Cause and effect writing is one of the genres of essays available for examination of students in college and in course of high school education. Topics on the paper are generated from major challenges that affect people in the society. There has to be a reason for occurrence and an impact for the action, be it negative or positive. Good topics for cause-effect essay contain keywords that a writer is supposed to major on in their description. For every action, there has to be a reaction, meaning for every thing happening, there has to be an impact whether directly or indirectly to those surrounding the situation and at the same time there has to be a cause for the occurrence.
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What is a cause and effect essay? (Definition)
Before you get to writing of cause and effect essay, it is good to understand the terms to facilitate your adherence to the theme. A cause is anything that results in a certain happening; it can be an action or a process. A cause is an origin or the reason for happening of a certain activity. The effect, on the other hand, is the impact or result for a certain action. The effect can either be positive or negative depending on how it will impact those surrounding it.
A positive effect is the one whereby the results appeal to those that are concerned; a good example being “the result of hard work is success”. “When you study hard, you will definitely succeed”, and that’s a positive remark. A negative effect can be given in a scenario like “pollution leads to global warming which results in skin cancer”. Due to the destruction of the ozone layer, global warming results from pollution and its effect is the development of skin cancer. No one will be happy to have skin cancer because it is a state of ill-health and so negative it is to the lives of humans. There are categories of cause and effect for different scenarios, which include:
- Primary – when you talk about the primary effects and causes, you will have to narrow down to the most important points. A primary effect is an impact that matters much and therefore needs to be addressed immediately. A primary cause is the main cause of a certain happening, for instance, there might be several causes of road accidents, but the primary cause is careless driving.
- Contributory – these are the causes and effects which are less important since they have less impact on the final results. Most of these effects and causes are usually indirect hence the name contributory; they just add up to what has already taken place.
Cause and effect essay definition – well clarified
When you are asked to write an essay on cause and effect, it implies that you should conduct a causal analysis and present your points in a number of paragraphs. In this essay, the examiner is usually interested in knowing how far you can conduct your research and estimate your ability to present what you know in writing. To come up with a good essay you need to know how to relate an occurrence, its origin and the impact that it has on either people, animals or environment. An effect can be on the environment; for example, deforestation leads to soil erosion; this is a negative effect towards the environment. An effect can also be on humans and animals; for example, water pollution leads to spread of diseases, which are lethal to the health of both animals and humans.
Having understood the definition of the terms, it is good to know how to relate the same to your writing. You should be able to align your cause and its effect to facilitate smooth flow of your essay. Before you get to writing this type of essay you have to pay attention to the following:
- Understand the topic – the most important thing before writing an essay is to understand what the examiner wants of you. Following instructions correctly is a very important skill in life, be it in educational or professional level. You have to read the topic and know exactly what is required of you in the paper. There are dangers of rushing to writing before internalizing the objective of the examiner; you may end up writing out of topic simply because you failed to read the instructions to the end.
- Research on the topic – for you to proceed and write, you need to have points about the topic because this essay mainly relies on points. You should find out more about the topic and come up with all the points in a list. While doing research, you can easily get what you want by first coming up with questions, so that you can address those questions while reading through various sources.
- Use all available sources for your research – when you conduct research, you have to look for useful information on the topic from different resources. Do not be limited to one source, instead, use multiple resources so that you can be able to compare the information provided and determine how credible the source is for use in your writing.
Some of the resources are non-scholarly and based on unreliable information and even rumors; when you use them, you are most likely going to mess your essay up. To differentiate credible sources from fake ones, just make sure that the information written there is well referenced and the author has good reviews from their past works. Going through various resources will also help you add points to your essay. A book, for instance, may not have given all the causes about the topic and so, other resources may supplement your information to the satisfaction of the reader on the topic.
How to write cause and effect essay structure
The structure of your essay is fundamental as it determines how you will score in that particular paper. The structure is the organization of the points in your introduction, the body, and the conclusion. While organizing your points, you have to ensure that their structuring follows a certain pattern. As we had earlier seen, there are different causes for happenings, and you should focus your essay on cause effective points. For you to come up with a good structure for your essay you have to identify the main subject for discussion.
After identifying the main point you can research on it and look at its causes and effects. It is good to keep the main subject for your topic in mind so that while actually writing down your essay you can always revolve around and avoid going out of topic. So, to ensure that you do not mess up in your writing, once you are given a topic, read it keenly and identify the subject. Do not emphasize on points that affect your topic indirectly as they will act as filler words. In an organization of your points you can choose to adhere to one of the following formats to present your points:
- One effect and several causes – in this format you are to mention several causes for a certain happening, then you go on and give one effect for the occurrence. You can only apply this method when what you are talking about is something that has several causes, but its effect is single. In designing your paragraphs in such an essay, you will have to state all the causes and describe them, then later on towards your conclusion bring out the effect.
- One cause and multiple effects – in this case, you will need to state the main cause of what you are talking about, then proceed and give the effects of the action. In this pattern, your paper will be focused more on the results of a certain action. A good example of this is pollution results in global warming. You can go on and describe that; the major cause of global warming is air pollution, and it has several effects on both people and the environment.
- One cause and its effect – in this pattern you will need to state a cause and describe its effect immediately, then go to another cause and give its effect again. You have to ensure that you plan your work to adopt a specific format whereby you align a cause with an effect. In the application of this pattern, you have to ensure that you link the cause and effect directly lest you bring about confusion. This pattern applies when there are several causes of a certain action, and there are also many effects, so your role is to align a cause with its intermediate effect so that the reader of your work does not get confused while perusing your essay.
- Stating all the causes first, then giving the effects – this is also a good pattern of arranging your points. You can decide to state all the causes for a certain subject, then later come and give its effects. This organization only applies when there are several causes and effects of a subject under discussion.
It is good to adopt a specific format to bring out your points to facilitate understanding of your paper. Be certain to be consistent in your work, do not start with a certain pattern at the beginning, then, later on, jump to another one, because your paper would be confusing.
How to come up with cause and effect essay outline
The outline for your paper is the general outlook of your paper; a good essay should constitute an introduction, the body, and the conclusion. You should be able to know what to place in the introduction, the body, and the conclusion respectively.
- The introduction – the introduction should constitute a small background about the subject, let the reader know the impact of your topic to the lives of people. Your introduction should be eye-catching to attract the reader to the rest of your work. Immediately after the introduction, you should write a thesis statement. In your thesis, give out a guide to what you are going to write on in your body paragraphs.
- The body – in your body, you can state the cause or effect depending on your arrangement, as the topic sentence of your paragraph. When you choose to use your cause as the topic sentence, then you can proceed and give its effect as a discussion, or you can choose to combine them in the topic sentence and explain them later.
- The conclusion – in your conclusion you should conduct a short causal analysis and summarize the major points in your body paragraphs. You can also choose to include your recommendations on solutions for the problem in your concluding paragraph.
Cause and effect essay examples
It is good to go through examples of these essays because doing this builds you up in your writing skills. You can be able to correct your format and flow when you get exposed to examples of different essays. Different authors have different writing formats, and you can only learn of these formats by reading their past works. You can easily access the work of other writers in sources such as magazines, articles, and journals. You are also likely to advance in your vocabulary when you read examples of cause and effect essays.
How to choose cause and effect essay topics
Choosing the right topic is critical to scoring highly in your paper. You should choose a topic that has a sufficient point to sustain you until you finish your essay. The topic should also enable you to apply all your writing techniques to score highly without necessarily struggling too much. This type of paper is examined in almost all levels of education starting with kids at primary school all the way to university students. A good topic example for kids is the causes and effects of soil erosion. This is a good topic because it makes the kid expound on their reasoning. It is always good to choose a worthy topic for your essay as it will determine how well you will be graded on your essay.