Cause and effect essays are another common essay type, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs examining causes and effects. This page gives information on what a cause and effect essay is, how to structure this type of essay, how to use cause and effect structure words (transition signals) for this type of essay. There is also an example cause and effect essay on the topic of women at work.
What are cause & effect essays?
A cause and effect essay looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, then discusses the results (or effects). For this reason, cause and effect essays are sometimes referred to as reason and result essays. They are one of the most common forms of organisation in academic writing. Sometimes the whole essay will be cause and effect, though sometimes this may be only part of the whole essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the causes or the effects, not both, are discussed. See the examples below.
There are two main ways to structure a cause & effect essay. These are similar to the ways to structure problem-solution essays, namely using a block or a chain structure. For the block structure, all of the causes are listed first, and all of the effects are listed afterwards. For the chain structure, each cause is followed immediately by the effect. Usually that effect will then be the cause of the next effect, which is why this structure is called 'chain'. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is generally clearer, especially for shorter essays, while the latter ensures that any effects you present relate directly to the causes you have given.
The two types of structure, block and chain, are shown in the diagram below.
Cause and Effect Structure Words
Cause and effect structure words are transition signals which show the cause and effect relationships. It is important to be clear which is the cause (or reason) and which is the effect (or result), and to use the correct transition word or phrase. Remember that a cause happens first, and the effect happens later.
Below are some common cause and effect structure words. X is used to indicate a cause, while Y is used to indicate the effect.
Below is a cause and effect essay. This essay uses the block structure. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. Causes, Effects, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary, as these repeat the causes and effects contained in the main body.
Title: More and more women are now going out to work and some women are now the major salary earner in the family. What are the causes of this, and what effect is this having on families and society?
In the past, most women stayed at home to take care of domestic chores such as cooking or cleaning. Women's liberation and feminismhave meant that this situation has been transformed and in contemporary society women are playing an almost equal role to men in terms of work. This has had significant consequences, both in terms of the family, for example by improving quality of life and increasing children's sense of independence, and also for society itself with greater gender equality.
The main reasons behind the increase of women in the workplace are women's liberation and feminism. The women's liberation movement originated in the 1960s and was popularised by authors such as Simone de Beauvoir. As a consequence of this, new legislation emerged, granting women equal rights to men in many fields, in particular employment. Because of feminist ideas, men have taken up roles which were previously seen as being for women only, most importantly those related to child rearing. As a result of this, women have more time to pursue their own careers and interests.
These have led to some significant effects, both to family life and to society as a whole.
Although the earning capacity of a woman in her lifetime is generally much less than that of a man, she can nevertheless make a significant contribution to the family income. The most important consequence of this is an improved quality of life. By helping to maintain a steady income for the family, the pressure on the husband is considerably reduced, hence improving both the husband's and the wife's emotional wellbeing. Additionally, the purchasing power of the family will also be raised. This means that the family can afford more luxuries such as foreign travel and a family car.
A further effect on the family is the promotion of independence in the children. Some might argue that having both parents working might be damaging to the children because of a lack of parental attention. However, such children have to learn to look after themselves at an earlier age, and their parents often rely on them to help with the housework. This therefore teaches them important life skills.
As regards society, the most significant impact of women going to work is greater gender equality. There are an increasing number of women who are becoming politicians, lawyers, and even CEOs and company managers. This in turn has led to greater equality for women in all areas of life, not just employment. For example, women today have much stronger legal rights to protect themselves against domestic violence and sexual discrimination in the workplace.
In conclusion, the increasing number of women at work has brought about some important changes to family life, including improved quality of life and increased independence for children, as well as affecting society itself. It is clear that the sexes are still a long way from being equal in all areas of life, however, and perhaps the challenge for the present century is to ensure that this takes place.
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Below is a checklist for the main body of an essay. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.
“For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes.”
Joseph M. Juran
The entire universe is connected and so are the people, events, ideas. Sometimes we are aware of these connections, but in other instances, we are not. Every cause has its consequence or results even if we don’t see it at a first glance. This is the premise behind cause and effect essays. A common assignment in high school and college, cause and effect essay urges a writer to elaborate root of the idea or problem and its larger impact. This useful guide will show you how to complete one such essay easily.
The main point of this essay is to determine how various ideas or phenomena are connected to one another. A write creates a scenario where one cause generates one or more consequences and why. The paper requires a deep understanding of the subject and focuses on explaining all the “whys” and “hows”. Contrary to the common misconception, this essay doesn’t just state a cause and result but also describes how and why it took place. Why did something happen? How did it occur?
Benefits of writing a cause and effect essay
Every essay has its purpose that goes beyond the subject. Believe it or not, essay writing is a practical and effective way of improving different skills you’ll be using throughout your life. That’s why students get these assignments in the first place. Let’s take a look at skills that you develop while working on a cause and effect essay:
- Writing skills – of course, working on different assignments sharpens your writing skills and this essay is not an exception
- Organizational skills – we need to be organized in every aspect of our lives in order to get something done. Cause and effect essay improves your ability to get organized. You arrange causes and effects in a way that will keep reader’s interest and avoid creating additional confusions about the subject. While researching, you can identify a multitude of causes and effects. Good organizational skills are essential to categorize them and include into your essay properly
- Attention to details – this form of essay isn’t just about mention a cause and consequences that everyone can see, it digs deep and highlight some causal links we don’t notice easily. To do this, you need to pay attention to details. Frequent cause and effect essay writing sharpens this skill and it can only be good for you, especially in the working environment
- Objective thinking – the goal is to report a causal link between two ideas or situations without letting your emotions interfere with the way you write. Being unbiased is a great skill to adopt as it only makes you seem more authoritative and responsible
Areas of interest
Similarly to other forms of essay writing, cause and effect paper can write about everything that’s happening in the world around us. Everything you see, read, witness, hear, or experience can be turned into a discussion and, thereby a cause and effect essay. Every action has its consequences. That means you have plenty of causes (actions) and effects (consequences) to write about. Here are common categories:
- World events
- Social issues
- Relationships and marriage
- Health and medicine
Cause and effect essay outline
Quality of your cause and effect essay depends on the outline you follow. You can consider outline as the spine of your essay. Just like spine supports the body, outline supports your paper and keeps you on the right track. We have a lot to say when writing an essay and it’s easy to get off the subject. The strong outline doesn’t allow that to happen. Here’s an outline of cause and effect essay:
- Introduction – sets the tone of the essay, catches reader’s attention, and creates a sound basis for the entire paper. It provides background information that introduces the topic and finishes with a thesis statement
- Causes/effects – the central part of the essay and one can write it in many ways. You can mention causes or effects individually or causal links (causes + effects). The approach depends on the way you organize the paper or causes and effects you wish to discuss
- Conclusion – restates the topic and its importance summarizes causes and effects discussed and calls for action while explaining what could happen if we don’t act on the matter
Having to discuss some subject in a detail and mention its causes and effects may be overwhelming. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly natural to be concerned. It shows you care. Too much stress, though, is not a good thing. In order to minimize stress, you need to know all the tricks and tips that make the writing process easier, and here they are:
- Understand cause vs. effects – it is not uncommon for students to mix them up. Cause is the catalyst or the reason behind the occurrence of some event while effect is its consequence
- Research – regardless of the type of the paper, research is a must. Investigate the subject from different angles, think outside the box, and collect information that you’ll use later
- Make meaningful links – you need to explain effects by making appropriate links to causes. Their relationship has to be solid and discussed thoroughly. Avoid discussing causes and effects that have a barely noticeable link
- Quality over quantity – avoid piling causes and effects one after another. Remember, you should provide a deeper insight into their relationship and use evidence to support your claims. Quality of a cause-effect link beats quantity
- Choose the method – you can arrange causes and effects in a chronological order, based on the importance, or categorize them. Choose the approach you find most convenient
- Smooth transition – to avoid choppiness, use transition words that allow you to switch from one point to another seamlessly. Transition words for causes include: due to, because, first, since etc. Words for causes include: consequently, thereby, hence, therefore, thus
- Remember the purpose – the goal of this essay is to inform the reader about causes and effects associated with some subject, it rarely (almost never) involves persuading someone to adopt your view
- Be unbiased – you may agree or disagree with someone, like or dislike, love or hate, but you should never show it in the paper. Cause and effect essay should be unbiased or objective
- Don’t exaggerate – for a stronger impact one might feel tempted to exaggerate the effects or causes, but you need to avoid doing that. Stick to the facts only
- Evidence – it’s not enough to write “this cause has this effect”, you need evidence to support everything you write. Use reputable journals, publications, and other respected sources during this process
Cause and Effect Essay Topics
You get to choose your own cause and effect essay topic? That’s wonderful! In many cases lecturers allow students to write an essay based on a subject they choose for themselves. Some students spend hours thinking about topics they could discuss, but you don’t have to do that.
Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Here are great ideas for you:
- Causes of voter apathy
- What is the effect of divorce on children? Does the child’s age make any difference?
- Effects of abortion on a relationship
- Causes behind US poverty
- Causes of homelessness and its effects on society
- Effects of increasing obesity rates in the US
- Effects of stress on health
- What are the effects of violent video games on a child’s cognition and behavior?
- Causes of addition to exercise and its effects
- College dropout rates have never been higher: causes and effects
- Reasons why online shopping makes internet users spend more money
- Positive and negative effects of technology on our lives
- Effects of feminism on marriage
- Causes and effects of air pollution
- What was the effect of colonialism on Britain’s view of itself?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Relationships and family
- What causes people to cheat on each their partners.
- Effects of living together before the marriage.
- Long-term effects of growing up with a single parent.
- What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships?
- What are causes of destructive relationships between siblings?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Environment
- What is the most dangerous factor that affects the world climate changes today?
- Has human curiosity had an overall positive or negative effect on the planet?
- What effect did human curiosity in relation to our planet?
- What are causes of environmental catastrophes?
- What could be the effects of global warming on the planet?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Social issues
- What impact does frequent violence (either from war or street violence) have on a community?
- What effect makes social networks on real life communications?
- What are the causes of poverty in megalopolises?
- How lack of freedom can effect on the society?
- What are the effects of living in poor housing?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Technology
- Effects of modern technological progress on children.
- What impact has the internet on youth?
- What are effects of using modern technologies during the class work?
- How technology development affects the state of nature?
- What are causes of technological advancements in Japan?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Education
- What are causes and effects of changing a major in the middle of the studies?
- What makes a person be an excellent student?
- The causes and effects of an exam failure.
- The cause and effects of cheating at the exams.
- What are the effects of student involvement into extra-curricular activities?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Psychology
- Why has depression become one of the most wide-spread illnesses?
- What makes a person have a good mood?
- The effects of stress on students who both study and work.
- Why is good mental health no less important than physical well-being?
- What are causes and effects of having an empathy?
Topic Ideas: Health
- How does a person’s diet affect his or her health?
- Causes and effects of vaccination in teenage age.
- Effects of having smallpox in adult age.
- What are causes of long-term smoking?
- What are the causes and effect of insomnia during exam week?
Topic Ideas: Food
- Cause and effects of eating seafood.
- Effects of eating only vegetarian food.
- Why is it dangerous to eat in cheap fast food restaurants?
- Effects of eating genetically modified foods.
- What are the typical causes of loss of appetite?
Topic Ideas: Sport
- How regular workout improves the productivity of a person?
- Causes and effects of skipping physical education lessons in school.
- What are effects of doing sports professionally?
- Causes and effects of sports violence.
- What effect does doing extreme sports have?
Topic Ideas: Culture
- What is the reason of popularity of movies based on comic books?
- How listening to favorite music affect the person?
- Why are summer music festivals so popular among youth?
- How free music downloading effects the artist
- What are long-term effects of video games playing addiction?
The cause and effect essay writing doesn’t have to turn into a major struggle. You have the opportunity to make this process easy. How? It’s simple; thanks to the amazing breakthrough of technology and easy internet availability, students have access to multiple platforms and tools that simplify essay writing. Here are a few examples.
Essay topic generator
Instead of browsing Google and spending hours trying to come up with a cause and effect essay topic, you can just use Edusson Magic Help. The platform displays a multitude of topic ideas you can use to practice or write your own essay. Search by alphabet, category, most popular topics, or simply enter a keyword and you’ll see an abundance of titles that will inspire you.
Use Edusson Magic Help essay samples to see how other students wrote their own cause and effect essays. This will inspire you to write your own, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and avoid common pitfalls. With a prescription plan, you can also save some essays in the library and read them later.
Essay checker called RobotDon is a highly practical platform and the best tool a student can use when writing an essay. The software utilizes cutting-edge algorithms to analyze uniqueness and check for plagiarism. In addition, it checks sentence structure, rhythm, readability, word use, and overall quality of your paper.
Essay writing service
Professional writing service gathers an amazing team of writers who can create cause and effect essay based on your needs, deadline, word count, and other info you provide. The essay is written from scratch and made to reflect your own position on the subject.
Essay editing service
For students who just need someone to go through an essay and correct mistakes, the editing service at Edusson is the best solution. Editors and proofreaders read and correct spelling and grammar mistakes, improve your style and formatting, and enhance the overall quality of the paper