What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is an academic paper where the author focuses on one situation and offers an explanation of either its effects or causes. For example, if the topic of your cause and effect paper is homelessness, you can explore the origins of the problem or its effects, depending on the prompt of your essay.

A cause and effect essay is not the most common type of written assignments students face, which only makes this challenge more intimidating. To deliver a convincing cause and effect paper, a student must display outstanding cognitive reasoning and analytical writing skills, as well as the ability to look at a bigger picture and see all the small elements. With the help of our tips, you will master this challenge and impress everyone with your cause and effect essay.

Steps to Follow When Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Like most other academic assignments, working on a cause and effect essay can be broken down in a few steps:

  1. Find as many ideas for your paper as possible. In short, this process is called brainstorming. You take one concept and think of every cause and effect linked to this concept. You can do it with just one concept if you already have a topic for your paper, but if you haven’t settled on a topic yet, choose three or more concepts and then pick the one that got the most ideas from you.
  2. Write an outline for your cause and effect essay. This type of paper has a definitive format of the outline that you need to stick to (more on that below). You will later refer to the outline at every step of your writing process, so make sure you are extra attentive when working on this step.
  3. Gather the sources supporting your causes and effects. While the cause and effect essay largely depends on your own opinions and knowledge, it is also important to be able to back up your opinions with some scientific data. For example, when you are introducing the problem at the beginning of the paper, statistics work great for demonstrating how serious the problem really is.
  4. Write your paper. Compound and complex sentences are the most effective way to convey your views in an essay, so make sure to use plenty of those. Always remember to refer to your outline to stay on topic!
  5. Proofread your cause and effect essay and edit it if needed. One of the things you always need to check for is how successful you have been in demonstrating the complete scope of the causes and effects of the problem. You can ask someone to read your essay for you if you are not sure you can spot all the possible mistakes.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline and Format

An outline is an essential part of any academic paper and you are probably already familiar with it. However, it’s even more important with a cause and effect essay. To write a correct cause and effect paper outline, you will need to follow a standard structure of an academic paper:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph 1
  • Body paragraph 2
  • Body paragraph 3
  • Conclusion

Let’s look closer at the body paragraphs of a cause and effect essay. The first of your body paragraphs should refer to the causes of the problem described in the introduction. Think of 2-4 things that caused the problem and write about each of them in detail. The paragraph 2 should refer to the effects of the problem Again, 2 to 4 effects should be enough to convince the reader that the problem is real and needs to be solved as soon as possible. The final paragraph should be dedicated to possible 2-4 solutions to the problem.

At every stage of the process of writing the body paragraphs, it’s important to support your claims so that they don’t look unsubstantiated. Various facts, examples, and direct quotes from reputable sources add weight to your opinions and make the writing look more convincing.

How Do You Write a Cause and Effect Introduction?

The introduction of your cause and effect essay is your first chance to get the reader acquainted with the topic, which is why the introduction needs to be strong and persuasive. The introduction should also give the reader an idea about the information you will cover in the rest of the paper.

This section of your essay will take between 5 and 7 paragraphs. In addition to presenting the subject, you also need to highlight the thesis statement and the topic sentence. The thesis statement refers to the main concept of your essay, while the topic sentence introduces the specific subject you will be dealing with throughout the paper.

How Do You Write a Cause and Effect Conclusion?

After you have done a fantastic job outlining the problem and its causes and effects, you need to do an equally impressive job with the introduction to your paper. The main purpose of the conclusion, in this case, is to back up the claims you made in the rest of the essay. However, that is not the only thing that should be featured in the conclusion.

The conclusion should be viewed as another way to summarize the content of your essay and to make it even easier for the reader to understand the concepts you have covered. After summarizing your writing and highlighting your opinions once again, you can follow up the conclusion with a couple of other points for the readers to consider.

What are Examples of Cause and Effect?

To make the process of writing a cause and effect essay easier for themselves, many students use essay samples written by other people. These samples help students understand the format requirements and the nature of the cause and effect paper better. If you need to see a couple of papers for inspiration, here are the most successful cause and effect essay samples.

Samples

cause and effect essay examples

cause and effect essay outline

cause and effect essay sample

cause and effect essay structure