Cause and Effect Essay - Format, Writing Tips & Examples

cause and effect essay

Do you want to learn how to write an engaging cause-and-effect essay? Well good news, we have just the blog post for your needs.

When you're assigned a cause and effect essay, it can seem like a challenging task. But don't worry! We will break down everything you need to know in order to write a great essay.

Cause and effect essays are a common assignment in high school and college classes. Let's take a closer look at this essay format, then we'll dive into some writing tips and examples.

We’ll also provide some interesting cause and effect essay ideas for you to write a compelling essay on. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of how to structure and compose a cause-and-effect essay on your own.

So if you're struggling with this type of essay, read on!

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

Before we delve into learning how to structure and write a cause and effect essay, let’s look at what this type of essay actually entails.

Cause and Effect Essay Definition

As the name suggests, a cause and effect essay, also called ‘reason and result essay,’ is a type of academic writing that describes how an event or situation occurred and what were its consequences.

In order to write a great cause and effect essay, you should thoroughly research both the causes and the effects of the topic under discussion. Use strong evidence and factual data to explain this cause-and-effect relationship.

Cause and Effect Essay Purpose

A cause and effect is a commonly assigned essay to students. Professors use these types of essays to evaluate the students’ analytical capabilities.

Here are some of the purposes of writing a cause and effect essay:

  • Helps identify the causes of a phenomenon.
  • Helps understand the single or multiple effects of a phenomenon.
  • Allows discussion for solutions to resolve an issue.
  • Develops the critical thinking and analytical skills of students.

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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay?

“How to write a cause and effect essay step-by-step?”

Below are the simple steps you can follow to writing a cause and effect essay on your own:

  1. 1. Choose a Topic

    If your professor hasn’t assigned any topic, you have the autonomy to choose it yourself. Here are some tips for choosing an appropriate topic for your cause and effect essay:

    • Choose a topic that interests you and makes you passionate to write about.
    • Keep your readers’ interest in mind as well so as to engage them.
    • Try to come up with a currently trending topic that will make the readers want to know more about it.
    • Ensure that you can find adequate substantial information on the topic so you have enough material to write a compelling essay.
    • Choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
  2. 2. Research

    Once you’ve chosen your topic, get researching. When researching for an essay, it's important to scour various sources and collect all the information you can on your topic. This will help support and back up your claims by providing strong evidence.

  3. 3. Develop a Thesis Statement

    A cause and effect essay thesis statement should effectively convey your main argument or theme of the essay. Focus on how one specific phenomenon has multiple causes or effects.

  4. 4. Make an Outline

    After developing your cause and effect essay thesis, create an outline for your essay. This is a great way to organize your thoughts and make sure the order of information in each paragraph flows well.

    Cause and effect essay outline includes the following:

    • Introduction
    • Main Body
    • Antithesis
    • Conclusion
  5. 5. Write Your Essay

    Now, it’s time to follow your outline and start composing your essay!

    • Hook the Reader with Your Introduction:

      Cause and effect essay introduction gives some background information on the topic being discussed. An essay introduction gives a glimpse into what your essay will be about and also includes your thesis statement.

      Wondering, how to start your cause and effect essay to make it more engaging? Grab your readers’ attention by starting with a hook. Use an interesting fact, a statistic, a bold statement, or a credible quote.

    • Construct Your Main Body:

      Compose your main body by dividing it into paragraphs. Each cause and effect essay body paragraph should discuss a specific idea or key point.

      The topic sentence for each paragraph should define the central theme of that paragraph. Then provide evidence to support your claims.

    • Compose an Antithesis Paragraph:

      After presenting arguments and evidence in support of your thesis statement, construct an antithesis paragraph to discuss the opposing argument.

      For example, consider a cause and effect essay on COVID-19 where you discuss how the virus originated, spread worldwide, and the pandemic it caused.

      In your antithesis paragraph, you can discuss the conspiracy theories behind COVID-19, some claiming the virus is a hoax and some claiming it’s a man-made phenomenon.

    • Finish with Strong Closing Remarks:

      Finally, write your conclusion. Reiterate your thesis statement and wrap up by briefly mentioning the main arguments from your essay. To make your conclusion more engaging, leave the readers with a thought to ponder on.

  6. 6. Proofread and Edit

    Before submitting your essay, it is pertinent that you read it a few times to ensure it is free from errors. Check for plagiarism, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

    Ensure that your writing is clear and comprehensible, and your tone is consistent throughout.

Here’s a template for your guidance. Check it out to know how to effectively structure your cause-and-effect essay.

Cause and Effect Essay Template (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay Template

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Cause and Effect Essay Structure

You can decide which cause and effect essay format suit your topic the best by looking at these two methods below.

There is no one best method; however, depending upon your topic, it may be appropriate to use either one or both.

  • Block Structure

    You can use a block structure to discuss all the causes first and then all the effects.

    You can follow these up by including reasons as to why these cause-and-effect connections exist or what are the implications of these connections.

  • Chain Structure

    You can also use the chain structure to explain events in chronological order.

    You can discuss one cause at a time while simultaneously explaining what effects it caused. The chain of events is a way to show how each cause leads into the next.

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

We’ve put together some expertly written examples of cause and effect essays that you can check out below:

Cause and Effect Essay Examples (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

Cause and Effect Essay Sample (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay Sample

Cause and Effect of Poverty on Society Essay (PDF)

Cause and Effect of Poverty on Society Essay

Cause and Effect Essay on Social Media (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay on Social Media

COVID-19 Cause and Effect Essay (PDF)

COVID-19 Cause and Effect Essay

Obesity Cause and Effect Essay (PDF)

Obesity Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essay on Global Warming (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay on Global Warming

Cause and Effect Essay on Pollution (PDF)

Cause and Effect Essay on Pollution

Climate Change Cause and Effect Essay (PDF)

Climate Change Cause and Effect Essay

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Cause and Effect Essay Topics

We mentioned some tips for choosing the perfect essay topic for your writing above. However, this can still be a daunting step for many students. Many wonder:

“Which topic is the most interesting?”

“Which topic is too broad for cause and effect essay?”

“Which topic is narrow enough to address in a cause and effect essay?”

A topic that is not specific and covers a lot of information is too broad for your essay writing. Such topics will make your essays hard to write and understand.

There would be a lot of information to cover which can make your essay look unorganized and unnecessarily lengthy. Choosing a broad topic can make it difficult to focus on the main issue.

A topic that discusses a specific idea, situation, or issue instead of covering the topic as a whole is narrow enough for you to write about.

Such a topic will make it easy to effectively include all the main points to be discussed in a single essay.

If you’re also confused as to what topic to write on, here are some easy cause and effect essay topics for students:

  • What are the causes and effects of homelessness?
  • How does eating junk food on a regular basis affect someone's health?
  • What are the long-term effects of smoking?
  • How does the grading system affect students' motivation?
  • Why do students fail in class?
  • What are some potential causes for bullying in schools and their effects on students' mental health?
  • An incident that changed your life and how it changed you
  • The causes and effects of drug abuse in youngsters today
  • Why do couples get divorced and what are the effects on their children?
  • How does racism manifest itself in the United States and what are its consequences?

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Writing Tips for a Compelling Cause and Effect Essay

The cause and effect essay is a great way to show your understanding of how certain events happen as well as their consequences.

The following tips will help you write an informative, engaging piece:

  • Keep your audience in mind when choosing a topic for the cause and effect essay. This will help ensure they are interested enough.
  • Gather whatever research data or evidence was necessary ahead of time. Then evaluate what should go into your essay.
  • Use evidence and reasoning to support your points.
  • Make sure your evidence is accurate.
  • Make use of transition words and phrases to make your writing coherent and understandable. You can effectively explain the relation between the causes and the effects.
  • Ensure that your causes relate to your effects and vice versa.
  • Keep the objective of your essay clear, which can be either to inform or to persuade.

Cause and effect essays are one of the most common types of essays that students write. The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to identify a particular event or action and explore the consequences that followed.

In order to write an effective cause and effect essay, it’s important to understand how to structure your essay correctly and choose intriguing topics.

In this blog post, we provide a complete guide on how to write a good cause-and-effect essay. Follow our writing guidelines and take help from the sample essays we’ve provided. You’ll be able to compose a great essay in no time.

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