Guidelines on How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

Susan Wilson, 26 May, 2019
Updated 20 November, 2020

A cause and effect essay is easy to write when you have the right knowledge of writing them. The following cause and effect essay guidelines will prove helpful.

When presented with a cause and effect essay either as part of an assignment or an examination, many students get into a dilemma. This is because many of them do not have the adequate skills to write such types of essays. It is, therefore, necessary that students are adequately exposed to such essays. This will enable them to have confidence when they are required to write a cause and effect essay.

Strategies on How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

Simple strategies can assist students when they want to write this type of essay. An example of a cause and effect essay can be ‘Discuss the causes and effects of global warming.’ This type of essay is, therefore, a closed-end essay with very little freedom. The student must have a comprehensive understanding of the topic to be able to write the essay and limit themselves to the topic given. The following strategies can help a student develop a good cause and effect essay:

  • Choosing a topic – the student should choose a topic that they understand in great detail. The student must also be able to relate the causes and effects of the phenomena under study. A student may choose the most interesting topic, although this only applies to instances where the student has been allowed to choose the topic they wish to write about. In other cases, the supervisor provides the topic, and the student is expected to write about it.
  • Engage in discussions – as part of brainstorming and getting different ideas about a given topic, group discussions can be of great help. During group discussions, the student can get different opinions and suggestions from other students as well. This makes their work easier when they put the ideas in writing.

Are You Asking, What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause is defined as something that produces an event or a condition, while an effect refers to the result of an event or a condition. Therefore, a cause and effect essay definition can refer to an essay that defines how an action caused an effect to occur and explain why they occurred. The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to explain how various phenomena relate to results and origin. It also helps in identifying patterns and trying to explain why they happen. A cause and effect essay can either because only, cause, and effects or effects depending on the given or chosen topic. The following examples can help explain more:

  • Causes of smoking among the youth (cause only). This topic will only discuss the causes of smoking. The student is not required to write about the effects of smoking on youths.
  • Causes and effects of global warming (cause and effects). Here the student is required to discuss both the causes and the effects caused by global warming.
  • Effects of aging on bone growth (effects only). In this topic, the student only discusses the impact of age on bone growth and development. They are not obliged to write about the causes.

Ways on How to Start a Cause and Effect Essay

Starting a cause and effect essay can be very difficult for some people depending on how skilled they are writing this type of essay. Different ways can be employed in writing a good essay. Below are tips that are very helpful when starting a cause and effect essay:

  • Topic – the choice of topic is critical when a student wants to develop a good cause and effect essay. Different factors can contribute to the topic one decides to choose to write about. While some people may choose a real-life experience such as a father’s death, some may prefer a historical event such as World War II due to significant literature available on the topic. This makes it easier for them to obtain ideas, facts, and statistics, which help write the essay.
  • Organize the work – before writing the essay, and a work plan is very crucial. A student may decide to start with a cause or with the effect. For a given topic such as childhood obesity, a student may decide to start with the causes of childhood obesity such as uncontrolled eating and then proceed to effects such as the development of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Read more: 101 Amazing Cause and Effect Essay Topic Ideas

How to Write a Good Cause and Effect Essay – In Simple Ways

A good essay is one that has a lasting impact on the reader. However long it is, the reader does not get tired reading through it. Instead, the reader is captivated with every bit of it. To develop such an essay, it is good to have good grammar. Misspelling of words and grammatically wrong sentences tend to divert the reader’s attention to correct the mistakes instead. Therefore, the writer should proofread at least three times before it is presented to the audience for the essay to be interesting.

Another important thing to note is the demands of the audience. For every essay, the audience has a little idea of what they should find in the essay. When the writer goes out of the topic, the audience loses interest in reading the essay any further. If the student is writing to a supervisor as an assignment, the essay should meet the demands required by the supervisor’s topic.

Important Tips for Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

When writing a cause and effect essay, the following cause and effect essay tips are important:

  • The students should know why they are writing the essay and whether the essay is to inform the reader or argue opposing statements on the topic.
  • The student should make the essay more powerful and persuasive by using supportive evidence. They should identify terms and professional phrases, statistics, and relevant examples.

Methods on How to Structure a Cause and Effect Essay

Structuring a cause and effect essay depends on the type of the essay given, as discussed above.  When the essay causes only, the structure will be different from when the essay covers both causes and effects. The student may obtain a suitable structure from the internet or ask their supervisor.

One Way on How to End a Cause and Effect Essay

The beginning of an essay is as important as the end of the essay. It is important to ask questions at the end of the essay to assess the essay’s effectiveness and its impact on the audience.

The Cause and Effect Essay Outline

A simple outline for a cause and effect essay can be used. The outline can have an introduction – causes – transition paragraphs – effects – then conclusions.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay Structure

Below structure can be used when writing a cause and effect essay:

  • Introduction
  • Thesis
  • Body
  • Paragraph 1 – causes
  • Paragraph 2 – effects
  • Conclusions

What a Cause and Effect Essay Introduction Entails

In the introduction part, the student discusses the background information about the topic. Let this part be as attractive as possible. It is essential to catch the reader’s attention and interest, thereby persuading him to read to the end.

Get a Cause and Effect Essay Body

In this section, the student can arrange the points in order of significance, chronologically, or categorically. Build local bridges between the statements.

How to do a Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

A conclusion can be a summary of the causes and effects of the topic. The summary should be interesting to leave a good impression on the reader.


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