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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay? Here's an Easy Way Out

A cause and effect essay need not require any further explanation, as to what it contains. As the name clearly suggests, this kind of an essay presents reasons and explanations for events or conditions.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017
'Cause', as we know, is about 'Why things happen or what are the factors which bring upon the occurrence of an event?'. 'Effect' suggests consequences or the after results of an action, which occurs due to a cause. A simple example would be, 'The battery of your cell phone is out of charge'. So, 'Your phone won't switch on'. So, the former was the cause and the latter happens to be the effect.
Composing a Cause and Effect Essay
What should begin as the initial point while writing a cause and effect essay, should be the listing of the event, phenomenon, trend, or condition that you want to address. This should be the starting point of the essay and the cause as well. Doing additional research on the topic would help you frame a background of the cause and thus would keep the reader from being aloof of the subject.
An establishment of a relationship between the cause and effect is the most vital part of an essay. This can be done by maintaining a constant link between them. Apart from this, putting a broad explanation regarding the effect of the condition is also important.
Before you come up with the actual content of this kind of an essay, it is advisable to form a rough draft of the same. So, if you can come up with diagrams or a demonstration in order to relate the cause and the effect, it will make things easier. This helps in yielding an appropriate conclusion to the essay. A faulty conclusion signifies that there is something missing in the connection between the cause and effect of the condition.
While determining the cause of the topic that you are presenting, you must be able to identify its type as well; whether it is a necessary, sufficient, or contributory one. A necessary cause is one which has to be present for the effect to occur. A sufficient one signifies that it can produce the effect, though there might be other factors contributing to it as well. The last type is about helping to bring about the effect. 
These examples will make the idea simpler.
  • Food is necessary for living things to survive - a necessary type.
  • A dead battery can keep a watch from working - a sufficient type, as there might be other causes such as faulty mechanisms, etc., which might also produce the same effect.
  • Breaking traffic rules might aid the occurrence of an accident - a contributory type, as other factors such as other cars and pedestrians have to be present.
One more important consideration while writing such an essay is to realize that, if there is only one cause which has produced the effect or are there any multiple factors contributing to it. Determining this, would help give a completeness to the composition.
It is a good practice to use a thesis statement, that presents the condition or the event at the beginning of the essay. Conclude your essay by summarizing the cause(s) and effect(s), which have been described in the essay. The summary should also present a revisit to the overall idea and the theme of the essay, so that the reader can form a logical connection between the different thoughts, which you have tried to showcase.
Practice Topics
Here are some general cause and effect topics which you can use for preparation.
  • Why do you think you are an average/above average/below average student?
  • What are the effects of Global Warming on the world as a whole?
  • What could be the causes of poor academic career of some students?
  • What are the major effects of racism?
  • What causes a man to lead a successful life and for another, a not so successful one?
  • Depict a fictional character bearing a strange behavior. What caused his/her behavior? What were the effects of the behavior? And so on...
Writing a cause and effect essay could be a bit more complex than the normal ones. So, one must begin with light and simple topics, which might include only one cause and one effect. Thereafter, a gradual increase in the intensity and depth of the topics could be presented, which might involve multiple causes and their effects.