Cause and effect essays are among the most usual essay types that students get to write at college. While the initial idea of writing a cause and effect essay may seem pretty simple, all you need to do is list the causes of a problem followed by the solutions. However, it is much easier said than done because essentially cause and effect essays are slightly tricky and require enormous brainstorming.
Table of Contents
- What is a cause and effect essay
- How to structure the cause and effect essay
- Introduction of a cause and effect essay
- Body of a cause and effect essay
- Conclusion of a cause and effect essay
Besides the research you put in, the format of a cause and effect essay is as important. You need to ensure that you are presenting the essay in a standardized format to meet your academic goals and fetch some extra credits. Now the question is, what is a standardized format for writing a cause and effect essay? Well, this is your complete guide to cause and effect essays explaining each step in detail along with examples. So, let us get started.
What is a cause and effect essay?
A cause-and-effect essay is a type of expository essay that focuses on identifying the various causes and effects of a topic (problem) and explaining the detailed relationships between them. This type of academic writing basically focuses on the relationship between the causes (reasons) and effects (results) of a problematic scenario or trend. This is the reason, it is also called the reasons and results essay.
These types of essays are meant to explain why it happened and how it happened. For a better understanding of the concept, let’s have a look at some of the examples of what possibly could be the topics for different cause and effect essays.
- Discuss the various causes and effects of global warming on the earth.
- Elaborate on the different causes and effects of air pollution on the environment.
- Shed light on the causes and effects of social media addiction.
Now from the above examples, you got a clear idea of what exactly cause and effect essays look like. Hence, it is now time to understand the structure of writing a good cause and effect essay. That being the case, the next section will shed light on the structure of writing an impressive cause and effect essay.
How to structure the cause and effect essay?
The right structure of an essay is a key element that leads to writing an impressive essay. In the context of a cause and effect essay, the structuring is even more important because it allows your readers to clearly understand and easily navigate through the main ideas of your essay. Besides, right structuring also accounts for scores in essay writing. Hence, it is really essential to structure your essay in an effective way. To continue, like every other essay, the structure of the cause and effect essay also contains three main sections;
- Body paragraphs
However, the difference lies between the ideas and opinions you present in the essay and the way you present them in the essay. Hence, the further sections will effectively guide on how to write an introduction, thesis statement, outline, body paragraphs, and conclusion of a cause and effect essay. So, let’s move ahead further and start with the introduction of an essay.
How to write the introduction of a cause and effect essay?
Be it in essays, journals, articles, or research papers, the introduction of any form of writing is its make or break point. Hence, it is essential to grab the readers' attention right from the beginning. To elaborate, in the introduction, you will introduce the bigger circle of your essay i.e. the main topic of the essay which will assist your readers in understanding the context and the purpose of your essay writing. In the context of a cause and effect essay, the introduction will introduce the readers to the main topic first before moving ahead in explaining the different causes and effects and their correlation to the main topic.
For example, let’s say you are writing about the cause and effects of global warming. In the introduction, you will introduce your readers to the concept of global warming in detail before heading to its cause and effect. This introduction will assist your readers in comprehending the main reason why the essay topic needs to be discussed. However, in the introduction as well, there are 5 major aspects that need to be discussed.
- Background information
- Thesis statement
The further section will deliberately explain how to write all the 5 elements that will assist you in writing an essay. Besides, in the context of a cause and effect essay, the same example describing each element will be provided for your better understanding.
Introduction element: Hook of a cause and effect essay
A hook is a surprising element that engages your audience in your essay right from its beginning. Talking contextually, in a cause and effect essay, the hook can be statistical data or a claim that will clearly reflect the urgency of the discussion of your chosen topic. Let’s have a look at the sample hook in our taken example topic.
By the end of 2022, the temperature of the earth’s surface was around 0.98 Celsius degrees warmer than the average of the 20th century. Besides, the current global temperature has been consistently high on record("Topic: Global climate change", 2022).
In this hook, you might have noticed that we have given statistical data that directly points toward global warming. This will engage the readers right away and will encourage them to go through your essay till the end. Next, comes the background information.
Introduction element: Background brief of a cause and effect essay
Background information is necessary for an essay to brief the readers about the concept that will be discussed throughout the essay. In the case of a cause and effect essay, providing background information is even more important because the cause and effect of a topic will only be impactful when your readers would have good knowledge about the topic.
Let’s look at the background brief in the case of our sample essay topic for a better understanding of the background brief.
Sample Background Information
Global warming has been a concerning issue for a long time now. It has various effects on the environment that needs the attention of today’s generation. The number of cyclones, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters is increasing at a rampant pace. Besides, the main cause behind all these natural disasters is global warming.
After effectively providing the background information, using 2 to 3 lines, you will explain the purpose of writing an essay. This will allow you to draw the importance of the topic in the minds of the reader. To explain, you will answer the question, “Why is this topic important?”. After defining the purpose the next paragraph of your essay will talk about the thesis statement.
Introduction element: The thesis statement of a cause and effect essay
A thesis statement defines the topic in a summary that will be discussed in the essay. In terms of the cause and effect essay, in the thesis statement, you can narrow down the topic and let your audience know that this essay will provide different causes and effects briefly. Although every essay has a different thesis statement, the thesis statement of the cause and effect essay should follow the 3Cs formula explained below.
- Contentious: It is essential to know that your thesis statement should never contain any obvious facts. It should be contentious enough to intrigue the minds of readers and keep them indulged in the essay.
- Concise: The thesis statement of your essay should be concise so that your readers get a clear understanding of the central idea of the topic whose causes and effects would be discussed in the whole essay.
- Coherent: Lastly, there should be cohesion between your thesis statement and your body paragraphs describing different causes and effects of the essay.
In terms of our example, below given will be the thesis statement of your essay.
Global warming can be understood as a direct consequence of various primary and secondary causes which could be either natural or man-made. Subsequently, the consequences of global warming can be quite detrimental to the planet and could result in some alarming effects.
If you want to learn more about thesis statements, you can go through our comprehensive guide on how to write a thesis statement.
Introduction element: Outline of a cause and effect essay
An outline is one of the most vital parts of the essay as it acts as the road map of your essay. To elaborate, the outline of an essay will briefly define all the aspects that your essay will cover and in what sequence of paragraphs it will be covered.
The outline of the essay allows the readers to understand how different cause-and-effect relationships will take place in the essay. Moreover, it will also allow you to survey and analyze the information before presenting it to your audience.
While writing an outline of the essay, you should note that your outline statement should clearly highlight the different cause and effect aspects that you will discuss in your essay.
Firstly, the essay will talk about the main causes that are increasing the temperature all over the globe. Secondly, the effects that are caused by global warming will be discussed in the essay. Lastly, some of the solutions that will assist in dealing with the rising temperature of the earth will be provided in the essay.
How to write the body of a cause and effect essay?
There are two types of ways in which you can structure the body paragraph of your cause and effect essay i.e. block method and the chain method. In the block method, the writer first explains all the causes in the initial paragraphs and then explains the effect of each cause followed by a transition paragraph that will form the cohesion. Whereas, in the chain method, each cause is followed by its effect immediately.
To elaborate, each body paragraph of the cause and effect essay will start with a topic sentence that can either describe the main idea of the cause or the effect that will be discussed in the rest of the essay. After that, you will explain the topic sentence which can be a cause or the effect with the evidence (if possible) to support your topic sentence.
Moreover, if you do not have evidence, you will critically analyze and explain how your causes or effects fit in the bigger picture of your chosen topic of the subject. Lastly, the body paragraph will contain a cohesion line that will form a connection between the current paragraph and the beginning of the next paragraph.
In the case of our example, we will use the chain method and our body paragraph would be like this:
Sample Body Paragraph
There are different causes of global warming for which mankind is responsible. Deforestation is the major cause of rising global warming on the earth because plants are a major source of oxygen for all living organisms on the earth. Besides, they consume carbon dioxide which assists in maintaining the balance of the earth and evening things out. However, humans are recklessly cutting trees which have to lead to an imbalance in the environment. 13 million hectares of forest have been cut down and are converted for other uses(Deforestation Facts and Statistics,2022). This environmental imbalance is causing a rise in the temperature thus enhancing global warming.Not only this, there are many natural causes of global warming as well.
How to write the conclusion of a cause and effect essay?
The essay's conclusion should always consist of restating the main idea of causes and effects discussed in the whole essay. However, a notable fact while writing a conclusion is that you should never provide new information whether factual or literary in the conclusion paragraph.
You eventually have to present the thesis statement once again with the central idea around which your cause and effect essay revolved throughout. Along with this, you can also provide future implications directed toward tackling the effects of the different causes discussed in the essay. In the case of our example, the conclusion would be:
To conclude, global warming is a concerning issue and the rising temperature is an alarm that needs our utmost attention right now. Hence, it is essential to know about the various causes of global warming and the impacts that it is bringing to the earth. So that we can take effective solutions to counter the situation in an effective manner.
To encapsulate, we are sure that the above guide has cleared all your doubts about the cause and effect essay. So, what are you waiting for? Use effective guidance and share it with your friends as well. So, you pass with flying colors and with HD grades in your assessments.