How to write a cause and effect essay
When writing a cause and effect essay, you need to pick a topic and examine its causes and effects.
These types of essays allow us to better grasp and understand the subject you’re writing about. Here are the steps to follow and an example if you want to write great cause and effect essays.
Example effect essay
Step 1: Choose your topic
Unless your teacher has assigned you a specific topic, you need to find one to write about. When choosing your topic, take two things into consideration:
It will be much easier to write about a subject you’re familiar with. So, choose one you already know about.
Even if you have information on it, choosing a topic that does not interest you can make the process boring. This will eventually lead you to write a dull essay.
Step 2: Decide on cause or effect
After you have chosen your topic, decide how you will examine it. Cause or effect? First, you need to distinguish between the causes and effects. Here is a tip for you:
Let’s ask these questions to our sample topic, The American Civil War;
Why did this happen?
Slavery, the election of Abraham Lincoln, states’ rights vs. federal rights
What did this lead to?
The abolishment of slavery, the growth of the northern economy & the devastation of the southern economy, shifts in political power
Step 3: Research and create a thesis statement
Just like any other essay type, you need to do research before writing your essay. During your research, use reliable sources.
Using a personal blog as the foundation of your essay would be a rookie mistake (see common mistakes).
Look for websites that publish credible academic articles, especially about your subject. If there is a source seen as an authority by most specialists in the field, use it.
Additional tipTry to use sources that have information written by professionals. While doing your research, try to find inspiration for your thesis statement.
Cause essay thesis statement example
American Civil War has undoubtedly become the main focus of many books, movies, and historical research. The aftermath of the Civil War created such a destruction both physically and culturally that historian can now easily observe the long-lasting impacts. In this essay, causes of the American Civil War have been investigated.
Step 5: Prepare an outline
In this section, you will present your topic and thesis statement. Give general information about the subject, add a hook sentence if you can.
In this section, you will reaffirm your thesis statement and present your concluding ideas and thoughts on the subject.
The following example is an outline for an effect essay on the results of The American Civil War. Feel free to follow a similar structure when writing a cause-and-effect essay.
Effect essay outline example
American Civil War Outline sample
- Hook sentence
- Body paragraphs
- Summarize and wrap up your essay in few sentences
- Conclude your essay by reiterating your thesis statement
Step 6: Write and evaluate your first draft
Once you have your outline ready, you can write a draft to ease yourself into the whole process instead of going into full essay mode.
The first thing you can do is to fill out your outline in a basic way. You can write simple sentences that present your findings and ideas and go back to improve them later.
This way, you will have your cause and effect essay mostly ready without tiring yourself too much.
After writing your draft, the ideal way would be to let it sit for a few hours. This will help you relieve your brain and make the ideas more transparent. When you go back to your draft for evaluation, you can ask yourself these questions:
Then, you can note your answers to these questions and use them in the final step.
Step 7: Finish your essay
It is almost over. After an honest evaluation of what you have written, you can fix the issues. You can also try to use transition sentences to make your final paper smoother. In this step, you need to remember the aim of writing a cause and effect essay.
The quality of your essay depends on your critical thinking and if you are expressing logical arguments or not. So, if your essay is logically satisfying, you probably have written a good one. Congrats.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a cause and effect essay?
Just like any other essay, you need to start with an introduction that defines the topic in general and states your thesis statement.
How do you write a 5 paragraph cause and effect essay?
This is a traditional essay structure that consists of three main parts. So, you need an introduction, three separate body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
How do I choose a cause and effect essay topic?
You can choose any topic that has a cause-effect relation for your cause and effect essay. These can be wars and their impacts, or common issues such as global warming and its effects.