Everything You Need to Know about Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is a popular type of written work where the author should use their analytical and writing skills to demonstrate a link between the two phenomena. The phenomena may come from any aspect of life, which is why the writer should be well-versed in the area he’s analyzing. Writing a cause and effect essay is not the easiest job in the world, but with our tips, you will increase your chances of doing a good job on your next assignment.

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

The cause and effect essay is also known as the reason and result in an essay, which already explains the specifics of this type of written assignment. With this essay, your job as a writer to analyze the causes that led to a particular effect. Not every cause and effect essay strictly follows this definition: in some cases, you will be asked to analyze only the cause or only the effect of a phenomenon.

Structure of a Cause and Effect Essay

The proper structure is a very important requirement for the success of your essay. In the case of a cause and effect essay, the two structures you can use in your writing are the chain structure and block structure. The chain structure means that every cause is followed by a corresponding effect. In the block structure, the causes are listed first, and then the writer includes the effects.

Each type of structure has its advantages. The block structure is usually used in shorter, less detailed essays, while the chain structure works perfectly for essays where each effect needs to be explained in relation to the cause.

The cause and effect essay has some specific words and phrases that signal the transition from the cause to the effect for the reader. These words and phrases include “because”, “as a result”, “therefore”, “given that”, “consequently”, “to result from”, and others. It is important to use those phrases to create smooth transitions and make it clear to the reader where the cause ends and the effect begins.

Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Follow these steps to do the best job with your cause and effect essay:

  1. Understand the difference between the cause and the effect. The cause needs to answer the question “Why did this happen?”, while the effect is the answer to the question “What was the result of it happening?”. Sometimes, a single cause has multiple effects or several causes lead to one effect.
  2. Formulate the thesis statement. You will refer to the thesis statement several times in your essay, so make sure it’s all-encompassing. In the thesis statement, you should indicate whether you are going to discuss causes, effects, or both.
  3. Research your ideas. Once you have a few ideas on what to write about, you need to then look for evidence to support your arguments. Research relevant sources and find supporting ideas for your arguments. You can organize them in chronological order, according to the category, or based on their importance.
  4. Use transitional phrases. The transitional phrases we listed earlier are essential for creating a smooth flow of your test and avoiding any unnecessary steps in your narrative.

Cause and Effect Essay Ideas

When choosing a topic for your cause and effect essay, you are nearly unlimited in your choice of subject. On the one hand, it gives you plenty of creative freedom. On the other hand, it makes picking the right topic more challenging. If you are struggling with finding the best idea for your cause and effect essay, here are some ideas you can use for inspiration:

Family and relationships

  1. The effects of living together before marriage.
  2. The causes of bad sibling relationships.
  3. The effects of unfaithful spouses on marriage.
  4. The causes of a growing number of single-parent households.
  5. The effects of taking family vacations every year.

Environment

  1. The causes of major environmental catastrophes.
  2. The effects of global warming.
  3. The causes of climate change.
  4. The effects of pollution.

Society

  1. The effects of social media on communication.
  2. The causes of poverty.
  3. The effects of social housing on youth.
  4. The causes of gang violence.

Technology

  1. The effects of technology in the classroom setting.
  2. The causes of China’s technological advancements.
  3. The effects of technology on early childhood.
  4. The effects of teenagers being present on the internet.

Education

  1. Causes and effects of switching majors in the middle of college.
  2. The effects of cheating on a test.
  3. The effects of going back to school as an adult.
  4. The causes of underperforming in school.

Health

  1. The effects of not vaccinating children.
  2. The causes of insomnia.
  3. The effects of an unbalanced diet on health.
  4. The effects of smoking on health.

Psychology

  1. The effects of poor mental health.
  2. The causes of not feeling empathy.
  3. The effects of social media use on depression in teenagers.

If you are writing a cause and effect essay for college, there is a big chance that you will be assigned the topic of the essay by your professor. If that is not the case, here are a few tips on how to choose a good topic for your cause and effect essay:

●    Consider your personal interests. Writing about something you are passionate about always pays off.

●    Consider your own history. There must be something in your family, friendship, or school experiences that will inspire you to write a strong essay.

●    Consider the headlines. The audience always responds well to essays that cover recent events and news.

Cause and Effect Essay Paragraphs

The typical format of a cause and effect essay will contain five paragraphs:

  1. Introduction, where you will inform the readers on the subject of the essay and other important information. The introduction will also contain the thesis statement.
  2. Body paragraphs, where you will follow the defined structure to present your arguments. Each argument must be supported with examples and evidence to convince the readers.
  3. Conclusion, where your job is to once again state your thesis statement and demonstrate how you were able to prove it with your cause and effect essay.
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