common questions about many events, actions, conditions in the world. That’s what this unit is all about: reason and result. Or, as writing instructors say, cause and effect. It’s a very useful — and very common — writing strategy both in school and out of school.  In this unit, you will study use the same topic from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , but you’ll take a look at the issue from a new angle. To do this, you’ll learn more about common cause-and-effect essay structures as well as the grammar and vocabulary to support them.

Key academic vocabulary in this unit

  • clause /klɔz/  noun  – a group of words with a subject and a verb
  • create  /kriˈeɪt/  verb –  to make something new
  • discrimination /dɪˌskrɪmɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/ noun – unfair treatment of someone
  • format / ˈfɔrˌmæt / noun –  the arrangement, organization, or structure of something
  • involve /ɪnˈvɑlv/ verb – to include something or someone as a part of an activity, event, or situation
  • isolate /ˈaɪsəˌleɪt/  verb  –  to keep someone or something away
  • potential /pəˈtenʃ(ə)l/  noun and adjective  – possible in the future
  • predict /prɪˈdɪkt/  verb – to say what will happen in the future
  • significant  / sɪɡˈnɪfɪkənt / adjective – large, noticeable, important, or meaningful
  • summary  /ˈsʌməri/ noun – a short description that gives only the most important information without all the details

Coalescence Copyright © 2023 by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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COMMENTS

  1. Cause and Effect Essay Outline: Types, Examples & Writing Tips

    Cause #1. Cause #2. Cause #3 (and so on…) The effect of the causes. Conclusion. 2. 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.

  2. 10.8 Cause and Effect

    The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a cold may be easily identifiable: a sore throat ...

  3. Definition and Examples of Cause and Effect in Essays

    Definition. In composition, cause and effect is a method of paragraph or essay development in which a writer analyzes the reasons for—and/or the consequences of—an action, event, or decision. A cause-and-effect paragraph or essay can be organized in various ways. For instance, causes and/or effects can be arranged in either chronological ...

  4. How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: Writing Guide

    A cause and effect essay, also known as an effect essay, is a type of expository writing that explores the relationships between particular conditions and their resultant effects. The effect essay definition helps readers understand the correlation between occurrences or situations and their results, as these essays delve into how one event ...

  5. A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing

    Here are ten simple steps to help you write an engaging essay that looks into how things are connected. 1. Select a Specific Topic. Choose a cause and effect relationship that sparks your interest. Ensure your topic is focused and manageable for a thorough exploration. 2.

  6. How to Write a Cause & Effect Essay

    Cause and Effect Essay Definition. A cause and effect essay explains why events happen (causes), what results (effects), and the relationship between the cause and effect(s). Overview of a Cause and Effect Essay. Cause and effect essays are commonly structured in four ways: causal chain, causes, effects, and causes and effects.

  7. How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

    So, let's start with the basics - the cause and effect essay definition. A cause and effect essay (also called cause-effect or reason and result essay) is a type of an analytical academic paper in which the relationship between causes and effects of a particular event or phenomenon is being analyzed.

  8. 4.3: Cause and Effect

    The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event. The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways: Start with the cause and then talk about the effects. Start ...

  9. How to Write a Cause-and-Effect Essay

    Cause-and-effect essay structure is a way of exploring relationships between ideas and events.

  10. 4.4: Cause and Effect Essays

    Writing a Cause-and-Effect Essay. Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-effect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both. Organize your essay by starting with either the cause-then-effect structure or the ...

  11. Cause and Effect

    The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event. The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways: Start with the cause and then write about the effects.

  12. Cause and Effect Essay

    Definition of Cause and Effect Essay. Human beings often try to find root causes of things, happenings and phenomena. This research leads to the discovery of effects, too. It is because human beings always desire to understand reasons for things, and why they happen.

  13. Cause & Effect Essay

    Cause and effect is a rhetorical style that discusses which events lead to specific results. You may find that you are assigned to write a cause and effect essay for a writing class, but you might also encounter cause and effect assignments in other disciplines. For example, you may be asked to write about the causes for the decline of a ...

  14. Cause & effect essays

    A cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, then discusses the results (or effects). For this reason, cause and effect essays are sometimes referred to as reason and result essays. They are one of the most common forms of organisation in academic writing. Sometimes the whole essay will be cause and effect, though ...

  15. How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay (Updated in 2021)

    Definition of a Cause and Effect Essay. As the term suggests, a cause and effect essay is characterized by two main features: causes and effects. First, you identify the causes of an event, situation, or phenomenon. ... Example Cause and Effect Essay. More than $50 billion per year is spent on the war on drugs (Newman, 2013, p. 1). The war on ...

  16. Cause and Effect

    Cause and Effect. Cause and effect is just what it says. You might write an essay that searches out the causes of something. Or you might write an essay that investigates a variety of effects that stem from a particular event or condition. Writing about causes and effects deals with identifying "reasons why" and/or "results.".

  17. 3.1 Purpose & Structure

    The Purpose of Cause and Effect in Writing. The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a ...

  18. Cause and Effect Essay

    The effect of the event must be described in a cause and effect essay. Examples: In the essay about exercise, the effect of running is a healthier heart and lungs. In the essay about gorillas, the effect of poaching is that there are fewer wild gorillas left to breed. V. Tips for writing a strong cause and effect essay a.

  19. Cause and Effect Essay: How to Write It Fast + Example

    A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that defines a causal relationship between two objects, events or phenomena. Its main purpose is to explain the impact of one thing on another one. Writing a paper on causal topics requires a clear definition of the cause-and-effect link.

  20. Cause and Effect: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

    Definition of Cause and Effect. In the cause and effect relationship, one or more things happen as a result of something else. A cause is a catalyst, a motive, or an action that brings about a reaction—or reactions. A cause instigates an effect. An effect is a condition, occurrence, or result generated by one or more causes.

  21. 7: Cause-and-Effect Essay

    7.4: Writing for Success- Cause and Effect 7.5: Student Sample- Cause-and-Effect Essay This page titled 7: Cause-and-Effect Essay is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lumen Learning via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is ...

  22. Unit 03: Reasons and Results

    That's what this unit is all about: reason and result. Or, as writing instructors say, cause and effect. It's a very useful — and very common — writing strategy both in school and out of school. In this unit, you will study use the same topic from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but you'll take a look at the issue from a ...

  23. Essay Becomes Easy: Cause and Effect, Critical, Deductive, Definition

    In our book, you can find core information about both popular and less popular types of essays: Cause and effect Critical Deductive Definition Descriptive Expository Informal If you can't find the type of essay that you need to complete in this book, check "Essay Becomes Easy.Part I." There are guides on the other seven types of essays in this ...