A Guide to Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Lindsay Kramer

In your academic career, you’ll write a lot of essays. You’ll write some to inform your readers about a topic and others to analyze an idea. Some will argue for or against a specific position, while others will persuade the reader to take action. Authors use various strategies to achieve each of these goals, and one of the strategies they use to inform readers is the cause and effect essay .

As its name implies, a cause and effect essay explains how certain causes result in specific effects. Knowing how to write an effective cause and effect essay is an important skill for students in just about every academic field to develop. Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

What is a cause and effect essay?

A cause and effect essay is a type of expository essay that explores its topic by discussing the issue’s causes and consequences. For example, a cause and effect essay about deforestation’s role in climate change might discuss a few of deforestation’s specific causes, like a demand for wood and the clearing of land for grazing pastures, and then explain how these causes create effects that contribute to climate change. 

As with other types of expository essays, the purpose of a cause and effect essay is to educate the reader. As an expository essay writer, think of yourself as the informed explainer who gives their readers the information they need to think critically about a topic and reach their own conclusions. Your goal isn’t to persuade, argue, or entertain your readers—although there are instances when authors of argumentative and persuasive essays use cause and effect rhetoric in their writing. It’s also possible to write a creative essay using the cause and effect format. However, within the realm of academic essay writing , a cause and effect essay is an expository piece of writing. 

Cause and effect essays are similar to other kinds of expository essays in that they present facts in a clear, logical format. They employ an objective, analytical tone and stay away from flowery and inciting language. This is how they differ from argumentative, persuasive, and descriptive essays. You might use the passive voice more frequently in cause and effect essays than in other kinds of essays, especially in cause and effect essays you write for your science courses. 

How to structure a cause and effect essay

Structurally, a cause and effect essay is similar to other types of essays. It starts with an introduction paragraph where you hook your reader, state your thesis, and give a quick preview of the points you’ll make to support your thesis. 

Following the introduction, each point supporting your thesis has its own section. Each section can be as short as one paragraph or contain a few paragraphs, depending on how much information you need to convey and whether your essay must adhere to a word count or page limit. There are a few different ways to organize your essay’s body paragraphs. You can discuss each cause, section by section, and then discuss each effect afterward (if there is only one effect, include just a single section about it). Alternatively, you can discuss each cause and effect pair individually, giving each pair its own section. 

The best structure for your essay depends on a few factors:

For example, if your essay is about a single effect with multiple causes, it might be most logical to discuss all the causes first and then write a section on their shared effect. Or if the causes and effects are more isolated from each other and you need room to explain how they fit into the bigger picture, the logical choice might be to give each cause and effect pair its own section and then tie them together in your essay’s conclusion.

As with other kinds of academic writing, the most logical structure is typically the best approach. If you aren’t sure how to structure your essay, ask your instructor for guidance. 

After writing the body paragraphs, write your essay’s conclusion . This final section summarizes the points you made in the body, underscores your thesis, and brings your essay’s position to a logical conclusion. 

How to write a cause and effect essay

To write a cause and effect essay, follow the same writing process that you follow when you’re doing other kinds of writing. Start with brainstorming your topic and jotting down any insights you have, questions you want to answer, associations you plan to make between topics, and facts you intend to reference. 

After brainstorming , take your notes and create an organized outline . Remember, your essay outline is a guideline for you to follow as you write, not a final script your essay has to follow. List each section as a header in your outline and below it write down the bullet points you plan to cover within that section. Outlining makes it easy to visualize how your final essay will look and to determine where each body paragraph logically fits into the structure. 

Once your outline is finished, it’s time to write! But before you dive into your first draft, nail down your thesis statement , if you haven’t already. This is a concise and informative statement that tells the reader exactly what your essay is about. It goes in your introduction paragraph, and each body paragraph that follows should support this statement. 

With your thesis statement prepared, write your body paragraphs using your notes from your brainstorming session. Remember what kind of essay you’re writing and frame its body paragraphs accordingly—if a supporting paragraph doesn’t clearly show how its subject is a cause leading to a specific effect, reframe it to fit this format. Remember, you’re only on the first draft, and there will be time to revise it later. 

Once you’re finished writing, give your essay time to cool off. Ideally, take about twenty-four hours before you edit it. When you go back and edit, pay close attention to how you’ve presented each cause and effect. Ask yourself the following questions:

With the answers to these questions in mind, revise your essay to ensure that the content is presented in the clearest, most logical way possible. At this stage, also make sure your essay’s tone is appropriate and that there are not any glaring spelling or grammatical errors. You’ll check for these again when you proofread; the editing stage is primarily for revising your essay’s content. 

With a clean, revised second draft in hand, give it another proofread for grammatical mistakes. Grammarly can help you with this. Once it’s cleaned up, you’re ready to submit your work. 

Example outline of a cause and effect essay

As we mentioned above, there are a few different ways to structure a cause and effect essay. Here is one: 

This format isn’t ideal for every essay, though. In some cases, a format like this makes the content clearer:

When you’re revising your essay, feel free to play around with the format and see which makes more sense for the information you’re writing about. You’ll likely use each of these formats in different essays depending on their specific content. 

Cause and effect essay FAQs

A cause and effect essay is an expository essay that explains the relationships between specific conditions and their consequences, often within the context of a big-picture issue. These conditions are known as “causes,” and their consequences are known as “effects.” 

What is the purpose of a cause and effect essay?

The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to educate the reader about how specific conditions are linked to certain repercussions. 

How do you structure a cause and effect essay?

There are a few different ways to structure a cause and effect essay. Here are two of the most common: 

what cause and effect essay do

Excelsior OWL

an Excelsior University site

Cause & Effect Essay

A graphic showing arrows going from cause to effects

Cause and effect is a rhetorical style that discusses which events lead to specific results. You may find that you are assigned to write a cause and effect essay for a writing class, but you might also encounter cause and effect assignments in other disciplines. For example, you may be asked to write about the causes for the decline of a particular company in your business class, or you may be asked to write about the causes of the rise in obesity rates in the United States for your nursing class.

A cause and effect essay is structured around the goal of discovering and discussing events that lead to certain results. When writing a cause and effect essay, you should be sure that you have researched the specific causes and are confident that you’re demonstrating why they lead to particular results. You may either concentrate on all causes, effects or a combination of both.

Write  |  Read  |  Educators

Grumble... Applaud... Please give us your feedback!

what cause and effect essay do

Make Our Dictionary Yours

Sign up for our weekly newsletters and get:

By signing in, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy .

We'll see you in your inbox soon.

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

two tips for what to do with a cause and effect essay with one tip not to do, all from the article

When you eat a really good pizza, you say, “yum” and likely reach for another slice. That’s basic cause and effect. The pizza was good, so you responded and ate more. You’ve probably partaken in so many examples of cause and effect without even knowing it, so you already have the basic recipe to create an amazing piece of writing. But how do you turn all that into a zesty cause and effect essay?

What Is A Cause and Effect Essay?

Sometimes called reason and result essays , cause and effect essays are a type of essay that explores how an event or situation came into being (the cause) and what happens or transpires because of that event or situation (the effect). The purpose of these types of essays is to explore the “why” or “how” of a situation.

What Is the Basic Structure of a Cause and Effect Essay?

You might see some slight variations in the structure of a cause and effect essay, but for the most part, you’re looking at a pretty rigid outline .

A basic cause and effect essay structure would look like:

Structure of a Short Cause and Effect Essay

Shorter cause and effect essays (especially in timed essay situations ) tend more toward discussing just the cause or just the effect.

For example, a prompt might ask you to explain why cheeseburgers cost so much. In that case, you’d mostly be writing about the cause of that increased price, as the high cost is already the implied effect.

Alternatively, the prompt might ask you to discuss how high cheeseburger prices have affected society, which would have you writing mostly about the effect of high burger prices.

You have a really solid idea of what should go into a cause and effect essay, but it never hurts to see an example in action. Maybe it’ll help you generate new ideas for your own cause and effect essay.

labeled cause and effect essay from the article

Sample Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

As with other essays, the intro paragraph acts as the space for you to introduce your subject. With a cause and effect essay in particular, the intro is important for setting the stage. You can’t just launch into a discussion of cause and effect and expect the reader to get it.

The homeless epidemic is a serious problem in nearly every major city across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are over 500,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. It’s a difficult challenge to tackle precisely because it is so multi-faceted, both in terms of its causes and its far-reaching effects. Homelessness affects not only the people who must struggle to survive on the street but also the business owners or residents in the neighborhoods. While many factors have contributed to the rise in homeless rates, one of the most profound is the lack of adequate social support services.

Sample Body Paragraphs for a Cause and Effect Essay

This is the real meat and potatoes of the article. Despite the structure mentioned above, you can go about the body paragraphs in a few different ways. Similar to compare and contrast essays , you can use a block structure (grouping all the causal information together before getting into the effects) or a point-by-point structure (considering one cause and effect at a time).

A lack of free or affordable housing could be considered an obvious cause of homelessness. On a purely practical level, if a city can provide enough homeless shelters and other forms of affordable housing, the people who would otherwise sleep on the streets can sleep far more safely with a consistent roof over their heads. Social support services, whether they are funded publicly or privately, would be able to tackle many of the immediate and long-term challenges that face people experiencing homelessness.  The effects of homelessness are equally complex and can be mirror images of the root causes. Because the person is experiencing homelessness, this may put profound strain on personal relationships. Drug abuse can become an issue, as the person seeks some way of coping with the pain and hardship of living on the streets. This leads to a downward spiral that drives the person deeper and deeper into the depths of crippling poverty and isolation.

Sample Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

Some people think conclusions can feel tacked on, so avoid doing that. Make your conclusion matter, whether that’s asking new questions or looking toward the future of your topic. What are ideas that you could see sprouting from your essay?

Every city, every neighborhood faces unique challenges when it comes to homelessness. While the specific root causes can vary between individuals, the lack of adequate social services is a leading contributor. The right social services can address, reduce, or even remove some of these other underlying causes. With powerful effects for both the individual and society at large, homelessness is a pressing issue and one that must be approached with tact and compassion.

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Coming up with a topic (for really any essay) is the hardest part. There is such a massive breadth of subject matter to choose from. As always, find something that you find some interest or personal investment in. If the subject matters to you, it will show in your writing.

If you need to grease those gears and get your mind working, here’s some food for thought to get you started.

Some topics that you may have considered for other types of essays can be adapted to cause and effect essays, too. Look through our list of argumentative essay topics for more ideas. Just remember that you may want to avoid certain essay topics if you really want to stand out!

Tips for Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Your head might be spinning with all that information, and it’s okay. It’s a lot to take in. Even with all of that, cause and effect essays can be hard to really get a handle on. Hopefully, some handy tips will keep you on track or help you get on that track in the first place.

Keep Asking Yourself “Why” and “What Happened”

Okay, that sounds a little more existential than intended, but it’s a good way to get yourself in the mindset of cause and effect, which can help you generate a topic and develop your essay.

Why typically gets you to the cause of something. Why is the pizza on the floor? The cause: The cat knocked over the plate.

By comparison, what happened can get you closer to the effect. What happened when the pizza got on the floor? The cat had a nice pepperoni snack.

That might admittedly sound a little simplistic, but it’s a great place to get started, especially if you find yourself unsure how to navigate between cause and effect. Why did that thing happen? What happened because of that thing?

Consider the Many Causes and/or Many Effects of Any Topic

Because of how everything tends to be interlinked, you’ll rarely have an event or situation that has just one cause or one effect. If anything, one effect can become a cause that branches into another effect, and so on. The pizza got on the floor, the cat ate some of it, and now the cat is taking an early nap from being so full.

Similarly, multiple causes can contribute to an effect. The pizza fell on the floor partly because of the cat, partly because your friend left it sitting precariously on the kitchen table.

That level of complication and the potential domino effect of things are what make cause and effect essays so interesting. Considering all those facets is part of what will add nuance to your writing.

But Don’t Worry About Covering Them All

Despite the above, don’t worry about covering every single cause contributing to every single effect. That can lead to some strange tangents and an endless essay. Before you know it, your essay about the effects of World War II will somehow turn into an essay about pasta sauce.

Allow room for all those different wrinkles, but if you find yourself getting carried away, refocus on your thesis. If what you’re exploring is way outside the bounds of your thesis, it might be worth cutting it (save that pasta sauce writing for another day).

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

what cause and effect essay do

A cause and effect essay is a type of essay that examines the causes of a particular event or situation and the effects that result from it. The purpose of this type of essay is to explore the various causes and effects that are associated with a particular event or situation.

In order to write a successful cause and effect essay, it is important to have a clear understanding of the topic at hand and to be able to identify the different causes and effects that are associated with it. Additionally, it is important to be able to organize the information in a way that is easy to follow and understand. The process is not as complicated as it sounds: keep reading a post from our essay writing services to find out how to craft an impressive paper.

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that requires students to investigate an issue, evaluate the evidence, and then establish a position on the topic. In other words, a cause and effect essay looks at the causes of a problem or situation and then explores the effects of that problem or situation. Cause and effect essays can be written on many different topics, such as families, relationships, health, history, and more.

There are three main parts to a cause and effect essay:

The introduction: This is where you will introduce your topic and provide any background information that is necessary for understanding the issue.

The body: This is where you will present your argument or point of view. You will need to support your position with evidence from research or personal experience.

The conclusion: This is where you will summarize your argument and explain how it supports your thesis statement.

cause effect

When structuring this type of essay, it is important to

Because of the intricate characteristics, cause and effect essays often discuss scientific subjects. Yet, the writer's task is to express complicated concepts and phenomena in a simple, easy-to-grasp manner. The readers should be able to satisfy their curiosity. Ideally, they should have no questions left after going through the essay.

Now that you understand what is a cause and effect essay, let's find out more about the corresponding outline.

Get Help With Cause and Effect Essay Writing!

To buy essay cheap just provide us with your paper requirements and watch one of our writers craft an original paper for you.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

"Why do I need an outline in the first place?" you might wonder. Well, every piece of writing should be logically organized so as not to confuse the reader. The cause and effect essay outline allows determining how to structure it in the most appealing way while adhering to academic requirements.

A cause and effect essay is a type of essay that aims to explain the causes or effects (or both) of a certain event or phenomenon. This can be done either by providing a detailed description of the event or phenomenon, or by discussing the reasons why it occurred, or the effects that it had.

In order to write a good cause and effect essay, you need to have a clear understanding of what you are writing about. Make sure that you have a clear thesis statement that tells the reader what your essay is going to be about. Once you have your thesis statement, you can start to brainstorm the different causes or effects that are relevant to your topic.

Once you have a good understanding of the different causes or effects that are relevant to your topic, you can start to organize your thoughts into an outline. A cause and effect essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

The introduction should give some background information on the event or phenomenon that you are writing about. It should also introduce the main idea of your essay and provide any necessary context for understanding the causes or effects that you will be discussing.

The body of your essay should consist of one or more paragraphs, each devoted to discussing a different cause or effect. Make sure to support your claims with evidence from reliable sources. If you are discussing multiple causes or multiple effects, make sure to discuss them in separate paragraphs and clearly indicate how they are connected to each other.

Finally, the conclusion should briefly summarize the main points of your essay and emphasize its overall implications or significance. You might also want to suggest further research on the topic or provide some recommendations for addressing the causes or effects that you have discussed.

1. Introduction

3. Conclusion

Body Paragraph of a Cause and Effect Essay Body (Causes)

Normally, the student will need to address several causes of the problem introduced by their thesis statement. It shows teachers that they have successfully analyzed the issue from a variety of angles. They may single out a single reason as most important, discussing it first, then moving on to describe secondary issues. Do not make the mistake of forgetting that every individual paragraph must be focused around one key idea. Therefore, every distinct cause should be delegated to its own paragraph.

To develop and introduce your idea, try using a traditional format for paragraphs, containing:

This structure is critical to effective writing. It allows text to run in a smooth fashion and effectively convey an idea. Furthermore, it should be applied to present the causes and effects that are being discussed.

cause and effect

Body Paragraph of a Cause and Effect Essay (Effects)

When scribing a body paragraph whose focus is centered around effects, you need to ensure that a logical connection is made to the causes mentioned within. Focus specifically on the problem's direct consequences, with the message being clear to the audience. It helps keep claims coherent.

Introduce the effects you are to discuss with the topic sentence. It's a good idea to cite a series of reputable sources with thorough research to prove a point. Cite according to the required referencing formats, depending on the type of essay. This includes but is not limited to APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago, etc. Ensure that the necessary comments are made to explain key evidence and findings. Furthermore, it's essential to add one's own interpretation of the problem without just paraphrasing someone else's thoughts. For example, take note of the effects of addiction to social media and observe the expressions that can be potentially used in an essay.


Concluding Paragraph of a Cause and Effect Essay

A conclusion paragraph serves as the outro for a student's cause and effect essay structure. Although the thesis statement needs to be restated, it does not need to be directly copied. The goal is to remind readers of the general argument. See the below examples to observe what it means to restate a thesis:

Thesis: "The drawings of children are not just simple doodles; they show the kids' psychological concerns and state."

Restatement: "Drawings created by children provide insight into the condition of their emotions."

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay Successfully in 5 Steps

To write a convincing cause and effect essay, one must demonstrate dedication, critical thinking skills, and sufficient organization.

Brainstorm Cause and Effect Essay Topics

First, begin by identifying suitable topics for the cause and effect essay. Several subjects of consideration include the development of ideas, cultural movements, and natural phenomena. The key tip for choosing cause and effect essay topics is to ensure that it enables the analytics and observation of the causal relationship.

Choose a Topic That You are Interested in and Have a Clear Understanding of

Opt for a topic that will be interesting for you to write on.

Organize Your Thoughts into an Outline

Don't forget about an outline, it will help you organizing your thoughts.

Create a Thesis for your Cause and Effect Essay

For cause and effect essays, a thesis is a statement of either single or multiple relationships between cause and effect that will be discovered by the reader in the body paragraphs.

Develop Body Paragraphs: Cause and Effect Essay Body

In accordance with standards for cause and effect essay format, the body should consist of anywhere between 2-5 paragraphs. Each should explore a specific facet of the relationship between causes. The core idea must be developed to begin writing the body paragraphs.

Edit and Revise Your Essay, Paying Attention to Grammar, Punctuation, and Clarity

With the aid of the thesis and brainstormed ideas for the body paragraphs, start writing the draft for the cause and effect essay. In it, ensure that a logical idea flow is created with the aid of transitions, linking of all paragraphs back to the original thesis, and topic sentences. Lastly, always keep in mind the essay's purpose.

Polish up Your Cause and Effect Essay by Proofreading it One Last Time Before Submission

Often, writing a cause and effect essay first draft will require revisions. Questions to ask include:

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Topics for a cause and effect essay paper can be as diverse as the student desires, for cause and effect essays are suitable for all manners of subjects, including but not limited to history, sociology, technology, physics, languages, and arts, to name several. If students are free to choose their own cause and effect essay topics, they should begin by picking one that matters most and subsequently prove its relevance. In such a way, the interest of the subject matter will drive motivation to successfully complete the task. Several of the most popular topic examples suggested for cause and effect essays are divided by category as follows:

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Examples for College Students

Topics for Education

Topics for Politics

Topics for History

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

The following cause and effect essay example from our business essay writing service is designed to illustrate how the basic foundations play out in practice.

Social media can be defined as the online platform used by people to build social relationships and networks with others who have the same personal interests, backgrounds, activities, or real-life connections (Moreno et al. p 242). Social media has significantly impacted on real-life communication among different people a clear indication that it's part of people’s life. The advancement in technology has pressure people to accept the different types of lifestyles. Social media platforms enable users to communicate, share ideas, and created web content. With technological innovations on the development of smartphones and computers that can be used to access the internet easily, many people are now using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate regardless of their location (Turcotte et al. p 520).
Globalization is one of the critical factors that has led to a change in the world economy. In the past persons used to do batter trade and they needed to travel long distances so that they can exchange their goods and services. One of the significant causes of globalization is modern technology, innovations in the sector have led to critical changes in communication and in the way people do travel and work (Lane &Mark E, 3-25). Mobile phones services and the internet enable organizations and individuals to exchange ideas, persons, and business organizations all over the world are interconnected. Through technology, there has been digitalization, which has changed the way business organizations work, how they deliver their goods and services, and how they associate with their customers.

Read also our article on synthesis paper , one of the most fascinating types of essays.

To sum up, a cause and effect essay is a type of essay that aims to explain the causes or effects (or both) of a certain event or phenomenon. This can be done either by providing a detailed description of the event or phenomenon, or by discussing the reasons why it occurred, or the effects that it had.

However, if you don't know how to write a case study or any other tasks are too time-consuming or confusing, there can be an option to get professional coursework help. Just leave us a notice ' write paper for me ' and we'll give you a hand asap.

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 EssayPro — a legitimate custom writing . 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.

Related Articles

movie review

How To Write A Cause And Effect Essay 2022: Topics, Structure, Examples

How To Write A Cause And Effect Essay 2022?

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that explores the causes of a particular issue and its consequences. It includes researching available evidence and developing sensible claims regarding the topic. Students should demonstrate a good command of critical thinking skills throughout the writing process and the ability to build cause-effect reasoning. As a type of expository essay, a cause and effect essay should rely on clear facts and research. A writer should stick to neutral tone, vocabulary, and formal style.

To that to understand what cause and effect essay is, let's look at a how to write a cause and effect essay topics example:

Cause: the lightning struck Barry Allen while he was sitting in the lab next to the chemicals.

Effect: Barry Allen became Flash and joined the Injustice League.

cause and effect examples

A cause and effect essay should be well-structured. Otherwise, your claims will not be clear to the reader. Below, our write my essay experts will help you find out what structure your essay should have and how to prepare each part of your paper.

Are There Other Things That You’d Rather Do?

So Do Them, Leave Essay Writing for the Experts!

what cause and effect essay do

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Let’s look at the cause and effect essay outline. It includes the obvious parts, such as introductory and concluding paragraphs, but the body of this essay type may vary depending on the task and your preferences. You can structure body paragraphs using one of the three schemes. However, the first column represents the most common way to discuss your claims:

1. Introduction

3. Conclusion

Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

The introductory paragraph of a cause and effect essay lays the foundation for the whole piece. It needs to be short but precise. Before getting to writing, you need to plan your paper and figure out what your argument is. This will help you to introduce your topic effectively. See what you can use to attract the attention of your audience, for example:

As Mohsin (2020) reports, approximately half of the world population uses social media websites every day.
As Malay Shah says, “social media sites create an illusion of connectivity.”
Do social media platforms replace real life?

Once you are done with the hook, outline the general information about the topic and its context. Use this part to orient the readers in the discussed field and focus their attention on your argument. Last but not least, develop a good thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. It should say something about the topic instead of simply announcing it. Use it as a base. Each claim you make should support the thesis statement. Once the paper is ready, check whether you have managed to do this.

Cause and Effect Essay Body Paragraph (Causes)

Typically, you will need to present several causes of the problem. It will show your teacher that you have analyzed the issue from different angles. You may single out one reason as the most important and discuss it first and move on to describing the secondary causes. Do not forget that each paragraph should be focused on one particular idea. Thus, each distinct cause should have a separate paragraph.

To introduce and develop your idea, use a traditional paragraph format:

Such an organized structure is the key to effective writing. It allows the text to run smoothly and convey the idea effectively. It should be applied to present both causes and effects being discussed.

Cause and Effect Essay Body Paragraph (Effects)

When writing body paragraphs focused on effects, you need to make a logical connection to the already mentioned causes. Focus only on the direct consequences of the problem as your message needs to be clear to the audience. It will help you keep the claims coherent.

Introduce the effects you want to discuss in a topic sentence. It would be a good idea to conduct research and cite some reputable sources that will prove your point. Cite them according to the required referencing format: APA, MLA , Harvard, Chicago, etc. Make sure you make the necessary comments to explain your evidence. It is crucial to add your own interpretation of the problem without simply paraphrasing someone’s thoughts. For instance, see the example of the effects of social media addiction and note the expressions you can potentially use in your paper:

social media addiction infographic

Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the final element of your cause and effect essay structure. You need to restate your thesis statement. However, do not copy it directly. The aim is to remind the reader of your argument. Look at the following examples to see what it means to restate your thesis.

Another important element of a concluding paragraph is the summary of the main points. Figure out what your main findings and claims are and compile them into a short paragraph. Such an essay is easier to read.

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

The topics for a cause and effect essay can be diverse as this type of writing is suitable for any subject: history, languages, sociology, arts, technology, natural disasters, and even physics. If you are free to choose the topic, select the one that matters to you, and prove its relevance. This way, the interest in the subject-matter will drive your motivation to complete the task successfully. Some interesting examples of cause and effect essay topics suggested by write essay for me professionals include:

Education Topics

Social Media Topics

Social Occurrences Topics

History Topics

Politics Topics

Do You Wish for an Improved Academic Life?

We gathered a talented and qualified team of writers to provide you with the greatest essay-writing service!

what cause and effect essay do

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay?

So, how to write a cause and effect essay? To succeed in this endeavor, one has to demonstrate critical thinking skills, proper self-organization, and dedication.  In this part of our article, we are going to walk you through the writing process step by step and give helpful tips for success with cause and effect essays.

Brainstorm Cause and Effect Essay Topics

First, you must identify suitable cause and effect essay topics. Some things to consider as potential subjects are cultural movements, natural phenomena like global warming, or the development of certain concepts or ideas. The key tip for choosing a topic is ensuring that it enables you to observe and analyze its causal relationship.

Come Up With Cause and Effect Essay Thesis

Next, for cause and effect essays you need a thesis. A cause and effect thesis is basically a statement of a single (or multiple) cause-and-effect relationship that is going to be discovered in the essay.

Develop Cause and Effect Essay Body Paragraphs

According to a standard cause and effect essay format, the body should consist of 2-5 paragraphs. Each body paragraph explores a specific facet of the causal relationship. At this stage, you need to develop the core ideas for all paragraphs. Make sure to cover both positive and negative effects in your essay. Ideally, it should have a separate paragraph for each angle.

Write a Draft

Using the thesis and the ideas for body paragraphs you already have, write a draft of your cause/effect essay. In your draft, create a logical flow of ideas using transitions, topic sentences, and linking all your paragraphs back to your thesis. And, keep in mind the purpose of your essay.

Review Your Cause and Effect Essay Draft

Typically, your first cause effect essay draft will still be raw and require revision. The questions to ask are:

Write a Final Cause and Effect Essay Draft

After a careful revision, college students can go straight to writing a cause and effect essay (the final draft). At this stage, it is also time to write the conclusion of your essay if you still don’t have one. Make sure your conclusion is clear, straight to the point, and relevant.

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

Let’s look at the example of a cause and effect essay, which DoMyEssay professionals have prepared for college students. It discusses the reasons for and impact of social media addiction. First, we need to come up with the title and create an introduction. It will provide some statistical data, which is used as a hook. Then, we familiarize the reader with general information about the topic. Finally, we develop a thesis statement that will summarize our argument clearly and concisely and focus on the effects of social media overuse.

The Overuse of Social Media: Causes and Consequences

Interactions via social media impact our life and behavior. As Mohsin (2020) summarizes, approximately half of the world population uses social media websites every day, and the number of active users keeps growing. This has already turned into an addiction for some people. Addiction because of the overuse of social media does not only take a lot of time and become an annoying habit but also may lead to grave mental health problems, including behavioral, emotional, and anxiety disorders.

As our outline suggests, we move on to the discussion of the causes of social media addiction. This takes separate paragraphs as we discuss two different claims: biochemical reasons and poor awareness. As always, both paragraphs start with a distinct topic sentence. The paragraphs include indirect quotations from reputable sources, which serve as evidence that our claims are correct. In addition, we provide supporting ideas that underpin the claim introduced in the topic sentence. The paragraph ends with a concluding sentence that gives a summary of the main points.

People are always excited to get a notification about a new like, comment, or message. Why is it so? There is an actual biochemical reason for it: the human brain releases dopamine. According to Ahmad (2018), this makes people feel happy. It is attributed to the fact that “likes” give people the impression of social validation. Thus, they feel accepted by the group of their peers and get a sense of belonging. In the long term, the pleasure and excitement from virtual interactions become addictive and make people spend a great deal of their time online, rejecting to do other tasks and duties.  

Another reason for social media addiction is poor awareness of the problem among the public. Compared to other forms of addiction, checking the Facebook feed does not seem that harmful. However, as Ahmad (2018) reveals, it requires more effort to resist social media accounts than alcohol or smoking. As people have a very low degree of awareness regarding the long-term effects of constant social media use, they do not acknowledge the seriousness of the problem. As a result, more and more users live their life in smartphones and disregard real-life interactions, which has its consequences.  

The last sentence of the previous paragraph includes a transition to the effects of the discussed addiction. Thus, we follow the same paragraph structure to introduce and develop our claims. This entails using a specific topic sentence, several pieces of evidence that support the idea, comments regarding it, and a concluding sentence.

The negative effects of such addiction are numerous, but mental health is a top concern. Zagorski (2017) states that social media provoke anxiety disorder, a sense of isolation, and depression. People are likely to develop insecurity, poor self-esteem, and distorted body image, comparing their appearance to unrealistic and photoshopped photos. If people do not get the desired appreciation and recognition from others on social media, it lowers their sense of self-value. Therefore, people become vulnerable to mental health issues.

Social media becomes an unwanted distraction from work, education, and home shores. Notification from apps can easily interrupt your life and lead to procrastination. It impedes progress and makes people less effective. Humans are likely to lose focus and spend their productive hours in vain. Therefore, if people use messengers or other apps all the time, they get distracted from important assignments.

After the discussion part is done, we need to summarize our ideas in a concluding paragraph. We restate our thesis statement and mention our most important findings.

To conclude, because of poor public awareness regarding the impact of social media on psychological wellbeing, people are vulnerable to psychological problems. What is more, the excitement of virtual interactions makes people addictive. In the long term, people become less productive and less motivated to reach their goals.

Writing a concluding paragraph may seem like a final step, but there is also a need to format the reference page. Follow the requirements of your professor and use one of the styles. We use APA for this particular sample paper.

Ahmad, I. (2018, July 27). Why are we addicted to social media? [Infographic]. Social Media Week. https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/07/why-are-we-addicted-to-social-media-infographic/

Mohsin, M. (2020, February 7). 10 social media statistics you need to know in 2020 [Infographic]. Oberlo. https://www.oberlo.com/blog/social-media-marketing-statistics

Zagorski, N. (2017, January 17). Using many social media platforms linked with depression, anxiety risk. Psychiatric News. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.pn.2017.1b16

Cause and Effect Essay Infographic

Cause and Effect Essay Infographic

To Sum Up ‍

As you can see, writing a good cause and effect essay requires proper organization in the first place. You should clearly state the reasons for a particular problem and discuss its impact. Although the outline may have some variations in the body, you still need to write a compelling introduction and a thoughtful concluding paragraph.

Any situation, event, or problem has its reasons and impact. People need to understand the cause and effect relations of events or phenomena to be able to develop a solution or prevent a certain unwanted outcome. For this reason, cause and effect essays serve as a useful exercise for students as they allow them to investigate a particular issue within such a frame.

We are sure that if you invest enough time and effort into preparation, your professor will grade it correspondingly. However, if you find such tasks confusing or too time-consuming for your current schedule, you may easily hire a professional essay writers to help you. Just drop a note to do my essay for me and have some precious moments free from academic assignments and related stress. To this end, if you are to enter university soon you might need our admission essay service admission essay writing service . Our writers will observe your requirements and deliver the essay strictly on time.

Our Latest Blog Posts

what cause and effect essay do

Writing Cause and Effect Papers


Cause and effect papers use analysis to examine the reasons for and the outcomes of situations. They are an attempt to discover either the origins of something, such as an event or a decision, the effects or results that can be properly attributed to it, or both.

Cause and effect papers answer questions like the following ("A" is your topic):

Why did A happen? (discovering the causes of A) What happened as a result of A? (discovering the effects of A) What might happen as a result of A? ( predicting further effects of A)

You may write a cause and effect paper primarily about causes, primarily about effects, or a combination of both.

Discovering causes Before you begin writing or even researching, make a list of all the causes of this event you already know about. Ask questions like these: Why did this happen? What preconditions existed? Were the results foreseen? Could they have been foreseen? Then do some preliminary research, using what you already know to guide the direction of your reading. Change or add to your original list of causes to reflect new information gathered from your research. Done in depth, this kind of analysis is likely to uncover an almost unlimited chain of linked causes, far more than you can effectively address in one paper. Identify one to three of them as more important (or interesting, or overlooked) than the others. Then, acknowledging that multiple causes exist, limit your discussion to those most important (or interesting, or overlooked).

As you brainstorm possible causes, do not fall into the trap of thinking that, simply because one event followed another, that there was necessarily a causal relationship. (The mere fact that four youths were seen running away from the scene of an assault does not itself logically implicate them in the assault; they could have been running for help, chasing down the alleged criminal, or simply jogging by.)

Also, do not confuse a necessary precondition for a cause: A large number of costumed students milling about in downtown Chico on Halloween night may be a necessary precondition for a riot, but it is not, in itself, the cause of a riot.

As you write, use the transitions, or signal words, that tell readers you are demonstrating causal relationships between your ideas:

Led to Because Cause(s) Reasons(s) Explanation(s) So

The following example names the cause first, followed by the effect:

Because the technology program received independent funding from grants and federal Title I funds, it was relatively untouched by the school district's own budget cuts.

Discovering effects If you choose to write about effects, first brainstorm: Make a list of all the effects you know about, and use this list to direct your research to learn more. Have the effects had great impact on history, culture, or your own life? Or have they had a small impact with few results? Again, be sure you can demonstrate the causal relationship.

Just as there are usually several causes for anything, there are a multitude of effects that proceed from any one cause. Don't try to address a long chain of effects in one paper. Acknowledge that many effects of various kinds exist, and then limit your discussion to the most important ones.

Transition words that suggest to the reader that you are discussing effects include the following:

Therefore As a result Consequently Thus Then Thanks to

The following statement names a cause first, and then an effect:

Employees at companies that offer flexible work schedules are more productive and file fewer claims for mental-health benefits; consequently, the number of companies offering flextime is on the rise.

(As a matter of argument, you could claim that the example above shows two linked effects of the flextime policy: First, it caused employees to be more productive; and second, their enhanced productivity, in turn, caused more companies to adopt flextime. Linked causes and effects are typical of this type of paper.)

Predicting results Cause and effect papers often make predictions based on known facts, trends, and developments. Prediction moves from the known and observable into the unknown and possible. Prediction tries to answer questions like these: What are the possible or likely consequences? Are these results likely to have great impact on my life or the lives of others? Are these results likely to have great impact on shaping public policy, society, or history? What preconditions would have to exist before my predictions could come about?

If you choose to make predictions, as is common, for example, in political science, education, science, and philosophy, be sure to use credible evidence and strong reasoning. If you do not handle predictions with finesse and ground them in established fact, they are apt to appear fantastic and unbelievable.

Avoid overstating your case; use language couched in an appropriate degree of uncertainty ( might, may well be, is likely to, can expect, is entirely possible ). Signal words and verb forms such as these suggest to the reader that you are making the move from observation to prediction:

If When After As soon as Likely that Might/May Can expect Possible that

Here is a prediction using two of the above transitions:

If the governor fails to clearly declare his position and take a leadership role in reforming the state's workers' compensation system, voters are likely to take matters into their own hands and call for a statewide referendum.

A cause and effect paper relies heavily on your analysis of the situation. Although there are many ways to interpret any situation and the effects that it has produced, in the end the convincing power of your paper depends on specific evidence, clear and convincing language, and logical development.

Home | Calendars | Library | Bookstore | Directory | Apply Now | Search for Classes | Register | Online Classes  | MyBC Portal MyBC -->

Butte College | 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville CA 95965 | General Information (530) 895-2511


Show AWL words on this page.

Levels 1-5:     grey  Levels 6-10:   orange 

Show sorted lists of these words.

Any words you don't know? Look them up in the website's built-in dictionary .

Choose a dictionary .  Wordnet  OPTED  both


Cause & effect essays Aka reason and result

The Cause and effect essay is another common essay type, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs examining causes and effects. This page gives information on what a cause and effect essay is , how to structure this type of essay, and how to use cause and effect structure words (transition signals) for this type of essay. There is also an example cause and effect essay on the topic of women at work, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area.

What are cause & effect essays?


For another look at the same content, check out YouTube » or Youku » , or this infographic » .

what cause and effect essay do

A cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, then discusses the results (or effects). For this reason, cause and effect essays are sometimes referred to as reason and result essays. They are one of the most common forms of organisation in academic writing. Sometimes the whole essay will be cause and effect, though sometimes this may be only part of the whole essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the causes or the effects, not both, are discussed. See the examples below.

There are two main ways to structure a cause and effect essay. These are similar to the ways to structure problem-solution essays , namely using a block or a chain structure. For the block structure, all of the causes are listed first, and all of the effects are listed afterwards. For the chain structure, each cause is followed immediately by the effect. Usually that effect will then be the cause of the next effect, which is why this structure is called 'chain'. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is generally clearer, especially for shorter essays, while the latter ensures that any effects you present relate directly to the causes you have given.

The two types of structure, block and chain , are shown in the diagram below.

Cause and Effect Structure Words

Cause and effect structure words are transition signals which show the cause and effect relationships. It is important to be clear which is the cause (or reason) and which is the effect (or result), and to use the correct transition word or phrase. Remember that a cause happens first , and the effect happens later .

Below are some common cause and effect structure words. X is used to indicate a cause, while Y is used to indicate the effect.

if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[468,60],'eapfoundation_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',112,'0','0'])};__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-eapfoundation_com-banner-1-0'); Example essay

Below is a cause and effect essay. This essay uses the block structure . Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. Causes, Effects, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary , as these repeat the causes and effects contained in the main body.

Title: More and more women are now going out to work and some women are now the major salary earner in the family. What are the causes of this, and what effect is this having on families and society?

In the past, most women stayed at home to take care of domestic chores such as cooking or cleaning. Women's liberation and feminism have meant that this situation has been transformed and in contemporary society women are playing an almost equal role to men in terms of work. This has had significant consequences , both in terms of the family , for example by improving quality of life and increasing children's sense of independence , and also for society itself with greater gender equality . The main reasons behind the increase of women in the workplace are women's liberation and feminism. The women's liberation movement originated in the 1960s and was popularised by authors such as Simone de Beauvoir. As a consequence of this, new legislation emerged, granting women equal rights to men in many fields, in particular employment. Because of feminist ideas, men have taken up roles which were previously seen as being for women only, most importantly those related to child rearing. As a result of this, women have more time to pursue their own careers and interests. These have led to some significant effects, both to family life and to society as a whole. Although the earning capacity of a woman in her lifetime is generally much less than that of a man, she can nevertheless make a significant contribution to the family income. The most important consequence of this is an improved quality of life. By helping to maintain a steady income for the family, the pressure on the husband is considerably reduced, hence improving both the husband's and the wife's emotional wellbeing. Additionally, the purchasing power of the family will also be raised. This means that the family can afford more luxuries such as foreign travel and a family car. A further effect on the family is the promotion of independence in the children. Some might argue that having both parents working might be damaging to the children because of a lack of parental attention. However, such children have to learn to look after themselves at an earlier age, and their parents often rely on them to help with the housework. This therefore teaches them important life skills. As regards society, the most significant impact of women going to work is greater gender equality. There are an increasing number of women who are becoming politicians, lawyers, and even CEOs and company managers. This in turn has led to greater equality for women in all areas of life, not just employment. For example, women today have much stronger legal rights to protect themselves against domestic violence and sexual discrimination in the workplace. In conclusion, the increasing number of women at work has brought about some important changes to family life, including improved quality of life and increased independence for children, as well as affecting society itself. It is clear that the sexes are still a long way from being equal in all areas of life, however, and perhaps the challenge for the present century is to ensure that this takes place.

Academic Writing Genres


Like the website? Try the books. Enter your email to receive a free sample from Academic Writing Genres .

Below is a checklist for cause and effect essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

Next section

Find out how to write problem-solution essays in the next section.

Previous section

Go back to the previous section about compare & contrast essays .

You need to login to view the exercises. If you do not already have an account, you can register for free.


Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 16 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

Language Flag

Find Study Materials for

Create Study Materials

Select your language

what cause and effect essay do

Cause and Effect Essay


Lerne mit deinen Freunden und bleibe auf dem richtigen Kurs mit deinen persönlichen Lernstatistiken

Nie wieder prokastinieren mit unseren Lernerinnerungen.

In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Alice follows a white rabbit into a world of contradictions and absurdities. When writing an essay, you'd rather not dive into such a world! Logic and critical thinking are key factors in writing a clear cause and effect essay .

Cause and Effect Essay. Alice and the White Rabbit. StudySmarter.

Cause and Effect Definition

A cause and effect essay explores the relationship between events . Its purpose is to investigate how something came to be or how it happened. For instance, a rock causes ripple effects in the water.

Since a cause and effect essay is in the expository essay family, you should write it in an objective and academic tone .

Correlation Versus Causation

When writing a cause and effect essay, it is common to assume that because one event happened before another, it caused the second event to occur. This is a faulty correlation .

Correlation means that the two events happened together, such as wearing a new shirt while getting rained on, but faulty logic would say that wearing the new shirt caused the rain.

The technical name for falling into this logical trap is the post hoc logical fallacy . Post hoc is a shortened version of the Latin term, "post hoc, ergo propter hoc, " which translates into " after this, therefore because of this. "

Causation is the ability of one factor to alter another . In other words, when two or more objects or events have an observable relationship where one directly influences the other. Therefore, i t is essential to establish causation, or your essay will be open to dispute .

Cause and Effect Transition and Connection Signals

Transition and connection words used in cause and effect essays are signals that help establish a relationship between the main points and organize the order of events:

She practiced her favorite hobby every day. Therefore , she got better at it.

He was exhausted, so he took a nap.

Can you find any transition and connection signals in this article?

"Cause " signifiers include:

(A) is the cause of (B)

If (A), then (B)

(A) influences (B)

(A) leads to (B)

(A) is the reason for (B)

(A) resulted in (B)

Some " effect " signifiers are:

As a result

(A) is a result of (B)

(A) affects (B)

Cause and Effect Essay. Tree with puzzle piece leaves representing transition and connection signals. StudySmarter.

Cause-and-Effect Essay Topics

If you can choose your idea for an essay topic, pick one that interests you, so it will be fun to research and write. History, politics, science, and social sciences are the go-to fields to find a cause and effect topic idea. Here are a few suggestions:

What caused the Civil War?

Did Prohibition have long-term effects on alcohol consumption rates?

What effect did JFK's assassination have on the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War?

What led to the Cold War?

Do immunizations cause autism?

Are masks effective against Covid-19?

Social Sciences

How do media stereotypes affect Arabic Americans?

Do video games make people more violent?

Choosing a conspiracy theory to write about is tempting. However, your essay assignment isn't likely to succeed unless you can find conventionally reliable sources to back your claim. Rules are rules where finding reliable sources is concerned. Still, you can write about a theory as practice! Finding evidence for your theory could help you develop critical thinking skills by examining the proof through an objective lens. And who knows, maybe you will be the one to disprove the Magic Bullet Theory.

How to Write Cause and Effect Essays

Format the cause and effect essay as a :

Block organization : List all causes first, followed by all effects (magnesium deficiency→depression, anxiety)

Chain organization : Link a single cause to its effect or effects before listing another cause and its effects (manifest destiny→war with Mexico, manifest destiny→mistreatment of Indigenous Americans)

A block organization format is usually used for shorter essays that don't require great detail. However, chain organization helps keep your writing organized when discussing multiple reasons and results.

Organize the cause and effect essay into one of these methods :

Focus on effects : investigates the effect or effects of a set cause. For example, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease result from a sedentary lifestyle.

Focus on causes : examines the cause or causes that lead to a specific effect. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking cause cardiovascular disease.

Cause and Effect Essay Structure

A cause and effect essay is structured in a typical essay fashion:

Introduction : Begin your essay with a hook , such as a quote, anecdote, or statistic, to engage the audience's interest. Relate your subject to the hook to introduce the topic of your essay. Finish the introduction with a thesis statement that concisely details your argument and main points .

Body paragraphs : The number of body paragraphs will vary depending on your topic and cause and effect essay format, but there should be at least three.

Conclusion : Use your conclusion to leave a lasting impression on the audience by wrapping up your cause(s) and effect(s) in an organized and logical manner. Make sure to restate the thesis and avoid introducing new information.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Before you write an outline for the essay, brainstorm the topic. List all the different causes and effects you can think of, then research the subject to see if there are any that you've missed. Focus on reasons and results that go below the surface of the topic . Going beyond well-known causes and effects makes your writing stand out grade-wise. In addition, it is more engaging for the reader when you offer them something new to consider. You can then outline your essay in various ways depending on how you decide to format and organize it.

Example of a Cause and Effect Essay

Read over the sample cause and effect essay:

In his 1830 annual address to Congress, Andrew Jackson said plans to move Indigenous Americans west of the Mississippi River would " perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community ." 1 International laws that preceded the formation of the United States led the founding fathers and its citizens to believe it was their Christian duty to spread democracy and capitalism. The term manifest destiny evolved from centuries of religious thought and European conquest and refers to the nineteenth-century idea that white American settlers were driven to expand west by God, even if it meant taking land from indigenous settlements.

The sample essay uses the Focus on Causes method, as indicated by a single effect that "evolved from " set causes in its thesis . It is formatted into a block organization. Its hook is a historical quote that illustrates the mindset of the time.

Due to the limited scope of this article, the discussion will begin with Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254). He was responsible for condensing and clarifying the arguments surrounding terra infidelibus, which translates into "land belonging to infidels." Through terra infidelibus, Pope Innocent IV decreed that although the Catholic Church and Christian rulers had an inborn and God-given right to indoctrinate non-believers, the "infidels'" lands should not be taken from them unless they refused to follow the Church's "natural law." 2 As time passed and the Catholic Empire expanded, land disputes between competing Eurocentric Christian rulers became problematic. Using terra infidelibus as a guide, a series of decrees known as the Romanus Pontifex were issued beginning in 1436, each updated version chipping away at the rights of the conquered indigenous peoples. Consequently, Pope Nicholas V issued a Romanus Pontifex to the king of Portugal in 1455 that set a standard of brutality. This "Doctrine of Discovery," as it came to be known, gave predated "permission . . . to invade, search out, capture, conquer and subjugate all . . . pagans whatsoever and wherever they exist, together with their kingdoms . . . possessions and whatever goods . . . and to bring their persons into perpetual slavery." 3 The Doctrine of Discovery was ultimately used as a legal precedent in dealing with the indigenous peoples of the United States.

Since the sample essay is an overview of the subject, it chooses a specific point on the causes' timeline to begin its discussion. Transition and connection signals help the ideas of the article connect and flow. A transition sentence lets the reader know the article will shift from the causes to the effect.

In the Supreme Court case Johnson v. McIntosh (1823), Chief Justice John Marshall noted that indigenous people had already lost their rights when the Europeans conquered the "unoccupied lands" of North America. 4 The definition of unoccupied meaning not occupied by European Christians. It followed that when the Continental Army defeated the British, the newly-formed United States was entitled to continue to rule over the land and use it as it saw fit. As a result , indigenous people had the right to live on the land but not sell it. 4 With this and two additional rulings grouped as the "Marshall Trilogy," manifest destiny was born.

Again, using transition and connection signals , the effect paragraph hones in on the direct result of the reasons listed.

Belief in the superiority of Christian doctrine and European values formed international laws that put indigenous peoples at a distinct disadvantage. In addition, the desire to expand the Catholic Empire influenced various European nations to claim new territories as their own. These international laws eventually led to the concept of manifest destiny , which stated that it was a God-given duty to extend Western culture and convert non-believers into the Christian faith. Manifest destiny allowed the United States government and citizens to justify taking land established by indigenous people in their push west during the nineteenth century .

A final connection signal is used to state the argument and leave a lasting impression in the audience's mind. The conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis . Note that although the topic deals with an emotional subject, the sample essay is written using an objective tone.

Cause and Effect Essay - Key Takeaways

1 Jackson, Andrew. "President Andrew Jackson's Message to Congress on Indian Removal." Archives.gov . 1830

2 Lind, Douglas. "Doctrines of Discovery." Washington University Jurisprudence Review . 2020

3 Davenport, Frances Gardiner, Ed. Romanus Pontifex . European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648, 1917 . Papal Encyclicals Online. 2017

4 National Library of Medicine. "1823: Supreme Court Rules American Indians Do Not Own Land." nlm.nih.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cause and Effect Essay

--> what is a cause and effect essay.

A cause and effect essay is an expository essay that explores the relationship between events.

--> What are good cause and effect essay topics?

Good cause and effect essay topics include:

--> How do you write a cause and effect essay?

To write a cause and effect essay, decide if your topic is best suited to focus on its causes or its effects, then be formatted as:

--> What is the structure for writing a cause and effect essay?

A cause and effect essay is structured as a typical essay, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The organization of the body paragraphs varies depending on how you format your essay.

--> What is the purpose of a cause and effect essay?

The purpose of a cause and effect essay is to investigate how something came to be or how it happened.

Final Cause and Effect Essay Quiz

A _____ essay is an expository essay format that explores the relationship between events.

Show answer

Cause and effect

Show question

_____ is when unrelated events occur simultaneously.


_____ is when one event causes another event to happen.

True or False: Transition words link ideas together.

False: Transition words help the reader move from one idea to another.

Does a chain organization list causes and effects separately from each other?

No. A chain organization links each cause to its effect(s) within a paragraph.

How do you write a cause and effect essay that focuses on a topic's causes?

Examine the cause(s) that lead to a specific effect.

How do you write a cause and effect essay that focuses on a topic's effects?

Examine the effects of a set cause.

are all examples of what?

They are all examples of transition and connection signals.

What do connection signals do?

Connection signals organize and emphasize your main points by linking them together.

What is "post hoc" short for?

"Post hoc" is short for "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" (after this, therefore because of this).

It  means that the two events happened together.

It should be written in an objective tone.

An expository essay

It is the ability of one factor to alter another .

Sometimes, they're found at the beginning of sentences to   link   sentences and paragraphs together.

"Since" is a(n) _____.

Cause signifier

"Due to" is a(n) _____.

"As a result" is a(n) _____.

Effect signifier

"Resulted in" is a(n) _____.

"Consequently" is a(n) _____.

"For" is a(n) _____.

of the users don't pass the Cause and Effect Essay quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

More explanations about Essay Prompts

Discover the right content for your subjects, business studies, combined science, english literature, environmental science, human geography, macroeconomics, microeconomics, no need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed packed into one app.

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Have all your study materials in one place.

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Join millions of people in learning anywhere, anytime - every day

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

This is still free to read, it's not a paywall.

You need to register to keep reading, get free access to all of our study material, tailor-made.

Over 10 million students from across the world are already learning smarter.


StudySmarter bietet alles, was du für deinen Lernerfolg brauchst - in einer App!


  1. Expository Essay: Cause and effect essay

    what cause and effect essay do

  2. Cause and effect essay

    what cause and effect essay do

  3. Free Printable Cause And Effect Picture Cards

    what cause and effect essay do

  4. awesome How to Write a Cause Effect Essay? -- Definition, Writing Steps, Structure

    what cause and effect essay do

  5. Cause and Effect Essay Writing Packet by The ESL Girl

    what cause and effect essay do

  6. Cause and effect Essay Example

    what cause and effect essay do


  1. Problem And Solution Essay

  2. SA I3 Tim Nina Eliza

  3. Lua ou Marte

  4. How to write a CAUSE

  5. What is Green House Effect || Green House Effect Essay in English || Green House Effect

  6. Cause and Effect Essay Nasıl Yazılır? #Causeandeffect #cause #effect


  1. A Guide to Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

    A cause and effect essay is an expository essay that explains the relationships between specific conditions and their consequences, often within

  2. Cause & Effect Essay

    A cause and effect essay is structured around the goal of discovering and discussing events that lead to certain results. When writing a cause and effect essay

  3. Cause and Effect Essay Examples

    Sometimes called reason and result essays, cause and effect essays are a type of essay that explores how an event or situation came into being (the cause) and

  4. How to Write a Cause-and-Effect Essay

    The cause-and-effect essay is a form of argumentative essay that details the effect relationships between two subjects.

  5. 6 Cause-Effect Essays

    A cause-effect essay can do one of two things: • It can analyze the ways in which one or more effects result from a particular cause.

  6. How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: The Full Guide

    A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that requires students to investigate an issue, evaluate the evidence, and then establish

  7. Cause and Effect Essay Writing Guide: Outline, Topics, Examples, Tips

    A cause and effect essay is a type of academic writing that explores the causes of a particular issue and its consequences. It includes

  8. Writing Cause and Effect Papers

    Cause and effect papers use analysis to examine the reasons for and the outcomes of situations. They are an attempt to discover either the origins of something

  9. Cause & effect essays Aka reason and result

    A cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, then discusses the results (or effects). For this reason, cause and

  10. Cause and Effect Essay: Definition & Examples

    A cause and effect essay explores the relationship between events. Its purpose is to investigate how something came to be or how it happened. For instance, a