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How To Write A Cause-And-Effect Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

As the categorical name suggests, a cause and effect essay explores the different causes of a particular problem and provides details for the effects. This type of paper is associated with reasons why certain problems or issues occur and what the consequences are. The reasons are known as causes and likely results are called effects. As a particular method of exploring and organizing different ideas, cause-and-effect essays are compulsorily taught in writing courses or introductory academic areas at high schools or colleges.

Due to the stringent requirements of such essays, students may face difficulties in writing a cause-and-effect paper. Here are two suggestions for learners to remember.

Identification steps

For an in-depth understanding of the problem that a student is about to examine in his/her essay, he/she needs to find the reasons behind the occurrence of the problem. In order to identify the possible effects, the student should ask what can happen because of the specified reason. Let’s take a look at this following example. The cause can be that a man has run out of gasoline and the effect is that his car will not start.

Determination of other factors

At times, a student may find that several causes lead to a single effect while several effects are the result of a single cause. In this regard, the instructor can specify which particular method a student should use to write a paper.

Here is a step-by-step guideline to help students write a proper cause-and –effect essay.

  • Establishing the direction:
  • The student has to decide whether he/she wants to discuss causes, or effects, or both.

  • Presentation of a clear thesis:
  • The thesis needs to inform the teacher or readers of the student’s intention or purpose. Either causes or effects or both can be the focus of the thesis.

  • Creating an organizational pattern:
  • A student can choose from the two organizational patterns such as emphatic order and chronological order. Emphatic order focuses on the most important and relevant causes and effects until the end of the essay while Chronological order incorporates the causes as well as effects just in the order of their occurrences.

  • Using transitions:
  • Since readers should be provided with the scope to follow the analysis of the paper, a student must use some transitional words or phrases such as therefore, as a result and because.

  • Drawing a conclusion:
  • When writing the conclusion, a student has to restate his/her thesis and draw a conclusion that vividly concerns the paper's causes and effects.


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