Cause and Effect Essay Outline

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is a type of essay that is written or edited with an objective of explaining why things happen (causes) and what are the consequences (effects) that result from the happening of that event or situation. If you are looking for cause and effect essay examples here is the best one.


Cause and Effect Essay Outline

A cause and effect essay outline is usually structured according to the 5-paragraph essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.


An introduction brings forth the background of the topic under discussion. Here, the writer lists out the issues and focus of the essay’s argument. Simply, it describes the purpose of the essay.

Body Paragraph: Description of the ‘Cause’

In this first part of the essay analysis, the writer needs to clearly explain the current situation to the readers so that they understand what he is arguing for. The writer needs to focus on the description of the situation in such a way that the reader is prepared for the ‘effect’ that he is arguing for. For example, if the writer intends to argue that the loss of privacy will lead to loss of individual freedom, then the description should focus on the technologies that will affect a person’s freedom to act.

Body Paragraph: Description of the ‘Effect’

In this section, the writer needs to explain to the reader about the logical steps that they have used to move from cause to effect. For example in our case about freedom above, if the writer wishes to explain that privacy loss results in the loss of individual freedom, then the writer has to explain how privacy and freedom are connected. For example, they can say that increased surveillance on individuals limits their privacy and thus they are no longer free to act independently. In simple, the writer should focus on explaining what the specific effect or effects are, how we move from the cause to the effects, specific illustrations of these effects, and how these particular illustrations are representative of others.

Body Paragraph: Explanation of the meaning of the “cause and effect relationship”

In this section, the writer should argue for the importance of the argument’s findings. This is often done by putting into perspective the short-term and long-term results of the ‘effect’. They should also put forward the recommendations they think are important for the situation. They can also speculate on what might happen in the future if the trend on this situation continues.


In this final part of the essay, the writer just sums up the essay. He or she tells of how our understanding of the larger issue might be changed by the presented analysis. The writer should also appeal to the reader by concluding with how the situation affects them.



Cause and Effect Essay Outline Template

A cause and effect essay can have 3 possible variations of organization that include;

  • Outline 1: Many causes that lead to one effect
  • Outline 2: One cause leading to many effects
  • Outline 3: A chain of causes and effects; where one leads to another

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