How to Write a Cause-and-effect Essay?

Have you been struggling with how to write a cause-and-effect essay? This article is a practical guide to writing an excellent cause-and-effect essay.

Essay writing is an integral part of the educational learning process. It is often used to evaluate a student's writing skills and knowledge of a subject. The cause-and-effect essay stands out because it helps students develop logical and critical thinking skills and write persuasively.

The cause-and-effect essay writing is a common style of writing not only peculiar to Englis hih essays. It is a form of expository writing used in various academic disciplines. 

It is common knowledge that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, this essay writing style explores the relationship between an event's action and the reaction. With the pattern and evidence derived from the cause of action, you can establish relationships and draw conclusions based on the facts presented.

Students are often faced with the daunting question of “how to write a cause-and-effect essay?” However, writing a clear cause-and-effect essay is easy if the subject is well-understood and techniques are applied. Therefore, follow closely as we guide you through the processes.

Writing a clear cause-and-effect essay depends on the topic. You can go to the next writing step if given a topic by your instructor. However, if you have to select a topic for yourself, pick one that is interesting to you and has sufficient information you can write on. 

Once the topic is sorted, begin your brainstorming and research process. The research process is essential because it exposes your mind to information about the topic and helps you to articulate ideas better when writing. As you research, note your sources for proper citation. 

What Is a Cause-and-effect Essay? 

Before we answer the question, “what is a cause-and-effect essay?” We will explain cause and effect as separate entities.

A cause of an event seeks to explain the reason for the occurrence of that event. It attempts to answer "why?" and "how?" certain actions occur. In contrast, an effect is the consequence of this cause. 

Cause-and-effect writing explores the causes of things or the reasons behind events and discusses the effects or results of the situation. A cause-and-effect essay format can write a complete essay project or as part of a more extended project. Therefore, you should be able to explore the connections between these two themes and make logical conclusions.

What is cause-and-effect in writing?

Suppose you were to write an essay on the role of dieting in weight loss. The first approach is to address dieting. After expounding on dieting, draw a correlation with its visible effect on the human body—weight loss. This is a typical example of a cause-and-effect in writing.

The cause-and-effect essay aims to educate the reader by providing facts based on your research. Carrying out structured and thorough research is essential, as a good presentation of your research evidence will lead your readers to their conclusion. 

A good cause-and-effect essay will deeply explore a subject, answer questions by informing the readers and back up points with substantial claims.

Cause-and-effect Essay Structure

In writing a cause-and-effect, you must have a structure or outline that you follow. A cause-and-effect essay structure is vital for two reasons;

First, a structure helps the reader understand your point and flow with the thought pattern effortlessly. It presents the text logically and adheres to basic academic essay requirements.

Second, a cause-and-effect essay outline is essential because it aids the writing process. While researching and brainstorming, many ideas flow randomly and unorganized. An outline will help determine if your idea is relevant enough to be included in the essay. It will also help you know where to place it within the paragraphs. Writing without an outline will waste time and require more effort to be fixed.

The cause-and-effect essay is commonly written in a three or four-paragraph style but allows for variation. This variation depends on the word count and how much information is shared. 

  • Introduction: The major component of the introduction is the thesis statement. It is supposed to pique the reader's interest and prompt them to read further. It should also establish the cause-and-effect correlation, which would be further expounded.  
  • Body Paragraphs (Cause-and-Effect): Each paragraph should explore a different aspect of the essay and should naturally flow into the next. You may dedicate the first paragraphs to discussing the cause before discussing the effects in subsequent ones. Or you may decide to discuss cause and effect in the same paragraph. 
  • Antithesis Paragraph: It is a paragraph dedicated to giving cognizance to opposing views. Here, you can point out opposite views and then counter them by explaining why they may not be valid. Including this helps to convince the reader better.
  • Conclusion: A cause-and-effect essay conclusion should tie up the paragraphs and summarize the thesis statement. 

Cause-and-effect Essay Format 

There are three formats of cause-and-effect essays. These different formats also determine the method of structuring the essay body.

One cause, many effects: This cause-and-effect essay format highlights one cause of an event that results in many effects. An example is writing an essay about the effect of sleep deprivation in adults. This example has only one cause, but it can have multiple effects.

Many causes, one effect: As the name implies, this essay type has different causes that arrive at a single effect. An example is an essay about global warming. A cause-and-effect essay on this topic will highlight the several causes of global warming.

Chain of cause and effects: This essay type can be best described as expounding on a domino-like event. Many causes are factored in, and they are responsible for several effects. 

With these three formats in mind, there are two methods of structuring the body of a cause-and-effect paper; the block and chain method.

Block Method: The block method separately states the causes first before moving on to highlight the effects the cause produces. It is structured as follows;


Cause 1

Cause 2

Transition sentence/paragraph

Effect 1

Effect 2


Chain Method: This method connects cause and effect in a single paragraph. It is structured as follows;


Cause and Effect 1

Cause and Effect 2


Sometimes, your essay may not precisely follow the block or chain method. You can have a little mix of both in your paper. However, the most important thing is that your essay is logically cohesive and does justice to the topic. 

For instance, a variant of the block and chain method can be structured as follows;


Cause 1

Effect 1

Cause 2

Effect 2


Cause-and-effect Essay Writing Tips

For a smooth writing experience, note these cause-and-effect writing tips.

  • Cause-and-effect essays can serve as a source of information or persuasion for the readers. You can use them to support claims or refute them, and you can also use them to develop new claims. Clarifying the essay's purpose helps the flow of your writing.
  • Always use facts, evidence, statistics, or scientific research to back your cause-and-effect essay writing. Where any of these is not available, use observations or personal experience. 
  • Focus on the causes that are directly connected to the discussed topics. Avoid beating around the bush.
  • To improve the flow of your essay, use transitional words when connecting the cause and effect. 
  • To avoid running out of ideas, write out the causes and effects you wish to highlight in the paragraph body. 

In writing a great essay, follow the steps below;

Brainstorm and Research: After selecting a topic, you can think of various ideas related to the topic. Next, seek credible sources where the subject or something similar has been discussed and note your findings.

Develop your structure: After you have sourced the correct information, you may flesh out the structure of your essay. Separate your points and ideas into their respective parts and create your first draft of the essay.

Edit and Proofread the work: After writing the first draft, edit and proofread your work by looking for errors and inconsistencies. If you are still unsure, ask someone to look through it for you. 

Write your final draft: Now you are ready to write the final copy of your essay.

Cause-and-effect Essay Examples

The cause-and-effect essay examples will blueprint how your essay will look. Below is an essay with an example of a cause-and-effect paragraph. Read through and observe how the idea flows, how the essay is structured, and the type of formatting applied. 

The Negative Effect of Dieting on Weight Loss.

Since the last century, we have young age increase in dieting. This trend is especially prevalent among young women and teenage girls. As a result, the weight loss community continues to boom, raking in billions of dollars every year. 

Introducing social media has also significantly contributed to the popularity of diets and weight loss plans. Now, most people go on diets at least once in their life. However, with an increase in diets and calorie restrictions, cases of obesity have not been reduced. Since 1975, worldwide obesity has tripled.

Many research has established that dieting as a weight loss strategy is ineffective—people constantly jumping on dieting trends never actually lose weight. They are likely to gain more weight. (Lowe et al., 2013).

One reason is that dieting increases the appetite hormone in the body. This hormone is produced when fat and muscle are lost in the body (Dullo et al., 2015). Therefore, people dieting overindulge, ending up worse than they started. People dieting have their metabolism slowed down with time. This makes weight gain very easy once the diet is over.

People who endorse diet plans swear by them and make claims of weight loss. While dieting makes you lose weight at the beginning. Most people lose water weight and muscle mass instead of fat which reads on the scale as weight loss. Their bodies hold on to fat because of a decrease in calorie intake.

In conclusion, many people go on diets to lose weight but end up with the opposite result. Therefore, we can conclude that dieting is not a lasting solution to weight loss but a quick fix. It takes a lifestyle change, exercise and discipline to lose weight and keep it off for good.

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