How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay Step-by-Step

If you think about it: everything in the universe is connected through a chain of cause and effect. You exist because of your parents, you eat food because you are hungry, and you are thinking of writing a cause and effect essay because your professor has asked you to write one for your English class. And, most importantly, you are reading this guide because you want to know the steps to write a stellar cause and effect essay.

What is a Cause and Effect Essay

Before we get to the steps required to write it, let us define what a cause and effect essay is. This is a typical paper where you analyze the cause and effect relationship between certain events and/or actions. In this essay, you talk about why certain events and actions take place and the consequences that follow.
This might seem like a daunting task at first, and you may feel as though your professor is punishing you, which is understandable. But all your professor is trying to do is gauge your ability to understand the logic behind why certain actions or events occur.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

When told to write this type of paper, the first thing that many students do is panic. But like with anything that involves writing, knowing the steps takes some of the anxiety away and makes one an efficient writer. So, with your topic at hand, we have outlined the steps you need to take to write a great cause and effect essay like a pro.

Write a Thesis Statement

Write a Thesis Statement Cause and Effect Essay

Your thesis statement is your main argument that will guide you when writing the paper, making it one of the first things you should write. The thesis statement is usually one or two sentences, and you need to make sure that it is something that is debatable. For example, if your topic is on the cause and effect relationship between social media and workplace productivity, your thesis statement can be something like, “Social media in the workplace has contributed to the steady decline in employee productivity.”

Structure the Essay

Structure Cause and Effect Essay

The next step is to come up with a structure for your essay. Generally, a cause and effect essay will consist of at least 5 paragraphs.

Here is what the structure will look like:

  1. Introduction. This will be the first paragraph of the essay
  2. Body Paragraph 1. This is the second paragraph and where you will discuss at least three causes that you have uncovered in your research.
  3. Body Paragraph 2. This is the third paragraph and where you discuss the three resulting effects of the causes in paragraph 2.
  4. Body Paragraph 3. This is the fourth paragraph and where you will discuss alternative explanations to the causes discussed in paragraph 2. This is also where you will rule out these other explanations.
  5. Conclusion. This is the ending paragraph of the essay.

Write the Introduction

Write the Introduction Cause and Effect Essay

The introduction, although just being one paragraph, is very significant. It is about giving the reader an overview of the essay in order to familiarize them with the topic and your main argument. It should be engaging enough to grab their attention – anecdotes are always a good way to start the introduction as well as quotes and shocking facts. As mentioned earlier, the introduction is also where the thesis statement goes, preferably in the last two sentences. It also needs to be shorter than the paragraphs in the body, usually 3-5 sentences long.

Write the Body

Write the Body Cause and Effect Essay

The body is where you are going to flesh out your argument and get into further detail. You will write at least three paragraphs for this section, each covering one particular element of your main argument. Three paragraphs are enough to cover the body as you do not want the essay to be overly complicated unless you want to lose the reader’s attention. These paragraphs can be longer than the introduction, about 5-7 sentences long.

As mentioned earlier, the first paragraph of the body is where you outline at least three causes. Here, you will get to explore each cause. For instance, thinking back on the topic of social media leading to a decline in workplace productivity, one of the causes can be that employees are using company resources, such as the Internet and computers, to be on Facebook during office hours. Be sure to start with the least important cause and end with the most important one in order to create a climatic effect.

The second paragraph of the body is where you will explore the three effects that correspond with the causes mentioned in the body’s first paragraph. Just make sure that you explain the effect in a way that there is a logical connection between the two, otherwise, the reader will deem it irrelevant. For example, an effect of employees being on Facebook during office hours is that they will procrastinate, which can lead to a decline in workplace productivity.

The final paragraph of the body is where you will tell the reader of other explanations in order to show them that you have looked at the issue from all angles. While looking at these other explanations, you will also offer quick refutations, explaining to the reader, with evidence, why the causes and effects outlined in your paper are more likely than the others.

Write the Conclusion

Write the Conclusion Cause and Effect Essay

After laying down a compelling case in the body, you have to write a solid conclusion, drawing together everything neatly and presenting it to the reader. All you need to do here is restate your thesis without repeating the one in the introduction word for word and summarize your key points. The conclusion should also not be that long; it should be roughly the same length as the introduction.

With the steps outlined above, writing a cause and effect essay should be easier. Although sometimes the difficulty might still exist due to the fact that you may be overwhelmed by other aspects of college life. If you are wondering, “Who can write my essay for me cheap?” there are plenty of affordable custom writing services. These services can also help with any type of essay, whether you want to know how to start an argumentative essay or how to write an evaluation essay. Use them to your advantage.


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Angelina Bennett

Angelina Bennett is a college adventurer, shopaholic and dreamer. She has, perhaps, the widest circle of offline friends, but despises aggressive online presence. “Be true” is her motto. She explains her life philosophy in her personal blog at – a website for international students.

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