How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

So, you were assigned to write a cause and effect essay, where do you start? You need to have a clear understanding of what a cause and effect paper is, know its purpose, and have an effective plan of action in mind.

In this article we will explore the cause and effect essay. As usual, we’ve got a list of topics up-front to help you brainstorm. Then, we will dive into the step-by-step writing process, showing you how to write a flawless cause and effect essay. On the other hand, you can contact our essay writers  – for further writing and editing help. We can make your essay shine!


What Is a Cause and Effect Essay

The easiest way to clarify the cause and effect definition is by taking a look at an example:

Cause: Peter Parker stumbled into a hi-tech science lab and was bitten by a radioactive spider.
Effect: Peter became Spiderman and started fighting crime in New York City.

From the given example, you can tell that the cause is the fact, action, or event that caused something to happen. The effect is the outcome of the cause and the impact it makes. Thus, in a nutshell, a cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (causes) for something and then reflects the results (effects).

Why is it essential to master this type of essay? Cause and effect essays are a common type of essay often assigned in schools, colleges, and universities. Therefore, the first reason to master them is to keep up the good academic performance.

But there is much more to it. Cause and effect is one of the most common methods of organizing and discussing ideas. It is not only used in academic papers, but in everyday life as well. For example, while making a presentation at work, a specialist will likely use cause and effect organization to explain why the company’s current performance indicators are the way they are and what results they can bring. Thus, mastering cause and effect essay writing is vital.

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Cause and Effect Essay Topics

The main thing to remember when choosing a topic is that it must represent a scenario in which a particular fact, event, or action leads to another. In other words, you need to ensure that there is a cause and effect chain that you can disclose in your paper.

As long as you keep that one key tip in mind, your choice of topic is quite unlimited. You are free to write about whatever feels engaging and important to you. Keep in mind that the key characteristics of good cause and effect essay topics are:

There are 4 simple steps to find your perfect essay topic:

  1. Start with brainstorming. Think of general ideas that pop into your mind and write them down.
  2. Pick the idea you like most and that is within your range of interests.
  3. Narrow down the general concept to something more specific.
  4. For example, if your general idea was “The Correlation between Mental and Physical Health”, you can narrow it down to something like “The Effect of Stress on the Immunity Systems of College Students.” Now, if you compare these two topics, it is clear that they focus on the same issue, but the second one is much more accurate and, therefore, more manageable.
  5. Create a concise, straight to the point, clear, and engaging title.

Following these tips and steps, you can choose the right topic for your essay. However, if you are still lacking fresh ideas, let us give you some ideas for essay topics from different fields, to begin with:






Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Now that you know the definition of the cause and effect essay and have a few topic ideas in mind, we can move on to the next step — creating an outline for your paper. Soon we will give you some examples of cause and effect essay outlines, but let’s start with defining the appropriate structure for such a paper.

There are two types of structures you can use here: a block or a chain structure.The block structure implies keeping all of the causes at the beginning of your essay, followed by the effects.

Here is an example of an outline for an essay written in the block structure on the causes and effects of bullying:
1. Introduction with an engaging hook

2. Main Body

3. Conclusion

Unlike the block structure, the chain structure implies that each cause is followed immediately by the effect. As a rule in this structure, each effect then becomes the next cause, therefore forming a sort of a “chain”.

Here is a sample outline for this structure:
1. Introduction

2. Main Body

3. Conclusion

How to pick the right structure: Unless you have any specific requirements in terms of structure, how to organize the paper is up to you. Usually, the block structure fits best to shorter essays as it is more clear, while the chain structure is good for ensuring that all effects in a paper relate directly to given causes.

Now, let’s get more specific on how to create an outline. Just in case you are wondering why you should create an outline, the answer is simple — it helps to organize the writing process and makes it super simple.

There are three common ways to organize a cause and effect essay: Multiple Causes One Effect, One Cause Multiple Effects, and the Domino Pattern.

Three ways of organizing a cause and effect essay

Let’s look at all three patterns with examples on the same topic about the causes and effect of bullying.

Multiple Causes One Effect

This pattern works best for topics that imply multiple reasons come together to create a single result.

Example Outline:
1. Introduction

2. Main Body

3. Conclusion

Multiple Causes One Effect Example

One Cause Multiple Effects

This pattern is the right choice for topics that discover how one cause sparks a chain reaction of effects.

Example Outline:
1. Introduction

2. Main Body

3. Conclusion

Domino Pattern

This last way to organize a cause and effect essay is your best bet if you have a chain of events that leads to other things. This is the most fast-paced pattern. Thus, it is a wise choice if you want to create an engaging and dynamic essay.

Example Outline:
1. Introduction

2. Main Body

3. Conclusion

Cause and Effect Essay in 5 Steps

1. Get Familiar With Instructions

First and foremost, make sure you are well familiar with your teacher’s requirements. Carefully read the instructions that you are given and keep them in mind while writing.

2. Choose Your Topic

The next step to make is choosing a topic. There is no reason to restate how to pick a good topic, so follow the tips given earlier. Most importantly — choose what you are interested in.


Take some time to write all of your ideas on paper. This will help you see what you’ve got to work with, help find a starting point, and help you decide on how to fluidly introduce each of your points.

4. Define Relevant Causes and Effects

Before you can start to write an outline, look once more at your topic and ideas and answer the following questions:
What caused those particular things to happen? – to define your causes;
What are the outcomes of this? – to define your effects.

Example causes of bullying:
Desire to get noticed; taking anger out on others; aggressive personality; problems at home; troubles at school, revenge; etc.

Example effects of bullying:
Low self-confidence; psychological post-trauma disorders; stress; depression; abnormal fears; alcohol or substance abuse; self-destructive behavior, etc.

Then, carefully analyze, evaluate, and prioritize the causes and effects you distinguished.

5. Create an Outline

Following the above-given guide, create a detailed outline.

6. Create a Thesis Statement

Build a solid thesis that introduces your main idea. Also, mention whether you are going to focus on revealing causes, effects, or both.

Bullying is a pressing issue in the modern world. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than one out of every five students reports being bullied. This essay discovers the causes and effects of bullying.

7. Collect Supporting Facts

To make your cause and effect essay flawless, try to find valid and significant supporting arguments for your causes and effects.
For example, if you are discussing the causes and effects of bullying, good supporting details would be bullying statistics, expert psychologists’ opinions, real-life examples, etc.

8. Write Your Cause and Effect Essay

Write an essay following the outline you have. Keep it simple and clear. Use appropriate and easy to understand language. Also, don’t forget to stick to the chosen structure and use smooth transitions between different parts of your paper.
Here are examples of transitional phrases and words you can use:

For causes:
Due to, because, since, one/next/another cause is, etc.

For effects:
As a result, one/second/another result is, therefore, thus, etc.

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

What is the easiest way to grasp the general idea of how a particular essay type is written? By checking out one or a few good samples of course. No matter how detailed our guide is, having top-notch cause and effect examples at hand is priceless. Not only will it help you discover the right structure and format of such work, but it can also bring you inspiration to begin to write your own. Thus, here we have several A-worthy cause and effect essay examples that will help you get on the right track:

Example 1: The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is becoming an increasing challenge among people today.
Most individuals have experienced sleep deprivation at least once, and the occurrence is becoming more widespread—especially among adults. Much like food and water, sleep is a biological need that our bodies need to function properly. With that in mind, let’s examine the negative effects sleep deprivation has on people and their productivity.
One of the major effects of sleep deprivation, that is oftentimes overlooked, is that it can cause accidents. Some of the world’s biggest disasters have been attributed to human error due to lack of sleep.

Example 2: Cause and Effect of Homelessness

Homelessness is described as not having a permanent place or home to reside in. A homeless person’s home is therefore either in shelters or in the streets. There are several reasons why people become (or choose to be) homeless, and the accumulation of factors that lead to it vary for each individual. Homelessness does not care whether a person is young, has a family, is male or female, or are single adults. Some of the most prominent factors that lead to homelessness are as listed: personal choice, poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, limited assistance services, unemployment, and limited support services. The effects of homelessness also vary and are felt differently among the homeless, communities, and business communities (Friedman and Danny pp. 19). Effects of being homeless are: personal, health, abuse, familial, and societal. Despite having plenty of reasons why people become homeless and why it has different effects on them, we will only touch upon a few common ones.

Extra Tips & Tricks

Now that you know how to write a cause and effect essay, it’s time to look at some extra tips. An excellent essay is not only about writing, the real craft lies in proofreading and editing. Hopefully this guide has been helpful, and now you can quickly write a cause and effect essay. That being said, here are some final tips that you should consider:

Handle Cause and Effect Essay Writing With Ease!

The tips, examples, and tricks discussed earlier should all help you handle your academic tasks faster and with fewer efforts. But, if you are still looking for more academic help, turn to the assistance of our expert writers at — a legitimate ‘write a essay for me‘ service. We help students from all over the world improve their academic writing skills. We are here to help students of all academic levels improve their skills and boost their GPAs with ease.

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