A cause and effect essay is self-explanatory. You have to follow a simple pattern – analyze why some things happen and consider their results. It represents the most common way to discuss an idea. However, just like any other type of writing work, learning how to write a cause and effect essay involves a bit of planning upfront.
1. Come up with some ideas
Sometimes, the professor might assign a particular topic. Other times, it has to be in a particular industry. But then, you may also be allowed to choose your own idea. You get some freedom, but you need to think about it and this aspect takes some effort. Come up with a random list of things:
- World War II
- Legalization of cannabis
- Rising inflation
- Global pollution
- Switching to electric cars
2. Choose the best topic
The more items you have on your list, the better, as you get more options. Ideally, you should have at least 20 different ideas. How do you decide on one? For instance, it helps writing about something that you may already have a clue about. You can also choose something that you are genuinely interested in. Make sure you have enough info to come up with an essay though. Do you have all the details?
Writing about something you like will put some passion into your project and will give it a feeling of authenticity. If you need inspiration you can check these cause and effect essay topics.
3. Brainstorm for the cause and effect
You have the topic, but learning how to write a cause and effect essay also involves choosing the actual cause and effect. Come up with two lists – one for causes and another one for effects. Interested in the popularity of electric cars? Write down all the possible causes of their popularity, then write down all the effects.
Which one seems better? Which one do you know more about? Which one seems easier to write about?
4. Do some research
Now that you know what angle to write from, it is time for some research. Do not go for random websites, but credible and reputable sources only. Keep in mind – the more you read about it, the more efficient your essay will be. As you learn more, you will be able to come up with trends and questions that may help throughout the writing part.
5. Craft the essay
Work on the statement of your essay. It sounds sophisticated, but it is so simple. You only need to answer one question – why should I care about it? This is what hooks readers in and convinces them to read further.
For instance, the closing of a local food chain could be the result of large scale franchises taking over. Small businesses will have to close down, while the consumer has less choice. This idea will push you forward and let your readers understand what to expect from your essay.
6. Come up with an outline
An outline is mandatory when learning how to write a cause and effect essay. It is a plan. Without it, chances are you will get lost on the way. You will jump from one idea to another, then go back and confuse the reader. Plus, the outline allows you to clearly divide your essay into chapters, titles, and subtitles.
- Introduction – statement of your essay.
- Body – split into more subtitles, one for the idea, one for another idea, one for opposing points of view, and so on.
- Conclusion – restate your thesis and introduce some ideas for further research.
7. Write a draft
The first draft must be quite easy to write. Once done, give yourself a few days and go through it. Edit it and come up with a second draft. There should be at least a couple of days between two drafts, only to make sure you have a new perspective when trying to spot logic issues and grammar errors.
The bottom line, learning how to write a cause and effect essay is not the most difficult job in the world. Just like any other piece of writing, it requires a good plan upfront. Once you have the plan, you can start researching and documenting the situation. Got everything you need? Time to get to work then.