How to Write a Cause & Effect Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips

You don’t need to be a nerd to understand the general idea behind cause and effect essays. Let’s see! If you skip a meal, you get hungry. And if you write an essay about it, your goal is achieved!

Cause & Effect: why something happens & what happens as a result.

However, following multiple rules of academic writing can be a tough task. But don’t worry; this guide can help you finish your cause and effect writing assignment on time and with little to no stress. By the end of this article by Custom-Writing.org experts, you will know the structure and variations of this essay type. Long story short, it’s a full guide on how to write a cause and effect essay (with examples!).

❓ What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay’s main focus is to work through the relationship between two events. Specifically, it highlights how one event leads to the second one. The writing structure changes depending on the ratio of causes to effects that you choose. Read the examples below for more detail.

✍️ How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay?

As mentioned, this article can be considered the ultimate guide to writing a perfect cause and effect essay. It consists of smooth and clear instructions with examples.

To write a cause & effect essay, you need to choose its topic, create a thesis, make an outline, and write the text.
  • First, it tells you how to choose a suitable topic. This is vital as it becomes the foundation for your essay.
  • Then, there is some information on how to choose the outline that is appropriate for your essay’s primary focus.
  • Finally, you will learn what language you should use to hit the best score! It concludes with a cause and effect essay sample, which you may use as an example.

💡 Choose Your Cause and Effect Essay Topic

In order to find a good topic for your cause and effect essay, you should choose what to focus on: the causes or the effects? Not only does the whole structure of your paper depend on it, but you also need to pick a suitable topic based on that decision. Let’s see how the topic would change depending on the focus.

ThemeFocus on the causesFocus on the effects
World War IIThe leading causes of the beginning of the war.How did it affect the US economy?
Junk foodWhy are people addicted to junk food?Health issues caused by consuming junk food regularly.
Eating disordersSocial factors affecting eating habits.What damage do eating disorders do to our bodies?
DivorcesMain reasons for divorces.How do divorces affect children’s health?
WildfireWhat causes wildfires in Australia?Irreversible damage of wildfires on Australia’s wildlife.
ExtinctionThe causes of the sixth extinction.How can the extinction of one endangered system affect the whole ecosystem?
Climate changeHow do humans cause climate change?How will climate change alter our everyday life in fifty years?
Language learningWhat motivates people to become polyglots?What are the effects of language learning on cognitive abilities?
AdvertisingWhy do big brands still need so much advertising?The impact of advertising on brand image.
Pop musicThe reasons why pop music will never disappear.How does pop music affect teenagers’ development?
CheatingWhy do students cheat on exams?The consequences of cheating if you’re in an Ivy League school.
High IQWhat influences IQ level?How can high IQ be a curse when it comes to socializing at school?
YouTube popularityOne viral video can make you insanely popular.Becoming a YouTube star: what changes in your daily routine?
PetsWhat influences people’s choice of a pet?Boost your well-being: how do pets help?
ImmunityHow can negative thoughts lower your immunity?What happens when your immune system is off guard?

🎓 Create a Cause and Effect Thesis Statement

The best cause and effect essays also have a well-prepared thesis statement. Generally, the thesis statement would point out your point of view and your essay’s main ideas. Here, however, you should also not forget to highlight whether the focus is on causes or effects. For instance, this statement highlights the effects of daily walks, states that the author supports this idea, and presents one thing that causes three effects:

Walking for at least half an hour every day can bring numerous positive benefits for your health: it improves blood circulation, strengthens joints, and helps with weight loss.

📑 Outline Your Cause and Effect Essay

Like the topic, your cause and effect essay outline is affected by your writing focus. The structure depends on how many relations you choose to highlight. For instance, there may be only one leading cause or multiple. The same is with effects. Moreover, there is one additional type. 

Many Causes, One Effect

In this kind of essay, you would focus on discussing as many related causes as you can think of. An additional advantage would be if you could select various causes from different areas. But remember to prove that they all lead to one effect.

In a many causes, one effect essay, you focus on several connected causes that lead to one effect.

This cause and effect essay structure reflects the general outline you are used to (remember that conclusion is usually a paraphrase of a thesis statement from the introduction).

Many Causes, One Effect Essay Outline Example

Example:

1. Introduction

1.1. Thesis statement: Bullying begins with personal desires or family issues and leads to increased numbers of suffering children.

2. Main body

2.1. Cause 1: Bullies want to be noticed.

2.2. Cause 2: They want to feel superior.

2.3. Cause 3: There are issues at home.

2.4. Effect: Many innocent kids become victims of bullying.

3. Conclusion

One Cause, Many Effects

The outline of this type of essay would look a lot like the previous one, except that the ratio of causes and effects is mirrored. You should be quite competent in the topic you’re working on to produce a quality essay.

In a one cause, many effects essay, you focus on one cause that leads to many connected effects.

One Cause, Many Effects Essay Outline Example

Example:

1. Introduction

1.1. Thesis Statement: Overusing social media can lead to adverse psychological and emotional effects.

2. Main body

2.1. Cause: Spending too much time on social media, watching other users’ lives.

2.2. Effect 1: Users become more self-conscious about their appearance or quality of life.

2.3. Effect 2: It takes up time that could have been used for more useful activities.

2.3. Effect 3: Real-life relationships and other commitments suffer.

3. Conclusion

Cause-Effect Chain

It may be more challenging than the other essays. The structure of this type of writing reflects a chain reaction. The effect of the initial cause leads to another cause and effect cycle. You will need to be careful and very attentive in order to maintain the logical order.

A cause-effect chain essay focuses on a chain of several cause & effect cycles.

Example:

1. Introduction

1.1. Thesis Statement: Through the chain of causes and effects, it can be observed that the use of hair spray may lead to a global catastrophe.

2. Main body

2.1. Cause and effect chain #1: Chlorofluorocarbons were used to make hairsprays 50 years ago, but they are harmful to the ozone layer – some of them are still in the atmosphere ruining ozone molecules.

2.2. Cause and effect chain #2: Less ozone layer causes icebergs to melt faster.

2.3. Cause and effect chain #3. Melting ice causes the sea level to rise and flood the land.

3. Conclusion

📝 Develop Your Cause and Effect Paragraphs

Since we are talking about academic writing here, it’s essential to keep your language appropriate. The most commonly used word, in this case, is “because.” However, you shouldn’t overuse it.

There are quite a few ready-to-use phrases that are most suitable for this type of essay. Include these in your cause and effect paragraphs to make the transition between ideas smoother and your writing more coherent:

  • As a consequence, …
  • It leads to…
  • (The cause) results in / causes / influences (the effect)
  • The key factors are…
  • Due to…
  • One of the results is…
  • The primary effect of (the cause) is…

Don’t forget to use sentence connectors, such as:

  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Therefore
  • Thus
  • Consequently

After completing the first draft, you should proofread your writing and carefully check that there are no sentence fragments, like this:

Example:

Because I haven’t slept in two days before the exam.

Sometimes, rushing through the writing process may lead your thoughts astray, and you leave the ending of the sentence unfinished. However, it’s a severe mistake, so try to avoid it.

In addition, you should not mix the verb tenses. If you are describing a past event, stick to the past tense. Of course, it may depend on the situation. For instance, the present tense is used to talk about universal truth, while different tenses can be used for writing a report.

👀 Cause and Effect Essay Examples

We have gone step by step through the process of writing a good cause and effect essay. Now, finally, you can check out how it should look altogether. The following writing follows the template of the outline about bullying that we introduced earlier. It has all the necessary elements, such as the structure, vocabulary, and the thesis statement highlighted. It is a great example of a cause and effect essay, so go ahead and read it through!

Bullying in Schools (Cause & Effect Essay Sample)

IntroductionThe number of children reported to suffer from bullying rises every year. Teachers and parents are struggling to find a resolution for this issue. But what if the key to stopping this abusive behavior is understanding the causes?
Thesis StatementIt appears that bullying begins with personal desires or family issues and leads to the increasing number of kids who suffer from it.
Body: Cause #1Sometimes a child lacks attention either from their parents or peers, which causes them to seek attention in other places. It results in aggressive behaviors towards other kids since supervisors cannot ignore such action, and they attend to the violators. Bullies finally achieve their goal – being noticed, which encourages them to continue their faulty behavior. 
Body: Cause #2Another reason for such aggressive behavior may result from a desire to be invincible. Maybe a bully was humiliated or embarrassed once, and they never wanted to experience it again. Thus, they do everything possible to stay the strongest one and be in charge. Not only does it protect them, but it gives them a feeling of superiority, which sometimes becomes addictive.
Body: Cause #3In addition, bullies might project their family issues onto others. For instance, if a child feels negative emotions from physical or emotional abuse at home or the family facing tough times, they may keep those emotions inside. However, negative emotions cannot stay inside forever, and as a consequence, they begin projecting those emotions onto their peers later.
Body: EffectAll the causes mentioned above lead to an increasing number of bullies. Whatever the reason is, the primary effect is the suffering of the innocent kids who become victims. Bullies have different reasons for acting like that, but sometimes it is no more than an unconscious reaction to the environment, just like it happens with family issues. 
ConclusionThere are a number of reasons for such a widespread phenomenon as bullying, including attention-seeking, a desire to be superior, and family issues. Knowing the causes may help schools and families to develop and implement preventive measures. Therefore, instead of struggling with the consequences of bullies’ aggressive behavior, teachers and parents may prevent that altogether.

🔗 References

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