All About Cause and Effect Essay — Definition, Steps to Writing, Tips

Writing a cause and effect essay is not all that different from other essays. In fact, it follows the same procedure, only the topic should present a cause that leads to effect afterwards. With that said, let’s first know what cause and effect means.


  • What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?
  • Steps to Writing a Captivating Cause and Effect Essay
  • How to Write an A+ Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essay


What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

Cause and Effect Essay

This is an essay that explains why things happen and what happens afterwards. For example, the causes and effect of World war II. Such a topic would explain what led to this war and what happened afterwards.

In your writing, you should explicitly show the connection between the cause and effect of whatever you are talking about. If such a connection is not there then you are definitely not writing the kind of essay being described here. This connection is what drives your essay and you should ensure it is all there from the begging to the end.

For you to establish the link between the two, you will need to come up with a thesis statement. This is a summary of your main topic. It gives the purpose of your essay and helps you stay in the loop of your topic.

Steps to Writing a Captivating Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essay

Writing an essay on causes and effects is a process. You need to come from one point to another. There is an order in which things follow each other and you should be privy to such an order. For your heads up, here are the easy steps to follow in order come up with a winning essay:

  • Selecting a topic: the start of your essay is not when you begin on writing; it is rather when you start to think on your topic. The topic is all that matters to first get the attention of your readers. It should be a topic that your potential readers can identify with and want information on it. Once you are assured that your topic is suitable you can definitely develop a piece that will get everyone into reading your work.

Do not make mistakes with your topic, for if you do you will not achieve anything with your paper. You can brainstorm on topics and seek the help of your friends.

  • Crafting an outline: what do you want to cover in every area of your essay? It is important to know what you will be covering before you begin the actual writing. In that case, an outline comes in handy. It gives a snippet of what will go where and at what point in your paper. Moreover, an outline makes it easy for readers to understand each section of your paper. They can easily skim over it and know whether it is a worthy read or not. Take your time to come up with an outline. It makes sure that you do not forget anything important. It also ensures that you do not repeat anything you said before.
  • Choosing your tone: just before you start writing, there is one more thing you need to think about and it is the tone you will use in your essay. The choice of a tone is dictated by the readers you are targeting. If you are writing for experts in the subject then you need a professional tone. On the other hand, for people who hardly know the subject you need a friendly tone. Establish your tone accordingly and you will be assured of readership.
  • Listing causes and effects: of course we said this paper is all about causes and effects and it should remain so to the end. On whatever topic you are writing there must be many causes and effects. You need to identify them first and sort them out in order of importance. This will later help in choosing the ones to focus on. It is easier to choose the most important points to cover if you have them laid out for you. This is a strategy to ensure that you do not leave out anything important.
  • Choosing causes and effects to focus on: you now have a long list of causes and effects. Focusing on all of them is not only impossible but also bad for your essay. They are probably too many to fit in one paper. To overcome this challenge you need to select the most important ones to focus on. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers and ask yourself what causes and effects would be of interest to them. When you answer that question it will be easy for you to filter all the important aspects and leave out the rest.
  • Introduce your essay: it is now time to start writing your paper. You begin with an introduction. This is the opening statement you will be making. It has the potential create interest in your work or kill it in an instance. You have to be creative on how you introduce your work. Begin by explaining your purpose and make it interesting for your readers to want to have more.
  • Thesis statement: the introduction may have done a bit of stating your essay purpose but that is not adequate. A thesis statement is what you need to capture your purpose and make readers know your goals even before they read your paper.
  • Write the body: now this is where your research and writing skills are needed. It is time to expound on the causes and effects you selected to focus on. The body should be divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph should cover on one idea and explain it fully.

The transition from one paragraph to another should be smooth. This is what makes your essay interesting and easy to read. Make sure you use examples where necessary to make your work more credible.

  • Conclude your essay: you are only one step to finishing your essay. This is the conclusion. Just like you were serious with every other part of your paper you should be with your ending. This part ties down everything together to give a resounding end.

Now that you know the steps to write, it is time to get into the real writing of a compelling cause and effect essay. Well, you are not just writing as a formality but you have your goals for the essay. Your readers expect it to be top notch whether it is for academic or other purposes. Without much ado, here is how you go about the writing stage.

How to Write an A+ Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essay

  • Begin by Listing Causes and Effects

You have already settled on your topic so let’s not waste time on that. You should get directly into listing causes and effects. They are core components of your paper and without them, you do not have anything to write about. Don’t worry that you are coming up with so many that you are afraid they may not fit in your paper. You will get the time to filter them down to only the important ones. This list is a must have if you want to get everything valuable on board your paper. Given that you choose a topic you are passionate about, it will not be a hard task coming up with this list.

Once you have your list, you should sort them from the most to the least important. Depending on the length of your essay you can choose where to cut off the list. Of course, essay lengths vary from one purpose to another so choose according to your needs.

  • Create a Compelling Outline

To give your essay a professional look, you should come up with an outline. The outline is like a summary of all the areas you will be covering. It gives readers the overall coverage of your essay and it may be the reason why at the end of it all they decide to read it. You should be creative with your outline. Give all the major areas you will touch on. Ensure that someone can fully understand your essay from beginning to the end by merely going through your outline.

  • Composing the Introduction

As we said in part one, your introduction matters so much that you should give all your best with it. It may be the reason why a reader would want to begin reading your essay. Start your essay with a resounding authority. You can begin with a quote related to your topic or any other opening statement you find relevant to your readers. But make sure you are creative enough to make someone want to read your paper.

Go on then to summarize all that you would be covering in your essay. Remember this is different from your outline. It gives a summary of only the main points and why you are writing this paper. This is a part where you cannot afford to make any errors because if you do your essay will be just another one tossed into the trash bin.

Give people a reason to read your introduction and possibly the next section till the end. You already know your target audience so it will not be a problem knowing their expectation and how to make them interested right from the first sentence.

  • Make Your Arguments Strong

Typically a cause and effect essay is made up of 3 main arguments. These are the parts that go into the body. They are sources of meat for your essay. Do not get flimsy with arguments. Make them come out strong.

Each argument should be backed with factual statements. This will not only add authority to your work but will also give it a credibility edge. Be a master of what you are saying. You can also reference to what other writers have to say about the same subject.

The 3 arguments should seamlessly fit into each other. They should be consistent with your point of view. In a nutshell, none of your arguments should contradict your overall focus. Readers want to see how each cause and effect fits into the next and so on.

  • Organizing the Body

You may have great content in your paper and think that is all that makes your essay strong. You are wrong about that; formatting still counts. The way your work is laid out and how each section connects with each other adds some marks to your essay’s overall appeal. You need clear cut sections and definitive paragraphs. Each paragraph is supposed to carry a single idea and some flesh of information added into it. The transition from one paragraph to another should be smooth and coherent.

Subtitles are one of the best ways to divide each part of your paper. They make it easier for a reader to follow. Besides, they also help you to know what you have already covered and what remains to be done.

Cause and Effect Essay

  • Summing Up Your Paper

You have come all the way from the top and now you are about to close your paper. Do not let your seriousness slump now that you only have one paragraph to go. For a fact, your conclusion is as equally important as it is with your introduction and body. All your arguments should be brought together here. Each of your main points should find a way to be emphasized as you close your essay. It is also important to remember that this is the point where you can bring your opinions and perspectives. You should clearly and boldly let your reader know your stand about all that you have discussed.

Cause and Effect Essay

You will not write a great essay for the first time you try or maybe you will. But remember what they say; practice makes perfect. You will need to keep practicing on essay writing. Put everything you haveĀ  learned here into practice and you will be amazed by what great writer you can turn into. Remember always to go over your paper a few times before you hand it in. If you have someone to go over it for you the better it is. A second party can see mistakes you may not. Accept correction for even the best writers of our age make mistakes.



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