“For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes.”
Joseph M. Juran
The entire universe is connected and so are the people, events, ideas. Sometimes we are aware of these connections, but in other instances, we are not. Every cause has its consequence or results even if we don’t see it at a first glance. This is the premise behind cause and effect essays. A common assignment in high school and college, cause and effect essay urges a writer to elaborate root of the idea or problem and its larger impact. This useful guide will show you how to complete one such essay easily.
The main point of this essay is to determine how various ideas or phenomena are connected to one another. A write creates a scenario where one cause generates one or more consequences and why. The paper requires a deep understanding of the subject and focuses on explaining all the “whys” and “hows”. Contrary to the common misconception, this essay doesn’t just state a cause and result but also describes how and why it took place. Why did something happen? How did it occur?
Benefits of writing a cause and effect essay
Every essay has its purpose that goes beyond the subject. Believe it or not, essay writing is a practical and effective way of improving different skills you’ll be using throughout your life. That’s why students get these assignments in the first place. Let’s take a look at skills that you develop while working on a cause and effect essay:
- Writing skills – of course, working on different assignments sharpens your writing skills and this essay is not an exception
- Organizational skills – we need to be organized in every aspect of our lives in order to get something done. Cause and effect essay improves your ability to get organized. You arrange causes and effects in a way that will keep reader’s interest and avoid creating additional confusions about the subject. While researching, you can identify a multitude of causes and effects. Good organizational skills are essential to categorize them and include into your essay properly
- Attention to details – this form of essay isn’t just about mention a cause and consequences that everyone can see, it digs deep and highlight some causal links we don’t notice easily. To do this, you need to pay attention to details. Frequent cause and effect essay writing sharpens this skill and it can only be good for you, especially in the working environment
- Objective thinking – the goal is to report a causal link between two ideas or situations without letting your emotions interfere with the way you write. Being unbiased is a great skill to adopt as it only makes you seem more authoritative and responsible
Areas of interest
Similarly to other forms of essay writing, cause and effect paper can write about everything that’s happening in the world around us. Everything you see, read, witness, hear, or experience can be turned into a discussion and, thereby a cause and effect essay. Every action has its consequences. That means you have plenty of causes (actions) and effects (consequences) to write about. Here are common categories:
- World events
- Social issues
- Relationships and marriage
- Health and medicine
Cause and effect essay outline
Quality of your cause and effect essay depends on the outline you follow. You can consider outline as the spine of your essay. Just like spine supports the body, outline supports your paper and keeps you on the right track. We have a lot to say when writing an essay and it’s easy to get off the subject. The strong outline doesn’t allow that to happen. Here’s an outline of cause and effect essay:
- Introduction – sets the tone of the essay, catches reader’s attention, and creates a sound basis for the entire paper. It provides background information that introduces the topic and finishes with a thesis statement
- Causes/effects – the central part of the essay and one can write it in many ways. You can mention causes or effects individually or causal links (causes + effects). The approach depends on the way you organize the paper or causes and effects you wish to discuss
- Conclusion – restates the topic and its importance summarizes causes and effects discussed and calls for action while explaining what could happen if we don’t act on the matter
Having to discuss some subject in a detail and mention its causes and effects may be overwhelming. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly natural to be concerned. It shows you care. Too much stress, though, is not a good thing. In order to minimize stress, you need to know all the tricks and tips that make the writing process easier, and here they are:
- Understand cause vs. effects – it is not uncommon for students to mix them up. Cause is the catalyst or the reason behind the occurrence of some event while effect is its consequence
- Research – regardless of the type of the paper, research is a must. Investigate the subject from different angles, think outside the box, and collect information that you’ll use later
- Make meaningful links – you need to explain effects by making appropriate links to causes. Their relationship has to be solid and discussed thoroughly. Avoid discussing causes and effects that have a barely noticeable link
- Quality over quantity – avoid piling causes and effects one after another. Remember, you should provide a deeper insight into their relationship and use evidence to support your claims. Quality of a cause-effect link beats quantity
- Choose the method – you can arrange causes and effects in a chronological order, based on the importance, or categorize them. Choose the approach you find most convenient
- Smooth transition – to avoid choppiness, use transition words that allow you to switch from one point to another seamlessly. Transition words for causes include: due to, because, first, since etc. Words for causes include: consequently, thereby, hence, therefore, thus
- Remember the purpose – the goal of this essay is to inform the reader about causes and effects associated with some subject, it rarely (almost never) involves persuading someone to adopt your view
- Be unbiased – you may agree or disagree with someone, like or dislike, love or hate, but you should never show it in the paper. Cause and effect essay should be unbiased or objective
- Don’t exaggerate – for a stronger impact one might feel tempted to exaggerate the effects or causes, but you need to avoid doing that. Stick to the facts only
- Evidence – it’s not enough to write “this cause has this effect”, you need evidence to support everything you write. Use reputable journals, publications, and other respected sources during this process
Cause and Effect Essay Topics
You get to choose your own cause and effect essay topic? That’s wonderful! In many cases lecturers allow students to write an essay based on a subject they choose for themselves. Some students spend hours thinking about topics they could discuss, but you don’t have to do that.
Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Here are great ideas for you:
- Causes of voter apathy
- What is the effect of divorce on children? Does the child’s age make any difference?
- Effects of abortion on a relationship
- Causes behind US poverty
- Causes of homelessness and its effects on society
- Effects of increasing obesity rates in the US
- Effects of stress on health
- What are the effects of violent video games on a child’s cognition and behavior?
- Causes of addition to exercise and its effects
- College dropout rates have never been higher: causes and effects
- Reasons why online shopping makes internet users spend more money
- Positive and negative effects of technology on our lives
- Effects of feminism on marriage
- Causes and effects of air pollution
- What was the effect of colonialism on Britain’s view of itself?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Relationships and family
- What causes people to cheat on each their partners.
- Effects of living together before the marriage.
- Long-term effects of growing up with a single parent.
- What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships?
- What are causes of destructive relationships between siblings?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Environment
- What is the most dangerous factor that affects the world climate changes today?
- Has human curiosity had an overall positive or negative effect on the planet?
- What effect did human curiosity in relation to our planet?
- What are causes of environmental catastrophes?
- What could be the effects of global warming on the planet?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Social issues
- What impact does frequent violence (either from war or street violence) have on a community?
- What effect makes social networks on real life communications?
- What are the causes of poverty in megalopolises?
- How lack of freedom can effect on the society?
- What are the effects of living in poor housing?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Technology
- Effects of modern technological progress on children.
- What impact has the internet on youth?
- What are effects of using modern technologies during the class work?
- How technology development affects the state of nature?
- What are causes of technological advancements in Japan?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Education
- What are causes and effects of changing a major in the middle of the studies?
- What makes a person be an excellent student?
- The causes and effects of an exam failure.
- The cause and effects of cheating at the exams.
- What are the effects of student involvement into extra-curricular activities?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Psychology
- Why has depression become one of the most wide-spread illnesses?
- What makes a person have a good mood?
- The effects of stress on students who both study and work.
- Why is good mental health no less important than physical well-being?
- What are causes and effects of having an empathy?
Topic Ideas: Health
- How does a person’s diet affect his or her health?
- Causes and effects of vaccination in teenage age.
- Effects of having smallpox in adult age.
- What are causes of long-term smoking?
- What are the causes and effect of insomnia during exam week?
Topic Ideas: Food
- Cause and effects of eating seafood.
- Effects of eating only vegetarian food.
- Why is it dangerous to eat in cheap fast food restaurants?
- Effects of eating genetically modified foods.
- What are the typical causes of loss of appetite?
Topic Ideas: Sport
- How regular workout improves the productivity of a person?
- Causes and effects of skipping physical education lessons in school.
- What are effects of doing sports professionally?
- Causes and effects of sports violence.
- What effect does doing extreme sports have?
Topic Ideas: Culture
- What is the reason of popularity of movies based on comic books?
- How listening to favorite music affect the person?
- Why are summer music festivals so popular among youth?
- How free music downloading effects the artist
- What are long-term effects of video games playing addiction?
The cause and effect essay writing doesn’t have to turn into a major struggle. You have the opportunity to make this process easy. How? It’s simple; thanks to the amazing breakthrough of technology and easy internet availability, students have access to multiple platforms and tools that simplify essay writing. Here are a few examples.
Essay topic generator
Instead of browsing Google and spending hours trying to come up with a cause and effect essay topic, you can just use Edusson Magic Help. The platform displays a multitude of topic ideas you can use to practice or write your own essay. Search by alphabet, category, most popular topics, or simply enter a keyword and you’ll see an abundance of titles that will inspire you.
Use Edusson Magic Help essay samples to see how other students wrote their own cause and effect essays. This will inspire you to write your own, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and avoid common pitfalls. With a prescription plan, you can also save some essays in the library and read them later.
Essay checker called RobotDon is a highly practical platform and the best tool a student can use when writing an essay. The software utilizes cutting-edge algorithms to analyze uniqueness and check for plagiarism. In addition, it checks sentence structure, rhythm, readability, word use, and overall quality of your paper.
Essay writing service
Professional writing service gathers an amazing team of writers who can create cause and effect essay based on your needs, deadline, word count, and other info you provide. The essay is written from scratch and made to reflect your own position on the subject.
Essay editing service
For students who just need someone to go through an essay and correct mistakes, the editing service at Edusson is the best solution. Editors and proofreaders read and correct spelling and grammar mistakes, improve your style and formatting, and enhance the overall quality of the paper
- 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
|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 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.
- 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.
This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.