Complete Guide on How to Write a Compelling Cause and Effect Essay

Complete Guide on How to Write a Compelling Cause and Effect Essay

Studying in college, students often get the assignment to write a cause and effect essay.  To ensure meeting the grading rubric requirement and getting the highest grade, most students constantly work on improving their academic writing skills. Each essay type has its unique features that are highly important to follow, and cause and effect essay is not an exception. To make sure you are proficient enough to write the paper perfectly, you should study the peculiarities of the cause and effect essay, i.e. its structure, arguments, and step-by-step organization of the writing process, choose relevant topic, and see examples.   

 What is cause and effect essay

A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that illustrates the connection between two or more events. This essay type explains and analyzes the reason why and how something happened and the effects some particular actions, events, or decisions have. To put it differently, the content of the paper is dedicated to  the ways in which the effects result from a specific cause.

         Structure and Purpose

Cause and effect essays can be focused on the effects method or causes method. As a result, its purpose would be to analyze the ways where one - two effects result from a specific case, or the ways in which the particular causes lead to the effect. 

        What is cause and effect argument

To be more concise, the core purpose of cause and effect essay writing is to explore the questions "why" and/or "how" about a situation. As a result, such purpose determines the overall structure of the paper and its formatting. 

As cause and effect assignments aim to examine a situation or a particular event, they explore the way this event occurred and what was a result of it. Therefore, such a paper is sometimes even called a reason and result essay. A commonly applied structure to cause and effect essays look like the following example:

             I. Introduction.

This part is devoted to the event description. Therefore, the writer should provide a background for the particular situation or the event to help the reader understand what the essay is going to be about. This part should be closed by a clear thesis statement that will focus on the most important cause/effect of the particular situation/event. 

             II. Body paragraphs about causes

  The main body of the essay should start with the main cause of the event from the author's perspective by providing clear evidence, facts, arguments to back up the claim. After the description of the most important cause, the writer should describe the rest ones.

            III. Body Paragraphs about effects

 After paragraphs describing the causes of the event, the writer can start working on the effects. Here, it is better to start with the prior effect as it was in the paragraph with causes, and then move on with describing the secondary ones. Also, it is of vital importance to support every effect with facts and clear arguments; otherwise, it would have weak evidence and low grade. 

            IV. Conclusion

 The closing part of cause and effect essay is a conclusion that should reiterate the thesis statement and shortly summarize the most important points of the essay. It is important to show how your argumentation supports the thesis statement.

 Cause and effect essay outline 

To write a cause and effect essay perfectly, we recommend following the essay outline. The first step is to outline cause and effect essay introduction, second is to organize cause and effect essay body paragraphs, third is cause and effect essay opposing/antithesis paragraph, and the last one is its conclusion. 

I. Introduction

  • A hook statement that will grab the reader's attention
  • Background information about the event/situation
  • A strong thesis statement about the most important causes, effects, or both.

II. Main Body

First Body Paragraph 

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 1/effect 1 (detailed explanation with examples

Second Body Paragraph

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 2/effect 2 (detailed explanation with examples)

Third Body Paragraph

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 3/effect 3 (detailed explanation with examples)

Opposing Paragraph

  • Address the opposing side of your claim.

III. Conclusion

  • Restate your thesis statement
  • Summarize the main points
  • Concluding sentence/s

 How to write cause and effect essay 

To write cause and effect essay easily and on time, students should plan their time and writing process properly. The following is a clear and detailed description of the main steps in writing cause and effect essay. 

college students

         1. Cause and effect essay introduction

To write a good introductory section, you should keep in mind that it is the first information that the reader receives. Therefore, you should provide your audience with the general idea of your paper, discuss the purpose of your cause and effect essay, and provide the prior causes, effects, or both options. Sometimes, it is easier to start with creating a thesis statement and then move to the arguments that will support everything stated in the thesis. However, the final version of the introduction should be structured as the following:

  • relevant attention-grabbing hook is one or multiple sentences in the form of rhetoric question, quote, facts, anecdotes to attract the audience and make them interested in reading the whole paper
  • background information on the topic. Mention the basic information about the event or situation to help the reader understand what is going on and what your paper is going to be about
  • clear thesis statement is the most crucial element of every introduction, that should make the reader catch the main idea of the paper after reading the single thesis sentence or two

        2. How to write cause and effect essay body paragraphs

The body paragraphs aim to provide enough facts and details about the causes that resulted in effects. To organize it properly, you should follow your detailed outline or write the topic sentences first, and then move to the description of their importance. Every body paragraph should focus on only one cause and one effect, indeed. It is highly important to organize this information in chronological order. One more thing to remember is that it is crucial to create content that relates to the thesis statement. To make sure your pathway is correct, you can follow the checklist provided below:

  • Description of the cause (explain the situation clearly in order to give a clear understanding of the primary argument)
  • Description of the effect ( explain the logic of moving from the cause to the effect provided)
  • Cause and effect relationship (describe short term and long term effects' results)

        3. How to write cause and effect essay opposing paragraph

To make this paragraph clear and concise, all you need to do is to discuss another side of the issue. Therefore, you need to identify the principal cause and effects. Then, you should explain another cause behind your topic and its relevance to modern life.

        4. Cause and effect essay conclusion

The last part of the essay always seems to be the easiest one; however, it is not just a brief summary of the essay but also the last chance to make the audience impressed with your competencies. Also, it would be best if you made a final emphasis on all the most important ideas. To make a really impressive conclusion, include all the elements presented below:

  • restated thesis statement
  • outline major points in strong and clear sentences
  • make a concluding sentence

Effective transitions for cause and effect essay

It is of vital importance to make your writing flow as it increases the readability and the overall impression about the essay. Among the most popular transitional words and phrases for cause and effect  essay, there are the following:

  1. therefore
  2. so
  3. owing to
  4. because of
  5. thus
  6. effect
  7. reason
  8. as a result
  9. results in
  10. as a consequence
  11. leads to
  12. if...then
  13. since
  14. due to 
  15. accordingly

 Great cause and effect essay topics ideas

Mostly, students get the assignments with a list of proposed topics to choose the most suitable; but, sometimes, professors ask students to prepare their own essay topics and write a cause and effect essay on it. To help you save your time and give you some fresh ideas, here is a list of the most impressive ideas for cause and effects essay topics:

  1. Poverty in megacities: Causes and effects
  2. The causes of conflicts in sibling relationships
  3. A vision of an “I” in terms of the surveillance society
  4. State monitoring using technology: Causes and effects
  5. College stress: Causes and effects
  6. The reasons for sport traumas
  7. The effects of doping in sports
  8. Cheating on the person/partner: Causes and effects
  9. Cohabitation before marriage: Causes and effects
  10. Causes and effects of worldwide tornadoes?

Cause and Effect  Essay Example

To help you understand how the effective cause and effect essay should look like, please check the following example prepared by our academic writers:

“Effects of Video Game Addiction”

You may also check informative essay examples to see the difference between these essay types.

To succeed cause and effect essay writing, students should choose an interesting topic, do valid research, create a detailed outline, and finally write quality content. If you have any questions about cause and effect essay writing or need help with brainstorming the best essay topics, do not hesitate to ask for academic help online. Our expert writers are always happy to help you anytime you need it.