Two Tips For Writing A Cause And Effect Essay

What is a cause and effect essay?

Cause and effect essays are concerned with why things happen (causes) and what happens as a result (effects). Cause and effect is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas.

Follow these steps when writing a cause and effect essay

  1. Distinguish between cause and effect. To determine causes, ask, "Why did this happen?" To identify effects, ask, "What happened because of this?" The following is an example of one cause producing one effect:
    Cause
    You are out of gas.
    Effect
    Your car won't start.

    Sometimes, many causes contribute to a single effect or many effects may result from a single cause. (Your instructor will specify which cause/effect method to use.) The following are examples:

    Causes
    liked business in high school
    salaries in the field are high
    have an aunt who is an accountant
    am good with numbers
    Effect
    choose to major in accounting
    Cause
    reduce work hours
    Effects
    less income
    employer is irritated
    more time to study
    more time for family and friends

    However, most situations are more complicated. The following is an example of a chain reaction:

    Thinking about friend…forgot to buy gas…car wouldn't start…missed math exam…failed math course.

  2. Develop your thesis statement. State clearly whether you are discussing causes, effects, or both. Introduce your main idea, using the terms "cause" and/or "effect."
  3. Find and organize supporting details. Back up your thesis with relevant and sufficient details that are organized. You can organize details in the following ways:
    • Chronological. Details are arranged in the order in which the events occurred.
    • Order of importance. Details are arranged from least to most important or vice versa.
    • Categorical. Details are arranged by dividing the topic into parts or categories.
  4. Use appropriate transitions. To blend details smoothly in cause and effect essays, use the transitional words and phrases listed below.
    For causes
    because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second
    For Effects
    consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore

    When writing your essay, keep the following suggestions in mind:

    • Remember your purpose. Decide if your are writing to inform or persuade.
    • Focus on immediate and direct causes (or effects.) Limit yourself to causes that are close in time and related, as opposed to remote and indirect causes, which occur later and are related indirectly.
    • Strengthen your essay by using supporting evidence. Define terms, offer facts and statistics, or provide examples, anecdotes, or personal observations that support your ideas.
    • Qualify or limit your statements about cause and effect. Unless there is clear evidence that one event is related to another, qualify your statements with phrases such as "It appears that the cause was" or "It seems likely" or "The evidence may indicate" or "Available evidence suggests."

    To evaluate the effectiveness of a cause and effect essay, ask the following questions:

    What are the causes? What are the effects? Which should be emphasized? Are there single or multiple causes? Single or multiple effects? Is a chain reaction involved?

Choosing the essay topic for cause and effect essay type is not difficult, here are some sample essay topics:

  • Effects of Pollution
  • The Changes in the Ocean
  • The Civil Rights Movement and the Effects
  • ...

Please, make sure you choose the essay topic that is really important for you. Choosing the correct essay topic makes your cause and effect essay more interesting and successful.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay on any Topic

Published 5/9/2013

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A Cause and Effect essay essay is concerned with why things happen and what happens as a result (effects). Cause and effect is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas.

When writing your essay, remember your purpose. Decide if your are writing to persuade or inform. Focus on immediate and direct effects. Limit yourself to causes that are close in time and related, as opposed to remote and indirect causes, which occur later and are related indirectly.

Choosing a Topic for Cause and Effect Essay

In order to write a good Cause and Effect essay, you need to find a good topic for it, i.e. a topic that lets you easily demonstrate your writing skills and finally get a high grade without thinking too much.

Althrough choosing the essay topic for cause and effect essay type is not difficult, It’s important you choose the essay topic that is really important for you. Choosing the correct essay topic makes your essay more interesting and successful.

Here are some examples of pretty good Cause and Effect essay topics:

The Civil Rights Movement and the Effects

Causes and Effects of the Popularity of Fast Food Restaurants

Popularity of Sports in US Internet Influence on kids

Effects of Pollution

The Changes in the Ocean

Using the following links, you can find a lot of good topics for your Cause and Effect essay:

100 Cause and Effect Essay Topics

40 Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics – Students’ Choice

Cause Effect Essay Sample Topics

40 Writing Topics: Causes and Effects

Cause and Effect essay structure

Considering the right structure for your essay is one of the key points of success. Sticking to a recommended essay structure is the only way to properly outline and write it, paragraph by paragraph from the introduction to conclusion, without mistakes.

Depending on the kind of relation between causes and effects, your essay can be organized by one of the three patterns: "Multiple Causes, One Effect" pattern, "One Cause, Multiple Effects" pattern and "Causal Chain (Domino)" pattern

Multiple Causes One Effect pattern

This pattern deals with the situation when one effect is a result of multiple causes.

It contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, each one describing one of the causes, leading to the effect.

One Cause Multiple Effects

This pattern should be used when one cause leads to multiple effects.

It contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, each one describing one of the effects, the cause is leading to.

Causal Chain (Domino)

Sometimes a cause leads to a situation and that situation leads to another situation and so on.

This is called a causal chain or domino effect.

Causal chain pattern contains seven paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and five paragraphs, each one describing one causal link.

After choosing an essay pattern, now all you need is to write your cause and effect essay, on any topic, according to your pattern’s structure. Also, be sure to read the A+ writing tips for a cause and effect essay on any topic below. Follow these instructions and you will write a high grading cause and effect essay.

Writing an A+ Cause and Effect Essay

Introduction

In a Cause and Effect essay, the introduction is very important. It gives the reader his/her first impression of the text.

First of all, provide background information. Than state your essay’s thesis.

In "Multiple Causes, One Effect" pattern, enumerate the causes / causes groups leading to this effect. For example:

Hunger is a result of many reasons such as poverty, models of development and consumption, violence and militarism.

In "One Cause, Multiple Effects" pattern, enumerate the effects / effect groups of the cause. For example:

TV was also invented with positive thoughts in mind – there would be no national borders, education and communication would be worldwide, etc. However, we are now trying to overcome its physiological and psychological adverse effects on human beings.

In "Causal Chain (Domino)" pattern, state that the first cause in the chain leads to the final effect. For example:

Let’s see how the use of popular deodorants can bring the end of world.

Multiple Causes, One Effect – Cause Paragraph

Clearly state the cause

One of the main causes of hunger is poverty – lack of purchasing power and access to resources.

Support the cause by two supports – major and minor

Poverty is linked not only with poor national economic performance but also with an unequal distribution of income and a political structure that renders poor people powerless, whether in a democracy or a dictatorship.

While writing, these supporting ideas should be adequately explained and exemplified as well.

Globally, incomes and consumption differ starkly. Twenty percent of the world’s population – mostly in industrial countries – receives 85 percent of the world’s income and accounts for 80 percent of consumption, producing two-thirds of all greenhouse gases and 90 percent of ozone - depleting chlorofluorocarbons. This level of consumption is not sustainable at the global level.

Use appropriate transitions

To blend details smoothly, use the transitional words and phrases listed below:

because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second

One Cause, Multiple Effects – Effect Paragraph

Clearly state the effect

One of the physiological effects of watching TV in excessive amounts is eye-strain.

Explain it in details

It is true that there are specifications for watching TV; TV should be 5 m. away from the eye, the room should be adequately lit, TV should be placed at the same height with our eyes, etc. However, these do not prevent our eyes from getting tired if we keep watching TV for a long time.

If it’s a group of effects consequently explain each effect:

Another effect is obesity, which is widely observed in people who like watching TV and eating snacks everyday (there is even a term “TV snacks” to refer to fast food that is suitable for eating in front of the TV). TV is such a powerful machine that people cannot get away from it – it is addictive.

Use appropriate transitions

To blend details smoothly, use the transitional words and phrases listed below:

consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore

Causal Chain (Domino) – Causal Link Paragraph

Keep in mind the causal chain

deodorants contain chlorofluorocarbon gases ->
this gas destroys the ozone layer ->
unfiltered ultraviolet rays melt icebergs ->
the sea-level rises -> sea covers the land -> end of the world.

In each paragraph you deal with one cause / effect entry

Clearly state the cause and the effect

Chlorofluorocarbon gases cause the ozone layer to become thinner and finally disappear in patches

Explain the link in details

Years of deforestation and pollution have slowly but steadily damaged the atmosphere and depleted the ozone layer. Refrigerators and air conditioners, for example, emit harmful Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which cause the depletion of the ozone layer, which results in Global warming.

Use appropriate transition terms

To blend details smoothly, use transitional terms, such as those listed below:

because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second, consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore

Conclusion

The conclusion of a cause and effect essay is one of the more important essay components. Without a solid ending, the earlier analysis could fall flat, no matter how well written the ideas were.

Restate (do not repeat) the thesis

Global warming is the result of human negligence. Years of deforestation and pollution have slowly but steadily damaged the atmosphere and depleted the ozone layer.

Consider the implications

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and ask yourself what needs to be said to finish things up in a clear, concise way. What things need to be addressed in order to wrap things up?

You may explain how your conclusion should be practically used; express your hopes as you look to the future; issue a call for action, etc.:

To reduce Global warming we need to control the air pollution, the emission of the harmful gases and factory smoke. We need to respect and protect our environment so that we have safe and healthy air to breathe and we can live in a clean atmosphere.

Finalizing your Work

Pay attention that even though your essay is fully written, it still isn’t ready to submission.

There are some common and annoying mistakes which may significantly harm your grade. However, you can avoid those grade lowering mistakes by completing the following checklist:

  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Ensure that your essay is fully compliant with the required formatting standard
  • Properly organize all the citations and the References / Works Cited page
  • Ensure that your title page is done as required
  • Take a final look at your paper to be certain that everything is indeed fine

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