Cause and Effect Essay Writing: One Thing Leads to Another

The simplest way to define a cause and effect essay is “one thing leads to another.” The cause is the “one thing” that results in the effect, or “another.” Frequently, a single cause can generate many effects.

Writing a cause and effect essay is about choosing a topic and building a relationship between the cause (why things happen) and the effect (what happens as a result). You must show that the issue exists, and your explanation is essential to your analysis.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your essay list by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are the causes?
  • What are the effects?
  • Are there singular or multiple causes/effects?
  • Is there a chain reaction?

Brainstorm to find a possible essay topic by identifying a variety of causes and effects. You must decide if your essay is to discuss a single topic or multiple points. Continue to ask questions until you are convinced that you have all the causes or effects related to your essay topic, and make sure that the relationships are logical and valid.

Organizing cause and effect essays

After brainstorming, consider your topic choice and the best way to organize it. You can present this type of essay in one of the following three ways:

  • Categorical
  • Chronological
  • Order of importance

Categorical presentations arrange the details by dividing the topic into parts, chronological essays arrange the information in the order in which the events happened and order of importance essay arrange the items from least to most important or vice versa.

Key components of cause and effect essays

The key components of a well-written cause and effect essay include the following:

  • Use of language that is not negative or partial
  • Use of accurate evidence that shows the cause-and-effect relationship
  • Use of transitional words that assist in distinguishing similarities and differences
  • Use of primary and ancillary information that shows credibility

Framework of cause and effect essays

The framework of a cause and effect essay includes the following sections:

  • An interesting topic that focuses on analyzing and informing
  • An introduction with a clear, concise and strong thesis statement
  • At least three body paragraphs that include plausible, supporting evidence
  • A conclusion that ties all the paragraphs together

Structure of cause and effect essays

The introduction of the cause and effect essay should do several things:

  • Introduce the topic that illustrates the points of discussion
  • State the thesis of your essay and its purpose
  • Provide supporting details to strengthen your essay by providing descriptions, facts and examples
  • Use transitional words and phrases to lead in to the body paragraphs

The body paragraphs focus on building a relationship between why things happen and what happens as a result. Keep the following in mind when writing your body paragraphs:

  • Provide details to describe the “cause” in one body paragraph
  • Provide specific “effects” in one body paragraph
  • Explain the cause and effect relationship and why analysis is vital
  • Maintain a list of sources that provide credence to your position, and cite sources used
  • Use signal phrases to show causes (another factor, because, explain why, results from, what is the cause of, why)
  • Use signal phrases to show effects (another result, as a result, consequently, one important effect, outcome, the results of)

The conclusion does not summarize the points from the body of the essay; it synthesizes the information from the body paragraphs, drawing conclusions based on the information you present. This is your last opportunity to persuade the reader to your position, so develop a convincing, logical argument.

Include a list of references at the end of a cause and effect essay. Sources should be formatted according the any specific instructions or under any official styles guides you are required to use, such as MLA style or APA style.