How To Write Cause And Effect Essay: Simple (But Complete) 2021 Guide


Go through these guide step by step to learn how to write a cause and effect essay. It will help you explain what made something to happen and the consequences. All stages explained with examples.


  1. Introduction
  2. Definition of Cause and Effect Essay
  3. Pre-writing stage
  4. How To Write a Cause and Effect Essay
  5. Conduct Research
  6. Essay Outline/ Structure
  7. Post Writing Stage
  8. Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Definition of “Cause” and “Effect” Terms

What is a ‘’cause and effect essay?’’. What is a ‘’cause?’’. and “an effect?’’. This is the number one questions that pop up in your head when you are asked to write a ‘’cause and effect essay’’.

Let’s break it down. According to Google dictionary, a cause definition is brought up as; a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon or condition. It is making something happen. Could either be good or bad but often times, bad.

Example of a cause; Poverty in the society is as a result of poor financial planning, lack of education and the wide gap between social status.

’The Effect’’, on the other hand, is defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or cause.

Example of effect; Poverty in the society has given rise to hunger, crime rates, and homelessness.

The key point in a cause and effect essay is to understand the difference between the reason why something happened and the consequences that followed.

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

There you have it. Simple, right?. A cause and effect essay explains the reasons why something happened the way it did and what change it brought about. It explains in depth the order of events, What triggered an event to take place ( Or an event that is still is taking place) and what are its consequences.

It is the evaluation of links between causes and results.

Writing this type of essay is not as hard if the tips given in this article are implemented. Here we share a simple and convenient way of writing an excellent cause and effect essay.

Cause and Effect Pre-writing Process

Number one step, prepare yourself. There is no chance of you crafting an exceptional piece without preparing yourself for it. It will be like going for a job interview without even knowing what the job is all about. Does that even make sense?.

First forward;

  1. Figure out what discussions you can comfortably and confidently carry out.
  2. Examine your assignment and list down the topics you can deeply explore.
  3. From the above list choose your topic.
  4. Research about the topic you have chosen.
  5. Draft your outline.

How to Choose a Cause and Effect Essay Topic

Finding it hard to choose a topic for your assignment?. Below are some insights on how to come up with just the perfect topic for your essay.

What are your hobbies and interests? Think about it.

Do you love social media?. Are you always on Facebook and Instagram?. How about an essay topic


‘’ What Effects does Social Media Platforms have on the Society Today?.’’ Or rather:

‘’ What are the Causes and Effects of participating in a certain sport?.’’, If you are into games and


If you have an interest in a certain field, it means you are well equipped with information regarding that area. You, therefore, should not have any difficulties choosing your topic and writing an essay on the same.

What are the latest trends?

What are people heads over heel for of late?. could be a style in the fashion industry that everyone is rocking. In this case, consider a topic like;

‘’ What are the Causes and Effects of Fashion In Professional Setups?.’’

What is the current news?

This could be in politics, travel, sports, dating, poverty, corruption, health and wellness e.t.c.

Whatever it is that is all over the news is a great idea for your essay topic. Just go for it.

What observations have you made in the society?

This is probably the easiest way of generating essay topics. A lot of things happen in society every single day and this should enable you to form brilliant ideas for your essay.

You can talk about education, domestic violence, social status etc.. A good example of an observation people witness in every neighborhood is domestic violence. In this case, you can develop a topic like ;

‘’ What are the Causes and Effects of Domestic Violence?.’’

Personal Experiences

This cannot be overlooked. Everything you encounter in life should be an inspiration for you to come up with an impeccable discussion.

Could be about family, childhood or even education. Just about anything.

A good example could be;

‘’ What are The Causes and Effect of Child Abuse ?’’, If you ever went through that as a child.

What subjects are you knowledgeable about?.

This should make it easier for you to write an informative cause and effect essay since you already have a ton of background information on the subject. You should have no problem choosing a topic for this one.

Conduct Research on Your Topic

It doesn’t matter how well you know the topic you have chosen. Writing a cause and effect essay requires deep and thorough research in order for you to come up with enough evidence and facts to support your discussion.

To carry out effective research, you should;

Go online

This could be social media platforms. Join Facebook pages and groups connected to your topic. Post questions there and see what people would say.

You could also join private discussion boards online that tackle issues concerning your topic and get some insights.

Following and reading blogs too, help big time.

Read books

Go to the library and get some useful books to help you come up with more context in your essay. Find relevant E-books connected to your topic and read them.

Ask your friends and relatives

Interview your friends and relative on the subject. For example, if your essay topic is about ‘’ Causes and Effect of Child Abuse’’, Find people who you think may have experienced or have witnessed it happening and who are open to talking about it. Get some real life experiences.

Carry out an experiment

This could involve doing something out of your normal, daily routine. For example, if your essay is about ‘’ Causes and Effect of malaria’’, you may need to move to a setting area where people are vulnerable to the disease, see what kind of lifestyle they lead.

Essay Outline/ Structure

This is the typical cause and effect essay structure. It is the arrangement of paragraphs in your essay I.e:

  • The introductory paragraph
  • The body paragraph

Usually at least 3.

  • The conclusion


This is your chance to show readers why they should read your essay.

In the first part of your introductory paragraph start with a hook. The first statement is meant to captivate your readers’ attention. You could do this by asking a rhetorical question, use statistics, a fun fact, a shocking truth etc.

Be creative, brief and relevant here.

The second part of the introductory paragraph should give a sneak peek of what to be expected in the body paragraphs. Don’t give too much of details though. You are just explaining your essay topic in short so the readers will have a better understanding of what’s to come.

Thesis Statement

The third part of your essay introduction is your thesis statement. A thesis statement is a statement that explains your topic in one sentence. This usually should appear towards the end of your essay. You should focus on this as you go on writing your body paragraphs. your thesis statement is the reflection of the whole essay.

For example, If your essay topic is ‘’What are the causes and effects of poverty in the society today?’’ Your thesis statement should be;

 ” As a result of lack of education, poor financial planning and the large gap in social status, the society today has experienced a rise in hunger, increased crime rate, and homelessness.’’

In the above example, the first part of the statement highlights the causes of poverty and the last part points out the consequences.

The statement is meant to tell the reader what they are about to encounter in the next paragraphs ( the body ). Keep in mind that your body paragraphs will revolve around this statement.

Body Paragraphs

There are two ways you can write your paragraphs;

  1. You could use the chain structure- This is recommended when you are writing a long essay. The chain structure format is writing each cause following its corresponding effects. Usually, it goes like cause-effect, cause-effect, cause-effect and so on.

This requires you to use appropriate transitional words and phrases to directly connect the cause and it’s an effect. Examples of transitional words and phrases to use are:

  • Because of
  • As a result,
  • Given that,
  • Resulted to,
  • Due to,
  • Led to, etc.

Using these transitional words, you could form sentences like;

Lack of education has resulted in poverty, which has led to an increased crime rate.

  1. The block structure- In this type of essay, you first write all the causes in one paragraph, followed by a separate paragraph explaining the effects. It looks like;

Cause, cause, cause….An effect, effect, effect

This type of structure works out well when you are writing a short essay.

Alternative Cause and Effect Essay Structure

While writing a cause and effect essay you can either arrange your work according to the order of events that took place, the least important to the most significant event or separate your details to sections.

Make sure to state your cause clearly not to confuse your readers. Distinguish between the cause and the effect comprehensibly.

Support your thesis statement strongly. Focus on informing your readers about the essay topic and emphasize your points.

Use real-time examples throughout your essay to put your point across. Quote on famous, well-known events that happened in the past to enable your reader to understand even more.

Use strong supporting evidence. Life experiences, facts, and jokes are a great way to make your writing understandable. Remember to be professional throughout your writing though.

Remember the body is where all the weight lies. You are required to bring out all your points, the cause, and the effect, without doubts.

Writing The Essay Conclusion

Your conclusion should be brief and simple.

  1. Restate your thesis statement. Note: Restate, don’t rewrite
  2. Restate your main points. Again don’t rewrite them. This is just to remind your readers of what discussion has been going on, satisfying them with your writing.
  3. Revisit the details explained in the body and give your final thoughts on them.
  4. Wrap up your writing.
  5. Conclude your essay with a statement that will connect your readers with the discussed subject.

Post Writing stage

Your essay is not really complete without you going through this last stage,

  • Reread your essay.
  • Make sure all the sentences make perfect sense.
  • Check the order of your body paragraphs.
  • Revisit your thesis statement, ensure it’s the way it is supposed to be.
  • Make sure your paragraphs align with your thesis statement.
  • Check for any spelling mistakes and correct.
  • Check if there is a sentence you would like to add, remove or change.
  • Let a friend read your essay and comment on it.
  • Allow your friend to edit the essay for you.

Bonus tips on writing a cause and effect essay

  • Only choose the subjects you fully understand.
  • Ensure you are able to distinguish between the cause and the effect.
  • Only conduct your research from the right sources.
  • Whether your concentration is to inform or argue,
  • Make sure you are using the strongest pieces of evidence to support your discussion/argument.

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Below are some interesting cause and effect essay topics;

  • What are the causes and effect of domestic violence?
  • How does social media have an impact on teenagers?
  • What are the causes and effect of child abuse?
  • Causes and effect of a high rate of school dropouts?
  • What contributes to high immorality rate in high schools.
  • What are the causes and effects of global warming?

Remember, every time you are writing a cause and effect assignment, research and proper organization of ideas are the keys.