Writing a good Cause and Effect Essay for college

Writing a cause and effect essay requires placing coherent set of ideas in an organized fashion. In case of cause and effect essays which are generally used to assess the reasoning capability of students, it is very important to connect all the statements to make a meaningful essay. These essays are used to describe situations that can be better understood when their causes and effects are explained in detail. Many students ask us to provide them with cause and effect essay examples and we are certainly at your service to provide you with sample cause and effect essays.

So what is a cause and effect essay?

Before you actually start writing a cause and effect essay, you need to understand what it exactly means. A cause and effect essay is one which determines a scenario where one action or event leads to certain effects. It will also explain what took place and why it took place in that particular pattern.

Top Ideas for your cause and effect essays

Cause and effect essays are used to show why something happens (the cause) and what happens as a result (the effect). Such essays should begin with an introduction paragraph followed by a paragraph that discusses either the causes or effects or paragraphs that discuss each, and finally a conclusion paragraph. It is important to note that sometime, many causes lead to a single effect or many effects may actually be from one cause.

To describe a cause, some phrases should be used such as because (of), due to, since, one cause (is), another (is), first, second, result from etc. To emphasize effect, phrases such as: as a result, thus, consequently, therefore, one result, result in etc would be appropriate. For a paragraph emphasizing a chain of causes or effects, use transitions that show time sequence, such as “then” and “next”.

With our concisely written samples, the students get a clear understanding of the dos and dont’s of writing cause and effect essays. Generally, cause and effect essays requires students to dig deep into the given topic to analyze the reasons for various things to happen the way they are happening thereby expanding their thought process.

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The writing process of Cause and Effect Essays

To write a good cause and effect essay, remember the following:

Cause and effect essays can focus on causes, effects, or both. Your introduction paragraph should make the focus of your essay clear

Cause and effect essays may or may not express a simple blueprint, although essays that deal with either causes or effects are more likely to state a simple blueprint than essays that deal with both causes and effects or essays that deal with related chain-of-events causes or effects

Each body paragraph is usually devoted to either a cause or an effect.

Example of a cause and effect essay on Racism

Below is an example of Cause/Effect essay written by a student Matthew Shwarzer on causes of lingering racism in the United States. From this essay, Matthew identifies a simple blueprint in his thesis in which he deals with schools, neighborhoods, and those in power as contributing to racism:

Essay Blueprint


Motivator: Introduce the fact that race still matters in the United States of America

Thesis and Blueprint: People should look at the causes of racial inequality, namely schools, neighborhoods, and those in power


First Topic Sentence: Public education is not equal

A. Because public schools are funded by taxes, more affluent areas have schools with more resources—better teachers, buildings, books

B. Racial minorities are more likely to live in impoverished areas

C. Poor education leads to fewer life opportunities, such as college, the arts, athletic teams

Second Topic Sentence: The neighborhoods minorities live in also lead to racial inequalities

A. As soon as people are able, they move out of ghettos, leaving only the most destitute

B. High-wage jobs are not likely to exist in poor neighborhoods, leaving chronic underemployment.

C. Lack of mobility keeps poor minorities from seeking lucrative employment

Third Topic Sentence: The people with the power also lead to racial inequality

A. People who establish and enforce policies affect the poor

B. People with the power hire and fire affect the poor by hiring those most like themselves (i.e., white and middle class)

C. Outright racism may not be present, but the end result is explicitly racist


Reworded Thesis: Lingering racism is a complex issue and one which the United States must face

Clincher: Only by a systemic look at the causes of racial inequality, rather than blaming personal racism, can Americans hope to combat the inequality present.

(Adapted from Mathis, P. (2013). Blueprints for writing: Building essays. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Examples of Cause and Effect Essay Ideas and Vocabulary

Obesity is a cause of/a reason for premature death

Media coverage affects/influences voting patterns

Media coverage leads to/gives rise to/brings about changes in voting patterns

Voting patterns are affected/are influences by media coverage.

Stress causes/produces/results in low exam scores

Low exam scores are causes by/are produced by/result from stress

Low exam scores are a consequence of/are a result of/are dude to/the effect of stress

When/if there is constant economic instability, currency crashes occur

(Adapted from http://writing.itu.edu.tr/ce1.pdf)

Ready to write you Cause/effect essay? Here are steps to follow:

1. Choose A Good Topic for Cause and Effect Essays

The topic you choose could be a major event of historical importance or from your daily life (For example: watching TV is harmful). While choosing the topic, you have to remember that this particular event should have a cause and there should be some notable effects as a result of the cause. In this case, watching TV becomes the cause and the result of it are the effects. You can then elaborate on the casual chain of events that follow the cause in the body of the essay.

Depending on your essay’s structure, there could be different ways of organizing it. It could be many causes leading to one effect or one cause leading to multiple effects or it could be a chain of events related to one another. There are three different types of causes and effects namely, primary, contributory and remote causes and effects.

The impact of result in the various types of causes and effects could vary and therefore you should have a clear understanding of the causes and effects that you are going to mention in your essay.

2. Create An Outline for Cause and Effect Essays

Before you start writing, it is important to create an outline with the research that you may have done about the topic. At this stage, you have to list down the cause(s) in detail. The essay can be outlined with listing out one or more causes that led to the effect. The cause you choose acts as the foundation for the essay. So, with this in mind you have to decide the outline of the essay.

3. Composing Your Cause and Effect Essays

Start with the introduction, explaining the cause and the significance of its effects. Make sure that the introduction comprehensively states the purpose of essay along with the effects and causes at stake. The introduction should make a strong statement as the body of the essay will completely depend on how you weave the introductory statement.

Proceed to the body of the essay, where you bring up strong statements in support of your introductory paragraph. The body of the essay should consist of at least three paragraphs that explain one statement each in support of the introductory paragraph. Remember to back up all your statements with sufficient details and necessary evidences. In the above mentioned example, you can mention one harmful effect of watching TV in each paragraph and support your claim with sufficient evidence.

Then get to the conclusion that ties the introduction and body of the essay together. Conclusion plays a major role in getting the readers impression in case of essays. Being the last thing that the reader will read, conclusion leaves a lasting memory on the readers.

Make sure to re-visit all the points that you have mentioned in the essay in your conclusion.

Other considerations about Cause and Effect Essays

While writing a cause and effect essay, it is important to connect the various sentences using transition statements to create a smooth flow of the essay. This plays an important role because, you mention a lot of points in the essay and if you do not connect them in the right fashion; it might lead to confusion for the reader.

Above all, any kind of essay writing requires the writer to go through the essay few times before finalizing the content to make sure it is readable and concise. Hope these tips help you excel at writing a cause and effect essay. Also let us know of any tips that you think may be helpful in further improving the essay.

Well, I have read all this but I need help writing case and effect essay; Can you help me?

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