How to Write a Cause-Effect Essay What is a Cause-Effect Essay?



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How to Write a Cause-Effect Essay

What is a Cause-Effect Essay?

  • We all understand cause-effect relationships; for example, lightning can cause a fire. If a student doesn’t study for a test, he/she may not perform well. A cause effect essay tells how one event (the cause) leads to another event (the effect)

What is a Cause-Effect Essay?

  • In five-paragraph essays, we usually focus on the causes or the effects.
  • It’s not so much a cause and effect essay as a cause or effect essay.
  • A thesis statement in the introduction will tell if the essay is about causes or effects.

What is a Cause-Effect Essay

  • A cause-effect essay can do one of two things:
    • It can analyze the ways in which one or more effects can result from a particular cause (“Focus on Effects” method)
    • Or it can analyze the ways in which one or more causes lead to a particular effect (“Focus on Causes” method)

Are there kinds of causes?

  • There are different types of causes.
  • What we first see are often the superficial, contributing reasons.
  • Hiding just out of sight are the fundamental causes.
  • The single and most important cause is the primary cause.
  • For example: Pollution is caused by transportation, manufacturing, and humans.

Can we write on effects?

  • Of course, not every cause-effect essay is about the causes.
  • In fact, some may center on the effects of a single cause.
  • Example Topic:
    • What are the effects of air pollution?
  • Example Thesis:
  • Air pollution negatively affects plants, animals, and humans.

What makes a great topic?

  • When selecting topics for this type of essay, a good writer should consider questions such as:
    • What is the end effect?
    • Is there one primary effect, or are there several effects?
    • Is there one primary cause, or are there several causes?
  • Focus on Causes
  • The causes of high divorce rates in some countries
  • The causes of World War I
  • The causes of a certain type of cancer
  • The causes of pollution
  • The causes of changes in weather over the past century

What should be avoided?

  • Don’t lose focus by covering too many parts of an issue.
  • You can’t cover all of the effects of air pollution: just pick three important ones to write about.
  • For example, use air pollution’s effect on plants, animals, and humans.
  • Is there also
  • noise pollution?

What is in the introduction?

  • The introductory paragraph includes:
  • Lead (hook, attention grabber)
  • General background information on the topic.
  • A thesis statement

The Body

  • Each cause or effect gets its own body paragraph
  • First sentence is a topic sentence that states what the cause or effect is
  • Give supporting details/facts to support your claim
  • Uses transition words to analyze the process rather than describe it.
  • Remember, we’re telling WHY.

The Conclusion



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