Cause and effect essays are the type of writing where causality and relationships between various events and actions are established and explained. Thus, no matter what cause and effect essay topics you are assigned, a common method that is used to structure and organize such an essay is discussing why something happens and what effects or results it has.
When starting work on your assignment, you may wonder, “What is a cause and effect essay?” In order to answer this question, you need to clearly differentiate between the cause (why something happens) and effect (the results of something that happens). Thus, to identify the cause, ask the question “what happened?” Then, to determine the effect, wonder, “What is the result?” The following scenario is an example:
Cause: you ran out of gas
Effect: you will not be able to start your car and drive to the meeting.
That is an example of a single cause and single effect. Yet, sometimes you may develop a cause and effect essay structure that supposes that either one cause has a number of effects, or there are a number of causes that have one common effect. Usually, your instructor will stipulate which exactly method to utilize in your assignment.
Writing a cause and effect essay supposes the same writing process steps as any other type of writing. When you identify the causes and effects, the next step is creation of a detailed cause and effect essay outline. Then think of a thesis statement that will clearly introduce your causes and effects and provide insight whether you will focus more on causes, effects or both of them.
The next step is to find supporting details and organize them logically to support your thesis statement. There are several methods of organizing supporting details, which are chronological, order of importance, and categorical. The chronological method of presenting details suggests that details are presented in the order of their occurrence. The order of importance method suggests the arrangement of ideas from least to most important. The categorical method of presenting supporting details suggests division of the cause and effect topics into categories.
The last but not least step in developing a cause and effect essay is appropriate use of transitions to make it logical and smooth. Appropriate transitional words for causes include because, since, due to, while. For effect these words and phrases are thus, consequently, therefore, as a result, etc.
When preparing your cause and effect assignment, it will be useful to keep in mind several points:
- Mind the purpose of your essay. Namely, you need to be definite whether your aim is to persuade or simply inform.
- Focus on causes and effects that are directly related and are close rather than remote in time.
- Support your causes and effects with evidence, such as examples, statistics, observations, etc.
You may find it useful to read several cause and effect essay examples to make sure you understand how to write a cause and effect essay.
Yet, to evaluate whether your writing process is effective, you may ask yourself several questions, such as, “What are the causes and effects?” What are you focusing on - causes or effects? Are there multiple causes and effects?
The variety of cause and effect essay topics is amazing and endless. Sample topics may include causes and effects of the World War II, greenhouse effect, causes and effects of economic crisis of Great Depression etc. Creative writing ideas are numerous and you need to make sure you develop an essay on a topic that is important and close to you. Thus, the choice of cause and effect topic is of the utmost importance to the success of your work.