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How to write a causal analysis essay | Topics, Outline, Examples

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Causal analysis essays are useful for many as they help students learn how to critically analyze texts, write well and perform better in different fields. This essay type allows them to think outside the box so as to find more relevant ways of solving their problems through more creative solutions.

What is a causal analysis essay?

A causal analysis essay is a type of analysis essay that explores the possible causes for an event or a particular phenomenon. In this type of essay, the writer states his/her opinion on what cause they think is most important and should be prioritized over others in order to solve the problem. It is best to use this method when analyzing complex problems with more than one possible cause. The writer must also support their arguments by providing evidence.

Discussed below are guidelines on how to write a causal analysis essay. The first point is that it’s essential to know all about the 3 main types of causation:

  • Direct Causation – This kind of causation occurs when one factor directly leads to another factor without any other factors interfering between them (see effect example below).
  • Indirect Causation – Indirect causation is the type of causation where one thing leads to another through a series of events or any other factors that intervene between them (see effect example below).
  • Causation by Omission – This kind of occurrence occurs when the agent fails to act on something. It’s not normal for an individual/agent to have all factors in place so as to direct an event directly from start to end therefore it usually happens when there are always other interfering agents at play (see effect example below). An omission can be either overt or covert depending on whether it was intentional and voluntary. Overt omission means that we simply did not do what should be done whereas a covert omission is one whereby the agent did not act intentionally but because of negligence or the fact that some factors were missing.

Purpose of causal analysis essay

A causal analysis essay is used to analyze the different causes that are responsible for an occurrence or an event. You may also decide to write this type of essay if you need a method in order to understand the ways in which one thing leads to another and the possibilities that lie therein so as to make better decisions in life.

In your outline, it is essential that you clearly state why you chose specific factors over others and how they led to the event/occurrence discussed. A good thesis statement should be clear about who did what and when, explains how each factor/agent contributed to the occurrence and summarizes all points considered. This should give your reader a clear picture of the whole story.

When writing, causal text, keep track of your main points and structure them accordingly when they are introduced. This will ensure that the point or idea which you introduce first ties in with all of your other relevant points later on. If not, mix up your order so that you avoid any confusion or misinterpretation. Remember always to show how each answer supports your thesis statement . Always use an outline format as this makes it easier for one to see exactly what your contention is without being too repetitive while at the same time ensuring you do not leave some important points.

Labeling helps when writing a causal analysis essay. As you work through your outline, you need to label each paragraph and even each sentence with its own definition. You are allowed to use other words that express the same meaning such as direct cause, indirect cause, agents and effect. This will make it easier for you in making them flow together later on.

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Structure of a causal analysis essay – format

The structure of a causal analysis essay is not any different from how we structure essays in other categories.

An good essay of this kind consists of 3 sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. These parts on an essay are discussed below:


In the essay introduction section, you should clearly state your position on the subject and provide an introduction to the topic at hand. You may also summarize other related studies done in the past or on a comparative basis. You are required to then make an outline of all relevant points that you will use later as support for your thesis statement


The body of an essay explains what each factor does individually so as to lead up to the final outcome. Make sure that you introduce them in a sequential manner since this would determine how they contributed towards the occurrence being discussed. It is within this section that one may critically analyze one’s own work by using specific texts from different authors and other evidence collected throughout research. The aim here is to portray one’s understanding of the subject matter in a way that would be able to convince even those with opposing views.


In an essay conclusion, it is essential that one restates his/her position and arguments. This helps to reinforce your thesis statement and finalize the essay.

Keep in mind that this type of essay needs evidence as support so you will need to use quotes from different authoritative texts or any other written material collected during research while doing so. The evidence should be presented in such a way where readers can understand the interrelations between them and how each supports your argument (thesis statement).

As seen above, causal analysis essay help’s people understand why something happened or what led to something else taking place. A well set out structure should give anyone who reads it a clear understanding of how everything occurred and why.

It is essential that one understand the importance of using a great concluding sentence in order to summarize what you have said throughout your essay. A good conclusion should normally start with a transition phrase and give a brief statement summarizing your position on the subject or on the occurrence being discussed. It is important also to restate your argument while at the same time pointing out some contradictions which may be faced by those who have opposing views.

Outlining a causal analysis paper

It would be best for you to have a clear understanding of what you are going to write about before diving right into writing so start off with forming an outline .

An effective outline makes it easy for you to create a coherent paper.

An outline allows you to see all causes together thereby allowing you to understand how they relate and form a causal relation.

It also helps you determine the order in which these agents acted upon one another as well as clearly explaining what events led from one point to another.

A good outline includes reference links that connect various ideas so that your points remain clear even when rearranged or presented out of sequence later on during your draft .

For a good example, check out the bibliography section below where I have underlined certain words for clarity.

Tips when creating a good outline for a causal analysis essay

  • You can either choose three or five main points which will then lead into your thesis statement or go ahead and list all that needs to be addressed within the body paragraphs.
  • It’s more essential however, that once done, you go back and check for details that might have been missed or items which can be added to make your work appear better.
  • It would also be best if you include the main points within the outline so as not to leave it out on accident once written.

Effect on Causal Analysis Essay

Determining effects in causal analysis essay is a little different from simply stating cause and effect. The reason for this is because you need to show how these events led to certain outcomes or what happened as a direct result from the 3 causes, whether it’s positive or negative consequences.

Causal analysis essay thesis statement – example

An essential part of a writing a research paper is its thesis statement . A good thesis statement has to outline the main objective or purpose of your paper and it should be in relation to your topic. It should not just state that there was an effect but what specific effects were observed as well as how and why they occurred.

For example: Global warming can lead to rising sea levels because the ice caps are melting due to increased temperature which causes water to expand therefore creating more ice melt, which then leads to flooding.

Conclusion of your causal analysis essay

The conclusion should restate your main ideas but it also has another purpose- tying up all loose ends that were not explained or were not clearly defined in the paper. This point should include your findings which are just a summary of what you have discovered after writing your essay, such as how one or all causes led to certain effects, why one event is more important than another, and how new information can be applied to future causal analysis essays . The last sentence should be broad enough so that it summarizes what was said earlier on in the conclusion, thus making it clear where each idea is coming from and how it connects back to the main points.

Bibliography on Causal Analysis Essay

The bibliography should be below your references. It is the point that links all the information in the reference list to your paper thereby providing you with a good summary of what each source says and its relevance to your piece.

In order to make sure that it makes sense, arrange your sources in chronological order by looking at their publication date and using those closest to the present day first as they will explain more recent occurrences. This way you can easily see how one thing leads to another through time as opposed to just linking them based on author and subject matter which would not allow for this sort of examination.

You need to write about each article separately and provide a clear outline of the authors’ points and include any charts/graphs that they have included as well.

Causal analysis essay pie chart

A pie chart can be used to show cause and effect of two or more variables. Pie charts work best when there is only one variable being measured at a time, such as: number of crimes committed per year versus gender (male/female); different types of customers who ate out last night (by age) versus how much money was spent; etc.

Causal analysis writing tips

Here is a list of few tips you might want to consider when writing a causal analysis essay for college, graduate, or high school assignment.

  • Writing style is informal but still involves formal conventions of syntax and grammar.
  • Your causal analysis essay thesis statement MUST be clearly stated in the introductory paragraph.
  • Do NOT use “I” or “we” in the paper, instead identify which author is making a point.
  • No need for any outside sources (the goal of this type of analysis essay is to make your own personal points).
  • Do NOT use vague language (for example, say “The cost of the product increased”, instead state exactly how much it rose by.)
  • Make a clear correlation between each element and its impact on your thesis. Make sure each part is relevant and not just thrown in there to make you look smart.
  • You should always keep your language simple and concise as this will help to ensure that one can easily follow your points without getting confused.
  • Include other things like graphs or charts too if needed to make a point clear but whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant otherwise it won’t improve your paper in any way. This also helps by adding interest and depth through credible evidence.
  • Use real-life or personal examples to bring your causal analysis paper to life.

Causal analysis case study essay

A causal analysis case study is one that puts into effect the process of determining which element or occurrence is the true cause/effect for a given outcome. The reason this is done in a case study format is to ensure that only relevant information and evidence are presented so as not to confuse or skew others’ perception about what information they should be looking at more closely. It’s important however, that before you start writing your paper, you first gather all relevant pieces of evidence required from past experiences and any other facts or current issues.

Before you start a causal analysis case study essay , it would help if you list out everything you wish to include within your work. You can either do this by making a table of contents or simply writing down the points you wish to make. It must be noted however, that an outline is not a mandatory requirement for every causal analysis essay so if it looks like your paper will end up being exceptionally long and complicated, going with the table of contents version would probably prove to be more beneficial in these cases.

If you really want to get ahead then you need solid sources to back up all claims made within an essay. The best place for one to find credible sources is from books as they tend to have been researched extensively while also having received expert opinions from those who were involved with the story/experience first-hand. The best option for one to get this will be through libraries which have books spanning many different topics and you will never run out of topics to choose from.

Using online sources is fine but make sure all sites are credible or else your essay could suffer later on when the reader notices that you’ve used unreliable information. It’s always best to stick with well-known articles though as they tend to have been reviewed by experts in their field which means any content has been checked and double checked as well as being free from plagiarism.

It is vital that you note down all of your sources where you got them from in a bibliography. You should take extra measures so that when done, you can easily access them all at one time because this will ensure that there are no discrepancies from what was found through research versus what already exists in print.

Student example of a causal analysis essay

Why do teenagers use drugs and what problems develop out of drug use?

Teenagers use drugs to escape their problems and to cope with themselves. Most teenagers take drugs because they believe that it will make them feel better and act more mature. Some teens use drugs because they have a sense of self-image which is difficult to live up to. They may be getting bullied at school or not fitting in with their parents or friends, or they may want to rebel from their home life and this is one way that they can do so.

Often times the drugs make the problem worse because now there are even more problems that need to be dealt with, especially if an addiction develops as a result of using the drug. Though, a lot of people don’t see these as problems because they’re just too wrapped up in their own lives and the illusion that drugs provide.

The first problem that teenagers face is a sense of self-image which they are unable to live up to. Some teens may get told by their parents or other people in their lives that they aren’t good enough, so then these teenagers try drugs and alcohol as an escape from this harsh reality because it makes them feel different; like they are on top of the world with no worries at all. The physical changes brought about by using drugs can cause some people to see themselves as more attractive than what others in their lives think they are. Drugs such as recreational marijuana make one’s colors seem brighter and you feel looser, while also making your inhibitions disappear, thus allowing you do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin make the user feel invincible and more powerful than their everyday selves, causing them to take chances that they normally would not take with a sober mind. Other drugs such as LSD can cause one to question reality in a way that drugs which do not provide hallucinations can not, sometimes leading people users into believing that they are doing things differently than what they are actually doing based on the delusions brought about by using. This may lead someone who is already an introvert to stay home even more often, while also making someone who is normally quiet become much louder due to extreme confidence or turning really outgoing people into real attention seekers; regardless of how socially awkward they may have been taking the drug or not.

Self-image issue can also lead to people taking drugs which are beyond their means and may end up hurting them physically, mentally or both in the near future. Teens who take drugs such as Ketamine, GHB and Rohypnol often times put themselves at risk of rape due to being unaware of what is happening around them while under the influence of the drug; things that would be much easier for someone sober to know right away. These same teenagers may also become an addict because they want more of the high these drugs give them and they’re not sure how else to achieve this other than by doing it again and again over time. This leads into a second problem which is addiction!

Once teens develop an addiction to drugs such as Heroin or cocaine, the problems they face become even worse. These teenagers may begin stealing from family and friends in order to get their drug fix, which makes them distant from those who were once close to them. This leaves people questioning why it is that their loved one has changed so much. If a teenager is not able to get money any other way besides what he steals, then the chances of him being caught by police goes up, thus also leading towards criminal charges for crimes committed while under the influence of drugs.

There are countless more examples which can be given for how teenagers who take drugs are creating problems for themselves because of the altered reality they think will improve their lives but instead lead to profound for themselves and those around them.

If teenagers are able to realize these problems early on, they can constantly work towards overcoming the obstacles which arise in their lives before they are so far gone that all hope is lost or until it becomes too late. The longer you take drugs, the harder it will be for one to break out of addiction because you have become so dependent on using something other than your natural self in order to feel better about yourself. A good way to prevent this would be to surround yourself with friends who don’t use drugs and face their current life challenge head on.

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A list of 100+ causal analysis essay topics

Looking for good causal analysis essay topics to write about? Here is a list of interesting causal analysis essay topics for your paper:

  1. What caused the French Revolution?
  2. Analyse the key causes of the Second World War
  3. What were the causes of the American Civil War? What caused Pearl Harbor to happen?
  4. What do you think was the cause of World War One? Was it an accident or could it have been prevented?
  5. What were a few causes of WWI?
  6. Is there any causal relationship between depression and cancer death rates?
  7. How many causal variables should be included in a regression analysis ?
  8. What caused economic growth and decline in 18th century France?
  9. How did the French Revolution ultimately fail?
  10. What role did Napoleon play in shaping modern Europe?
  11. Why was the Industrial Revolution accompanied by government repression?
  12. Why did the New Deal not end all unemployment during a time of very low unemployment rates before it began in 1933?
  13. What effect did German industry’s choice to send workers into combat have on its WWII efforts?
  14. How did the US government’s efforts to promote energy conservation in the 1970s impact America’s economic and political future?
  15. What caused World War I and why did it happen when it did?
  16. Why was Mussolini so successful at convincing Italy to adopt fascism?
  17. What caused Stalin’s push for rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union?
  18. What caused the Great Depression?
  19. How did the US’s entry into WWII help to end the Great Depression in America?
  20. What role did Germany’s economy play in causing World War II?
  21. How did Hitler’s ambitions lead to the formulation of the Final Solution and how was it carried out during WWII?
  22. Why do teenagers become addicted to drugs?
  23. How does the education system influence children’s emotional development?
  24. What are the reasons for and consequences of bullying at school? How does this differ from typical social conflict among young people?
  25. What effects does distance learning have on society?
  26. What are the benefits and disadvantages of wearing a school uniform in high school?
  27. Does the parental influence in a child’s education outplay friends and schools?
  28. What are some reasons why kids start smoking?
  29. Why are children better at learning new information than adults?
  30. What are the benefits of a blended education?
  31. Why does social media turn into a fixation for people?
  32. What was the specific cause of the Facebook scandal?
  33. Why is some people averse to matrimony?
  34. Why has homeschooling become so popular in the UK lately?
  35. Why were there so many colonies in the past?
  36. What are the pros and cons of Brexit?
  37. Why do mass shootings happen in the United States?
  38. What factors led to the political crisis in Spain?
  39. The celebrities in attendance usually wear incredibly fashionable outfits. Why then did this year’s attendees choose to break with precedent and dress exclusively in black?
  40. Why and what are the consequences of ceasefire between North Korea and South Korea?
  41. What will be the result of tense relations between the U.S. and Russia?
  42. Explain the reason for the beginning of the feminist movement..
  43. What caused American neoconservatism to reach its current level of development?
  44. Why is China going to relax its one-child policy?
  45. Why was Donald Trump elected president of the United States in 2016?
  46. What are the reasons that police have been targeted by gunmen in recent years?
  47. Why are terrorists using vehicles as weapons?
  48. Why didn’t the Arab Spring movement lead to successful democratic societies?
  49. How has Covid-19 changed recent changes in world politics?
  50. Why do so many Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
  51. What has caused typhoons incidents to be more frequent?
  52. What has caused hurricanes incidents to be more frequent?
  53. What causes the unrest in Middle Eastern countries that leads to civil wars such as Syria’s?
  54. How do you think the Great Recession started?
  55. Why are random shootings becoming more common in the U.S.?
  56. What causes terrorist groups to target certain countries?
  57. What are the effects of earthquakes to the construction industry?
  58. What caused the rise in terrorist attacks in the Middle East?
  59. What caused climate change to accelerate after the year 2000?
  60. Why did China experience increased demand for energy and what was its impact on the environment?
  61. What factors played a role in influencing political unrest in Ukraine?
  62. Explain how drugs influence people’s behavior.
  63. How is US federal debt distributed between foreigners, financial institutions, and households/businesses?
  64. A causal analysis of chemical plants in China and recent environmental changes.
  65. Analysis of the environmental legislation currently in effect in the US.
  66. An impact of animals chipping on their breeding patterns.
  67. How does leisure and relaxation in nature parks affect a person?
  68. What causes polar bear migration?
  69. What causes poverty from a sociological perspective?
  70. What are the causes and effects of poverty?
  71. An influence of Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and how it’s impacted my college life
  72. What has led to changes in relationship patterns over the past 5 years?
  73. What effect will traveling the world have on one’s personality?
  74. How do sports impact young people’s lives?
  75. What is the cause of today’s change in the education system?
  76. How do you think the Global Recession changed our culture?
  77. What are some reasons that restrict women from working outside of the home despite a gender-equal standard being increasingly accepted?
  78. Explain how baseball impacted my life.
  79. What effect does globalization have on companies’ uses of human resources and technology?
  80. Why do people watch reality shows such as Survivor or The Voice?
  81. What is cultural relativism, and why was it created?
  82. Who are a couple of your favorite movie stars today, and what makes them so special to you?
  83. Effects of an individual with no leadership skills becoming boss. How will this person handle authority if he/she has not been previously exposed to it?
  84. What are some of the reasons behind the popularity of fast food in America?
  85. Explain how television impacts our lives.
  86. How has geography impacted your life?
  87. What impact did Napster have on the music industry and personal relationships?
  88. What are 3 advantages and disadvantages of attending a school that requires uniforms?
  89. How does a uniform compare to semi-formal attire without regard to cost, availability, etc.?
  90. Why should students be required to wear a uniform?
  91. Discuss the causes of furthering globalization and the effects it has had on society.
  92. What are some causes of crime in today’s world? How can these problems be resolved?
  93. Discuss what is meant by cultural relativism. How does it impact global communication/society as a whole?
  94. How do you think your life would change if you were to win the lottery? Would this cause any long-term problems or actions? Are there any ways that your life will change regardless of money issues (family, friends, etc.)?
  95. What is the main issue surrounding college education today and how would a person with no formal education benefit from going to a four-year university? Does earning a degree necessarily mean that someone will have a better job?
  96. Should students with lower grades be admitted into more competitive schools over those with higher GPAs/SAT scores?
  97. How does the rise of technology impact language development in young children (specifically in terms of grammar and vocabulary)?
  98. What are some ways to decrease college dropout rates among first-time, full-time freshmen?
  99. Why do people attend university/college for their education rather than take vocational courses as an alternative route?
  100. What causes homelessness from a sociological perspective? Why has it become such a noticeable problem since 2009 , is this a temporary trend, or will this continue into the future?
  101. What is progress in terms of technological advances and how does it affect lifestyles today?
  102. Explain what cultural relativism is and why it should be valued. What can individuals do to ensure that cultural relativism becomes stronger rather than weaker over time (as well as globally)?
  103. What causes to teen pregnancy?
  104. Is there any one factor that causes teenage pregnancy?
  105. Why has teen pregnancy increased so much in the last few years? Does this have to do with parents, lack of parental supervision, young girls thinking they’re mature and know what’s best for them or…?
  106. What is cultural relativism and how does it affect us today (as a whole)? Are you more confident in your viewpoint because you live in a big city or a small town? What about that would make you more confident about your beliefs/opinions?
  107. How can social media have both positive and negative impacts on society?

These is a list of 108 topics for a causal analysis essay you can use to write a causal analysis essay for college. If you need help, post your question to get 100% plagiarism free causal analysis essay written for you by the leading causal analysis essay writers online.

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