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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay - Your Path to Success

  • Jul 19, 2018
  • 1005 views

Oh, the good old tale of college assignments. They're like urban folklore - always around, never end, and sometimes are too scary to face. It is completely understandable to feel uneasy when receiving some of the tasks. Professors love to burden their students with complex papers to write, but they don't always bother to explain how a certain task needs to be done. If you can't even begin to wrap your brain around the whole "how to write a cause and effect essay" debacle but have been tasked with doing so, don't falter! We can help you with this dilemma. We have prepared a special little guide that will make the burden of writing a cause and effect essay so much easier. Hopefully, it will help you find your way around this paper and encourage you not to give up on it. We realize how hard it can be to maintain a stable GPA while also having to deal with your social life issues. You certainly don't have time to rack through dozens of books in search of some piece of information about case and effect essay. So here it is: our recipe for a perfect essay.



What is a cause and effect essay

Obviously, before starting on understanding the writing process, you need to grasp the concept of what is a cause and effect essay first. It may seem that the name already gives a hint but don't be deceived. Disregarding the "obviousness" of the title, cause and effect essay definition is a little trickier than it looks. More often than not, it is not so much a cause and effect as it is a cause or effect essay. It's where it gets hard - you name your essay based on what your thesis sounds like. If your thesis is "a cause", then your argumentative points will be effects; and vice versa. You see, it's not so much of a vital thing, but you need to understand it in order to fully comprehend the definition.

In the case of a cause and effect essay, you will study a certain issue, be it a cause or an effect. For better understanding, the effect is something that answers the question of "what happened?" and the cause answers the question of "why did it happen?." If you want to find some intriguing and captivating cause and effect essay ideas, just look around you. There are issues upon issues that are just waiting to be dissected and examined. Look at the society, or at your own college, or at the book you're reading at the moment, or at the latest movie you've watched. Finding a nice idea will help you understand how to start a cause and effect essay.

CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY FORMAT

Before you start coming up with metaphors and logical reasonings, think about your cause and effect essay format. While it isn't very different from the standard essay structure, it has its own peculiarities. And we will focus on them in order to help you craft your essay in the neatest way possible.

An important thing to do before even trying to start an outline is to do your research. Don't shun taking notes. You need to lay everything out in order to clearly see the pattern you will follow when writing your cause and effect essay. Divide the information you've found into categories, as to make it easier to reference it later on. Name those categories - it will help with structuring. Long story short, do your research properly. It will make handling this assignment much easier.

Cause and effect essay structure

By now, you're supposed to know what you're writing and the issue you're analyzing. Now it's time for the good part - cause and effect essay structure. Like we've already mentioned, there are some distinctions from your usual type of essay. First thing first - establish what are you centering your thoughts around. Is it a cause or an effect you're looking at? Because either way there are some specific details you need to include.

CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY INTRODUCTION

The first sentence of your essay is supposed to be a "hook" one. Interest your readers, drag them into reading further. At this stage, your main goal is to attract attention to the essay and to the issue you're breaking down. Provide your reader with some background data regarding your topic in an intriguing manner. Make them wonder about where this could lead. Provide a little-known fact, catch your reader off guard. The introduction of a cause and effect essay should be like a fancy book cover that shines so brightly it begs someone to pick that book up. Do it - make your intro shine.

CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY THESIS

Cause and effect essay thesis is another part of the introduction. It should come as the last one or two sentences of your first paragraph. If you thought we were too extra stressing out the importance of a catching intro, think twice, because thesis statement for cause and effect essay is even more vital. It will set the mood for the whole essay. It will also determine what part you're focusing on - "cause" or "effect." Here come those differences we've mentioned.

If you decide to make your thesis a cause-oriented one, there is one way of approaching it all. You need to single out a reason for something occurring, and then dissect it in order to determine what happened in detail. But, if you're going with the "effect" approach, you have to be sure that there are several reasons for something happening. You will have to write at least three paragraphs about those causes, after all. So make your thesis about the effect only if you're sure you have enough material. The same goes for the "cause"-theses. That's why we said that the research is important. You need to protect yourself from the possibility of running out of things to write about mid-essay.

Now, to the contents of your thesis. It shouldn't be too long. Once again, it has to fit into one or two sentences. State clearly what you're focusing on - cause or effect. What is your essay about? What is your opinion about the reasons/consequences of whatever happened? Can you prove it? Be careful as to not venture into the "how will you prove it" section - that's for the main body paragraphs. Speaking of which, let's talk about them!

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BODY STRUCTURE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY

As always, your essay body needs to include certain arguments. The minimum is set at two-three, and there are no strict limitations as to the maximum, so knock yourself out. Be cautious as not to overstretch it, though.

Each cause and effect essay body paragraph should include a supporting statement for your thesis. First, you state your topic sentence, naming an argument and describing it. Then, you provide evidence. Remember that this type of essay does not tolerate speculations. All the things you write should be hard and clear facts. Closing each paragraph, mention how exactly the correlation between what you wrote in the thesis and the certain paragraph occurred. Don't leave your arguments hanging, connect all the dots.

Now, as was already mentioned, you can add as many body paragraphs as you think wise. But be aware that there are several different orders you can place your body paragraphs in.

  • Chronological order.
    It's pretty much obvious. In what order did the events connected to your arguments occur? What was the sequence? Did it affect the main flow of events, or was something else apart from chronology the deciding factor of unfolded occurrences?
  • Relevance.
    How important is each argument? You can structure your paragraphs by the increasing or decreasing level of relevance to your thesis.
  • Segments.
    Another way to do your compositioning is to divide your arguments into different categories and work from there. Were there factors of different nature? How do these categories correlate to your thesis? Explore!

Take your pick, and get to writing! The main body is the vital part of your cause and effect essay, so don't slack off and work hard.

CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY CONCLUSION

Finally, we're nearing the end of this tale. You've dealt with introduction and thesis, you've slain your body paragraphs, but do you know how to write a good conclusion for a cause and effect essay? Well. The conclusion is pretty much the easiest part, but don't relax too soon. You need to summarize everything you bragged about in your essay and make it no less interesting than the rest of the paper.

First of all, do not repeat your thesis. You can confirm that you have proved your point, but in no way should you use the same exact words. Rephrase it. Turn it from inquiring to finalizing. Second of all, go back to each of your topic sentences. State an abridged rephrased version of them in order to show how exactly you have substantiated your thesis. Finish it off with a light sentence that highlights how your essay can help further research. Don't drag it out too much.

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Cause and effect essay outline template

To make matters even easier for you, we are here with more advice about how to write a cause and effect essay outline. Remember all that noting down you did at your research stage? Well, the outline is exactly the place to apply it. We will show you a template of one, and you are free to use it when writing your own.

  1. Introduction.
    • What you will discuss. Some background data. An interesting fact, or maybe even an anecdote. Quotes won't be out of place.
    • Your thesis statement. Something that happened regarding the field you're studying, or something that occurred after certain events took place.
  2. Main body paragraphs.
    Each paragraph should include:
    • Topic sentence. What are you talking about in this paragraph? How does it connect to your thesis?
    • Elaborate on the reasoning and circumstances behind your topic sentence. Why did it happen?
    • Short conclusion, establishing the results of your argument occurring in certain conditions.
  3. Conclusion.
    • Did you prove your thesis? How? Don't repeat everything word for word. Summarize.
    • Give a short point about each of your topic sentences. What helped you reach certain conclusions?
    • Is your paper relevant for the field? How can it help further research?
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Good cause and effect essay topics

And here's another helpful list! If you're still struggling with choosing a topic, maybe our pick will push you towards something you're interested in.

  • Climate Change.
  • Pollution.
  • Election of Donald Trump.
  • Consumerism and global economy.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Child abuse and teen crime rates.
  • Bullying in school.
  • Social hierarchy - is it a given for any society, or are there reasons for it?
  • Addiction to technology.
  • Idolizing celebrities.
  • Cult followings.
  • Lying - causes and effects of its occurrence in young adults.

It's not a lot, but it should be enough for your thoughts to travel at least some direction! Remember, the secret to writing a good cause and effect essay is to be actually interested in the topic. This way, the research stage will be more fun, and your writing will be better simply because you actually like what you're talking about. Godspeed!

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