CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY
Analyze the cause-and-effect relationship of an event.
HOW TO WRITE A CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY
The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to establish the cause-and-effect relationship in any event. Let’s consider ‘air pollution’. One of the causes of air pollution is burning fossil fuels. The effect is an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Once you know what you are going to write about, make a list of the causes and effects. While brainstorming, write everything down without second guessing them or trying to edit them. If you run out of points, you can carry out a quick research and add to the list.
After you have completed this exercise, review the list and narrow it down to three-four points that can be considered as strong. One, the relationship between cause and effect must be clear and valid. Two, you should be able to support the cause or effect with statistics, studies and other factual data. You can move on to the next step after finalizing this.
DECIDE ON THE APPROACH
There are two ways you can approach a cause and effect essay. The method you choose depends entirely on the information that you want to highlight.
FOCUS ON CAUSE:
In this approach, you will consider the causes that led to an effect. For example, what are the causes behind an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
FOCUS ON EFFECT:
Here, you’ll emphasize all the effects of burning fossil fuel.
You can move on to the next step after deciding which approach is best suited for the information that needs to be highlighted. You could even decide to balance the causes and effects or establish causal links; this depends entirely on the topic and the thesis.
A cause and effect essay follows the rule of Introduction, Body and Conclusion.
An outline may look like this if you decide to use the focus-on-cause approach –
- Hook: This is to draw the reader in.
- Background of the topic
- Thesis: The introductory paragraph must end with the thesis, which is the main idea or purpose of your essay. For example, ‘The effects of alcoholism are a shorter lifespan, poor health and unhappy relationships.’ Throughout the essay, causes and effects can be tied back to the thesis statement.
- Cause 1: Topic sentence, supporting ideas with examples or data
- Cause 2: Topic sentence, supporting ideas with examples or data
- Cause 3: Topic sentence, supporting ideas with examples or data
- Signal word to mark the end of the essay. For example, ‘Therefore, we see that alcoholism…’
- Rephrase thesis
- Summarize the key points
- Concluding line
The outline will guide you to write your essay easily. To ensure that the essay flows smoothly, and to clearly show cause-and-effect relationships, you can use signal words.
Here’s a list of signal words that you can use when writing the essay.
THE CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY CHECKLIST
|Preparation is key to writing a good cause and effect essay. As Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”|
EXAMPLE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAYS
Now that you’ve learned how to write an effective essay, check out our Sample Essays so you can see how they are done in practice.