Writing a Cause and Effect Essay
We are accustomed to the phenomenon of action and reaction in life as it appears in diverse ways. For instance, for every decision that you make, there are associated consequences; for every policy implemented, there are expected outcomes; and for a change in business operations, there is an expected outcome in performance.
Such instances are basically what you try to explore in a cause and effect essay. This is because everything is assumed to be interconnected. One thing leads to another.
Here is a comprehensive analysis of what a cause and effect essay is all about.
What is a Cause and Effect Essay
In order to understand what a cause and effect essay is, we will first explore the meaning of the terms cause and effect.
Cause - refers to the person, item, scenario and so on responsible for an action
Effect - the result of a cause
A simple illustration is, when you hit a ball, hitting the ball is the cause while the movement of the ball is the effect. Instances of cause and effect occur on a daily basis. For this reason, there are many possible topics to write on.
What to Consider while Writing a Cause and Effect Essay
Writing a cause and effect essay can be challenging especially if you are not sure what you are supposed to do. Often, most cause and effect essay are not interested in an exploration of the cause and/or the effect.
On the contrary, writing a cause and effect essay requires that you answer the question ‘WHY?’
It is not sufficient to identify the cause and the effects. Instead, analyze them in order to draw the logical relationship between the cause and the effect. Your analysis should be organized such that you provide precise and relevant arguments supporting your inferred relationship.
What does it mean that 'writing a cause and effect essay requires more of an analysis and not just identifying the causes and the effects?'
To help you understand what we mean by this, we will use an example of Newton’s discovery of gravity. In case you are not familiar with the context of this example, word is, an apple fell from a tree and hit Newton leading to his discovery of gravity.
In this example, the cause was the falling of the apple while the effect was Newton being hit by the apple.
Is that all you do while writing a cause and effect essay? No! You go ahead and answer the question ‘WHY?’ Why did the apple fall? That is basically the question that Newton answered. In the example, it is the existence of a force that pulls objects towards the ground (gravity) that caused the apple to fall hitting Newton. This force, gravity, connects the cause and the effect. It is this force that answers the question ‘WHY?’
That is exactly what you are supposed to do while writing a cause and effect essay!
How do you ensure that you have written a good cause and effect essay?
In order for your cause and effect essay to be considered excellent, the first thing it should have done is to answer the question ‘WHY?’ This is the primary objective of writing the essay.
In order to establish the relationship between cause and effect, you need to do an excellent analysis of the processes that lead to an effect(s) due to a certain cause(s).
How do you do your analysis?
Identifying the logical progression
Your analysis should be based on identifying the logical progression of the events that follow a cause to result in an effect.
Analysis can involve examination of the various causes and the chain of events that they trigger to result in an effect. Your analysis should be well supported with valid arguments.
Identify relationships between cause and effect
Secondly, your cause and effect essay should identify uncommon cause and effect relationships on the topic that you are writing on. These relationships should be well supported using credible sources.
Explore a controversial topic
Lastly, you will be able to write an excellent cause and effect essay if you explore and take a stand on a controversial topic. For instance, a topic of gun control can be a good area to explore as it is a current contentious issue.
Organizing your cause and effect essay
How you organize your cause and effect essay can be simplified by exploring the cause and the effects while establishing their relationships.
One cause and one effect
This format is rare as most causes have different effects or vice verse.
One cause and multiple effects.
In this cause and effect essay, you explore a case where one action results in several effects.
An example would be such as giving incentives to employee which results in improved motivation, low turnover rate and better commitment by employees.
Multiple causes are responsible for one effect
An example in this case would be the issue of climate change where events such as deforestation, pollution and the greenhouse effect contribute to climate change.
Chain of causes and effects
In this approach, you explore a scenario in which one event leads to another that leads to the effect and so forth.
For instance in the example of giving incentives to employee we saw earlier, it can also be explored under chain of causes and effects. In this case, the incentives leads to improved employee motivation and commitment which ultimately lead to improved organizational performance.
How do you start a cause and effect essay?
Writing your cause and effect essay is no different from writing other essay papers. However, in cause and effect essay, you have to pay attention to your brainstorming session as this is where you identify all the possible causes and effects that you will be exploring while writing your essay.
Once you have identified your causes and effects, do some preliminary research on your topic and use this information to write down a tentative thesis statement.
Later on, do a comprehensive research to identify credible and relevant sources to use while writing your essay.
Once you have your sources, develop a comprehensive outline to use while writing your cause and effect essay. Your outline will also be pertinent in answering the question ‘Why?’ effectively.
Now, write and edit your essay. You can review the articles ‘how to write an excellent paper’, ‘how to start my research paper’ and ‘how to write your essay fast’ to get a better understanding on how to approach an essay paper as well as get a few tricks on how to perfect your writing.
Possible topics for your cause and effect essay
Cause and effects scenarios occur on a daily basis. Subsequently, we cannot overwhelm the possible essay topics. Here is a list of some possible topics you can explore in a cause and effect essay.
ü Causes of divorces
ü Effect of climate change
ü Effect of social media on youth violence/cyber-bullying/communication
ü Effect of technology on classroom setting
ü Effect of exam cheating
ü Effects of use of mobile phones in schools
ü Relationship between mental health and physical health
ü Effect of divorce on children
ü Effect of America’s ban on immigration on international relations
ü Relationship between gun ownership and crime
ü Incarceration and crime rate relationship
ü Effects of healthy lifestyle
ü Effects of racism
ü Effects of overfishing
There are just too many cause and effects essay topics and we cannot exhaust them.
You are creative enough! Come up with an amazing topic for essay assignment.
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