A cause and effect essay is a prevalent essay type in academic writing, that can act as a separate essay, or a part of a larger, more comprehensive essay which includes cause and effect paragraphs. It has a straightforward structure that is easy to follow and write. This type of essay deals with the causes and effects of a particular situation, idea, or dilemma. If you’d like to learn how to write cause effect essay like a true professional, then keep on reading.
What is a Cause and Effect Essay?
A cause and effect essay is an academic writing style that discusses why certain things happen, and which consequences follow such events. To put it even more plainly, it is a way of organizing the essay’s structure. A writer starts by talking about a single event or a reason (cause) that led to another event (effect). There are two main methods of structuring your cause and effect paper:
- Analyzing ways in which one or more causes lead to a certain consequence – Focus-On-Causes Method;
- Analyzing ways in which a certain consequence resulted from a certain reason – Focus-On-Effects Method.
Writing a Cause and Effect Outline
Every diligent student knows that writing a proper outline is the key to having a well-structured academic paper. Sometimes students skip this step thinking that it’s time-consuming and unnecessary. However, there is a huge difference between rushed papers and high-quality and well-organized papers. The outline should act as a writing plan, incorporating sections, relevant phrases, and ideas that have been collected through brainstorming. There are two main models for structuring your essay – “block” and “chain.” Here is an example of these structural outlines:
1. The “Block” Model:
- Cause I
- Cause II
- Effect I
- Effect II
2. The “Chain” Model:
- Cause and effect of cause I
- Cause and effect of cause II
- Cause and effect of cause III
In essence, the “block” method talks about all the causes first, and then discusses the effects, while the “chain” method deals with each cause and effect separately. Now, let’s talk about writing cause effect essay introduction.
Writing a Cause and Effect Introduction
The introduction is one of the most important parts of every essay. It is a way to entice the reader, so it is crucial to make it interesting, powerful, and intriguing. To start off, a student should always add some background information to set the pace for the rest of the essay. However, it is also important not to give out every single detail because the thesis that follows the introduction needs to be even more impactful. It is always recommended to perform thorough research, so you would have enough correct information to utilize when writing. Here’s an example of a good introduction outline:
- Start with a broad generalization, but don’t overgeneralize;
- Start introducing more specific information and data, such as quotes, statistics, etc.;
- Use as many examples as possible to help the reader visualize your words;
- End with a powerful statement that is going to be an interlude for the rest of the essay.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do when writing an introduction:
- The introduction shouldn’t be too long;
- It shouldn’t be too bland;
- It mustn’t skip the thesis;
- You shouldn’t forget to describe the problem;
- Don’t use too many synonyms;
- Don’t forget about the flow of the work.
Writing a Striking Cause and Effect Thesis
A thesis is the core of your essay. It states the main idea behind your work, and it sets the pace for the rest of the essay. It reflects the author’s opinions and gives direction to what the reader will see in the body of the paper. However, a thesis isn’t only a baseless statement – it requires proof. Without proof, your thesis is void and there’s no point in reading the rest of the paper. A thesis should be placed at the end of the introduction, as a transition that leads into the body of the paper. Here’s what a good thesis should include:
- A powerful and enticing writing style;
- A powerful message;
- A strong structure;
- A main idea/opinion;
- It should be concise, clear, and to-the-point.
Common thesis mistakes you should avoid:
- Making the thesis too long and wordy;
- Overcomplicating the thesis;
- Using poor language;
- Lack in connection to the rest of the essay.
Writing a Cause and Effect Paragraph
In a cause and effect essay, paragraphs are used to elaborate on the subject and give more details and arguments. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence and should include ideas and thoughts that support the thesis. Bear in mind that at least one of the paragraphs should also include an antithesis, a body of text that talks about the opposing side of the argument. As in every essay, it is important to show both sides of the story. Here’s are a couple of examples of how to structure the supporting points:
- Chronological – Arranging the points in order of events taking place;
- Significance – Arranging the points from least to most significant;
- Categorical – Arranging the points by separating them into respective categories or sections.
Always make sure to use transition words and phrases to create a logical flow between ideas, details, and arguments.
Interesting Cause and Effect Topics
Even though hitting a correct cause and effect essay structure might seem bothersome, finding a suitable topic can be even more time-consuming. That is exactly why we’ve come up with a list of 15 interesting cause and effect topics, and we’ve divided them into a couple of different categories.
- Fast food marketing indirectly encourages obesity;
- Emotional eating can result in poor stomach health;
- Media is responsible for creating unattainable beauty standards that result in mental disorders;
- Positive life-changing events such as weddings, promotions, or parenting can also cause stress.
- Trophy hunting causes extinction and food chain disruption in a changing environment;
- Climate change causes pollution, rising tides, and severe weather;
- Blast fishing has a negative effect on marine ecosystems;
- Global temperature increase causes a higher virus prevalence.
- Consequences of prohibiting abortions;
- Social media has a negative impact on teenagers’ self-esteem;
- Effects of using dating apps;
- How consumerism impacts the global economy.
- Mass media doesn’t always share both sides of the story;
- Learning foreign languages improves one’s cognitive abilities;
- Fast fashion encourages pollution and child labor;
- Reality shows have a negative impact on teenager’s behavior;
- Downloading pirated content is equal to stealing.