Cause and Effect Essay: Essential Steps to Writing a Powerful Paper

Cause and Effect Essay Definition

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. Additionally, the essay can also have a domino effect or casual chain which is when one event happens, and its effects lead to another event.

Searching for cause and effect essay examples for college writing? Read a good one below!


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.

Cause and effect essay outline can be in three common forms which are:

1. Many causes leading to a single effect, the outline will look like

  • Introduction: the information regarding the event or situation of the essay.
  • Body: first cause, second cause and third cause leading to a single effect.
  • Conclusion: a summary of all the causes and its single effect and proving in a thesis statement.

2. One cause leading to many effects

  • Introduction: regarding the event or issue of the essay and a cause and effect thesis statement.
  • Body: one cause that analyze about the event or what happens that leads to one effect, second effect, and third effect.
  • Conclusion: a summary of the cause and its several effects and proving in a thesis statement.

3. Domino effect: which is a chain of causes and effect that is one event leading to another

  • Introduction: information of the issue or event.
  • Body: first cause, first effect leading to cause two, second effect leading to cause three. The continuous chain is referred to us the domino effect or casual chain.
  • Conclusion: a summary of the causes and effects and proof in the thesis statement.

Cause and Effect Essay Format

Whichever the outline, the format should have a flow and be consistent. A five paragraph format is the most common and looks like this:

  • Introduction: consisting of the issue or event background and a thesis statement.
  • First paragraph: the first proof of the thesis statement.
  • Second paragraph: the second proof of the thesis statement.
  • Third paragraph: the third proof of the thesis statement
  • Conclusion: a summary of the essay

Cause and Effect Essay Topics and Ideas

You can gather around for ideas from some common events or situation in the general topics known by many people. You should be able to explain the cause and effect from the topic that you have chosen. These common topics include:

  • Topics on education: What causes some schools to fail to tutor their student?
  • Topics on relationships: What causes men to fear commitment?
  • Topics on medical issues: What is the effects of globalization on the spread of diseases?
  • Topics on lifestyle: What causes teenagers to start using drugs?
  • Topics on technology: What causes people to trust strangers from the social media platform?

If you are looking for a good cause and effect essay topic, here are the most popular ones below.


Dos and Don’ts of Cause and Effect Essay Writing

The DOs:

  • Do understand and explain carefully the causes and effects.
  • Do place your causes in order of time.
  • Do support your thesis with examples and proof. Refer to statistics if possible.
  • Do always keep referring to the objective which is to support the thesis.
  • Do make your essay comprehensible by using transition words such as therefore, because, due to and others.

The DON’Ts:

  • Don’t explain all the causes and effects that you think, choose the ones that are most important.
  • Don’t forget the outline and the format.
  • Don’t explain something that is big, if it is too broad, you can narrow it down.

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