Writing a cause and effect essay requires the writer to examine the reasons behind an effect. Sometimes that cause is easy to spot, but other times it can be more difficult to figure out. All students, be it high school or college level students have been required to write a cause and effect essay or create a cause-and-effect essay outline as a part of school assignment.
Writing a cause and effect essay outline is much like writing any other kind of essay that requires research. It does require more specific kinds of information however in order to create a good cause and effect essay outline. The writer must be able to tell when, where, how and by whom one event has led to another. Some students find it useful to make a list of everything they know about the subject before beginning the actual research for their paper.
This writing guide will cover the following sections:
- What is a cause and effect essay?
- What Is the purpose of a cause and effect essay?
- How to write a cause and effect essay.
- What are good cause and effect essay topics for college students?
- Need help writing a cause and effect essay?
Let us get started by reviewing at the definition of a cause and effect essay:
What is a cause and effect essay?
A cause and effect essay is an explanatory piece of writing that discusses how one event/action/thing results in another happening. The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to analyze the sequence of events, outline the pattern between them, and provide reasons for why these things occur.
What Is the purpose of a cause and effect essay?
From the definition of a cause-and-effect essay above, we can conclude that the main purpose of a cause-and-effect essay is to explain what causes something and why it happens. It also explains how the event takes place.
Basic cause and effect essay format
It can be developed in many ways, but there are five main parts of a cause-and-effect essay:
- Introductory paragraph(s),
- Body paragraphs,
- Works cited page or bibliography,
- Title page.
Each of these parts are discussed below:
The introduction of a cause and effect essay should include three things: a thesis statement, basic background information about what you’ll be explaining (specific information that needs to be addressed), and a hook to catch your reader’s’ attention. If you have several points of argumentation then feel free to organize them into subtopics and address each one.
The body paragraphs should have a very similar structure to the introduction paragraphs: the topic sentence, the support sentences that use evidence from the story or text to develop your argument, and a closing line. These three parts of a paragraph work to strengthen your case.
A conclusion should include a quick summary of your main points, ways in which your paper is distinctive, and/or an explanation on why this piece matters. It can also offer solutions or insight into how to prevent something from happening again.
Works cited page or bibliography
In addition to the introduction and conclusion there needs to be a works cited page or bibliography at the end of the essay. This part should contain all sources used for this project as well as information about authors.
The essay title page should include the name of the author, class or course number, assignment title, and date. It is important to check with your instructor on what exactly needs to be included in the essay cover page section.
How to write a cause and effect essay
Still wondering how to write a cause and effect essay? Writing a cause and effect essay, involves 7 major steps:
- Brainstorming the topic.
- Establishing a thesis statement.
- Arranging the main points into body paragraphs.
- Writing the first draft.
- Review Your Essay.
- Writing the final draft.
- Proofreading and editing.
These steps of writing a good cause-and-effect essay are discussed below:
1. Brainstorming the topic.
Brainstorming is where you think of ideas that are related to your topic. For example, if you were writing an essay about how e-mail helps people communicate with each other better, then brainstorming would include thinking of what makes communication between people effective or ineffective, including topics such as words used in the message, whether it’s face-to-face conversation or through writing on paper or online tutoring service.
Why brainstorming is necessary: It helps you narrow your topic and form a thesis statement later on in the writing process. Brainstorming also looks for connections between causes and effects, whether they be direct or indirect.
2. Establishing a thesis statement.
Establishing a thesis statement: The purpose of step 2 of writing an essay is to try and show readers why the ideas presented in the paper are important enough to read. Your readers should get some insight into what ideas you will present before actually reading them so that they know what to expect from your essay. Readers appreciate knowing where the writer is going with their thoughts, especially if it’s information they believe will be useful to them such as how one can prevent heart disease by exercising more often than not.. Arranging the main points into body paragraphs.
3. Arranging the main points into body paragraphs.
Body paragraphs are where readers explore the details of your subject. The thesis statement in a cause and effect paper is similar to that in an argumentative essay because it states not only what you intend to show but also what evidence will be brought forward to support the claim. A body paragraph that corresponds to a cause and effect essay can be organized into three basic parts:
- an explanation of the cause,
- an explanation showing how this led to some effect
- a conclusion which briefly tells readers what they’ve learned from all of this.
For instance, if your assignment asked you to explain why more young people are dissatisfied with their jobs these days, one possible body paragraph might look like this:
“Young people today feel increasingly unhappy in the workplace because there is such a strong emphasis on competition coupled with pressure to secure jobs that offer stability and high salaries. This feeling can be attributed largely to technology which allows employers and recruiters alike to screen out not only the unskilled workers but also those who are struggling in their current positions. The media also encourages these feelings by focusing on stories of success and wealth, making it seem as if happiness lies within the ability to make lots of money.”
4. Writing the first draft.
The first draft is everything you write before proofreading for errors, clarity and logic. The first draft should be written quickly so that all ideas, however incomplete or disjointed, can be presented on paper.. The key to writing the first draft is not to take time rewriting it; instead, expand on your points during the essay revision stage.
For perfect tips on on this, read more on how to revise an essay.
5. Review Your Essay
Reviewing what you have written before proofreading for errors, clarity and logic helps you determine what might need to be changed in your paper. For example, parts of your essay may not make sense or seem to jump around between ideas. All drafts should be reviewed for errors, particularly spelling mistakes because they could confuse the reader by changing the meaning of a sentence. Also, if there are sentences that are not clear or are confusing, then they should be rewritten.
6. Writing the final draft.
If all goes well during the first draft stage, you can move on to writing another draft with fewer problems than existed in the original draft. The final draft is where you polish your work for publishing. You review your entire essay once more looking for grammar mistakes or missing words that change the meaning of certain passages.. If changes are necessary, you use your word processor’s spelling and grammar checker to help you write a perfect essay.
7. Proofreading and editing.
The final step of writing your cause-and-effect paper is proofreading for grammar mistakes or missing words that change the meaning of certain passages. The key to writing a successful paper is not rewriting it several times but rather polishing one draft until it’s free of all problems, then moving on to the next draft until it too has been perfected. This approach saves time because each draft need only be reviewed before making corrections for common errors such as misspelled words, faulty sentence structure (such as wrong verb tense) and incorrect punctuation marks. That said, having another person review your work is also recommended in order to get another perspective on what needs to be fixed.
Once your cause-and-effect paper is free of all problems, it’s good to go. Good luck with your cause and effect essay writing!
Now you know how to write a cause and effect essay paper that will earn you a good grade.
What are good cause and effect essay topics for college students?
Here are some of interesting cause and effect essay topics to write about:
- Causes and effects of tsunami and earthquakes
- Causes and effects of global warming and climate change
- Causes and effects of poverty
- Causes and effects of ignorance
- Causes and effects of obesity
- Causes and effects of stress
- Causes and effects of depression
- Causes and effects of alcoholism
- And here are some more cause and effect essay topics:
- What causes low self-esteem? What are the effects of low self esteem? How can these problems be solved?
- What causes plagiarism? What are the effects of plagiarism? How can these problems be solved?
- What causes obesity in children and how does this affect their health and behavior?
- What are some of the environmental effects of using too much fossil-fuels, such as oil and coal?
- How has global warming affected the environment so far and what will it lead to if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels?
- How have terrorist groups motivated people all over the world to commit acts of terror with similar results (destruction, power)?
- How have the actions of governments and political groups motivated terrorist groups to start wars?
- What are some things that can motivate a person to commit a crime?
- What are some causes and effects of stress in college students?
- What is bullying? How does bullying affect people who are bullied, bullies, and bystanders?
- What makes teenagers so vulnerable to depression and suicide? What effects does it have on them?
- Causes of juvenile delinquency
- What causes teenage pregnancy and how does it affect teenagers and their families in addition to the society they live in?
- What causes teenagers to drink alcohol? What are its immediate effects when people underage consume it such as alcohol poisoning? What are its long-term effects?
- What causes students to dropout of high school and what are the effects of it on them, their families, their communities, and society in general?
- How do the media affect teenagers’ body image perceptions? How does it affect people’s self-esteem? How does this help or harm individuals’ mental health and well-being later in life?
- What leads people to commit violent crimes such as murder? What are the short term effects of committing a crime like this on individuals involved with it (killers/victims)? What are the long term effects on them and the victims’ family members and friends who suffer from loss due to these crimes?
- What influences people to become criminals? How does this happen?
- What can be done to solve problems existing in the world today, such as crime and wars? How can we make the world a better place?
- What are some causes of poverty around the world and what are its effects on people’s health, lifestyle, behavior, etc.? What can be done to help end poverty worldwide?
- What are some causes of natural disasters/environmental issues/climate change and how do they affect people both directly or indirectly depending on their location or country?
- How have different cultures throughout history influenced the way people live today in terms of traditions/norms/belief systems/lifestyles/etc.?
- How has religion shaped human lives throughout history?
- What causes wars and how do they affect people living in countries involved in them?
- What can be done to stop wars occurring around the world today? How can we prevent further wars from happening again in the future?
- How has technology influenced people throughout history? How does this influence people here and now and what is its impact on our society’s future generations and the world itself as a whole ? How will it influence humans in 10 years time or 100 years time or more than that? What are some dangers of high-tech products such as cell phones, robots, etc.?
- What leads to crime such as theft and robbery all around the world these days?
- What leads people to become criminals/criminals themselves (e.g., poverty?)?
- How has poverty affected the lives of people living in third world countries and how does it affect their families’ and communities’ well-being?
- What causes wars and what can we do to stop them from happening around the world again?
- What causes violence and war and what can we do to stop them from occurring again in human history?
- Effects of globalization on the environment
- What are some causes and effects of global warming? How can we solve these issues?
- How does globalization affect people who live in countries where a lot of foreigners immigrate to/foreign companies very involved with their local economy/etc.? What are its positive and negative impacts on both them and the country’s economy at large?
- Effects of industrialization on the environment
- What are some causes and effects of deforestation/deforestation rates increasing around the world? What can we do to stop them from continuing?
- What are some causes and effects of air pollution? How can we improve air quality in our cities, countryside, etc.?
- Effects of human activity on land/unnatural formations made by humans
- How have civilizations throughout history affected the Earth’s landscape through development, agriculture, construction, building roads and other structures for modern civilization today?
- What are some short term and long term negative effects of these changes on humans and nonliving things alike? What can we do to prevent further damage/negative impacts from occurring for future generations?
- Causes and effects of air pollution
For help with general essay topics and cause and effect essay topics and ideas, feel free to contact professional essay writers for hire and online writing tutors to get all your writing homework help or questions answered professionally.
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