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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay
Table of Contents

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay

The best way to answer that question is to look at an example:

Cause: Peter Parker stumbled into a hi-tech science lab and was bitten by a radioactive spider.
Effect: Peter became Spiderman and started fighting crime in New York City.


As you can tell from the example, the cause is the reason for something to happen. The effect is the outcome and the impact it makes. That’s cause and effect in a nutshell.

However, if you’re trying to write a proper essay, there are a few formal structural aspects to consider.

In this blog, we explore the cause and effect essay. As usual, we’ve got a list of topics up-front to help you brainstorm. Then we will dive into a step-by-step writing process showing you how to write a cause and effect essay!

Besides, you can contact the essay writing service EssayPro for further writing and editing help. We can make your essay shine!

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Essays push students to understand problems, their cause, and the impact they make on the community. Look for cause and effect essay ideas in the mundane issues that your school, university or hometown faces.

Good cause and effect essay topics observe and illustrate problems.

For example, say your hometown always had a problem with garbage and homeless people, but the government didn’t care (background information).

Until one day, the stench had reached your local government building, finding its way through the ventilation shaft and into the board meeting. That’s when the government finally accepted that this is a problem (cause).

On that very meeting, they created a plan which consists of paying homeless people to clean up the garbage. As they say, two birds with one stone (effect).

Here is a list of other relevant and preferred cause and effect essay topics:

  1. The causes and effects of slavery in America.

  2. Early divorce in families, how does it affect developing children?

  3. Escapism. Who do certain people have a stronger addiction to drugs?

  4. What causes people to often pick violence over communication?

  5. Growing up in poverty: how does it affect teens’ lifestyle choices?

  6. What causes certain people to turn to religion?

  7. What are the effects of colleges promoting themselves on social media?

  8. What causes stress and how does it affect health?

  9. What are the effects of Apple releasing the same product every year?

  10. The causes and effects of students hating school.

We hope you have found this list helpful! If you have a new cause and effect essay ideas, write them in the comments, and we will include them in this post.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Now that we’re done with theory let’s go over the cause and effect essay structure. In every essay, it is essential to draft the outline first.

The cause and effect essay outline can be done in three different ways.

There are three common ways to organize a cause and effect essay: Multiple Causes One Effect, One Cause Multiple Effects, and the Domino Pattern.


Three ways of organizing a cause and effect essay

Below, we explore these three patterns with examples from a piece about bullying. Make sure to choose the one that fits your topic best!

Multiple Causes One Effect

This is a structure perfect for essays in which multiple causes come together to create one effect.


Multiple Causes One Effect Example

Let’s explore the causes and effects of bullying.

  • Introduction (Bullies are lonely and misunderstood)
  • Cause 1 (Kid is screamed at by his dad)
  • Cause 2 (Kid gets terrible grades and lots of detention)
  • Cause 3 (Kid is attracted to kids like him, becoming a bully)
  • Conclusion (The bully takes his anger out on the nerdy kid)

You might also be interested in discovering how to write a bulling essay

One Cause Multiple Effects

This structure is perfect for essays where one lousy choice sparks a chain reaction of effects.

  • Introduction (A bully takes their anger out on the nerdy kid)
  • Effect 1 (The nerdy kid becomes a punching bag)
  • Effect 2 (The nerdy kid starts hating other kids, staying away from parties, etc.)
  • Effect 3 (The nerdy kid invests time into working on their dream)
  • Conclusion (The nerdy kid invents insane new gadget and makes it to Forbes Under 30 List)

Domino Pattern

This pattern is like a fast-paced action movie. One thing leads to another, leads to another, and so on.

  • Introduction (Bully is shouted at by his father)
  • Causal link 1 (Bully goes to school sad and does poorly in class)
  • Causal link 2 (Bully’s bad performance puts him in detention)
  • Causal link 3 (After the arrest, he sees the nerdy kid on the playground having fun, making him angry)
  • Causal link 4 (Bully makes fun of the nerdy kid, and feels better afterward, having let off some steam)
  • Causal link 5 (Bully goes back to his depressing home, the cycle repeats the next day)
  • Conclusion (Bad parenting can turn good kids into bullies, harming the community)

If you want to take your reader on a rollercoaster ride through your essay, this is your structure.

Outlines are great! Why may you ask? They make the writing process super simple!

Writing Process

This next section will explore how to write a cause and effect essay step-by-step. Follow our tips to make it great!


The intro will determine whether your reader will continue reading your paper. That is why it is the most critical part of your essay. The Your job here is to hook the reader and give them enough background information to understand the topic.

So how do we start a cause and effect essay? In this essay, your introduction will be different depending on which pattern you chose. Here are some examples of brief cause and effect essay introductions:

Multiple Causes, One Effect: Bullies aren’t born bullies, they become them. Bad parenting, inadequate schooling, and lousy peer influence can cause any good kid to become a bully. I aim to explore this thesis and present the effects that bullies have on the community in conclusion.

One Cause, Multiple Effects: The effects of bullying are diverse. Kids become outcasts and punching bags at school. However, this essay will prove how one embarrassing bullying incident can turn that nerdy kid into the next Steve Jobs.

As you can see, the cause and effect essay introduction allows the reader to interpret how arguments will be presented in the essay.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you explore your causes and effects in detail. You want to give the reader a full understanding of your issue.

A classic body paragraph must do the following:

  • Present a topic sentence;

  • Present evidence through primary or secondary sources;

  • Offer your evaluations and conclusions based on supporting evidence.

Here are some examples based on cause and effect essay patterns:

Cause Body Paragraph: (Topic Sentence) Bad parenting can lead to kids becoming bullies. (Evidence) Reliable Source 1 shows a statistic that 85% of bullies are a direct result of domestic violence. (Evaluations) In the age of the internet, we must do a better job in educating parents to teach good morals to their children.

Effect Body Paragraph: (Topic Sentence) Kids become outcasts as a result of bullying. (Evidence) Reliable Survey 1 talked to 50 outcast kids who said that they prefer to spend time alone. This is a result of being picked on and humiliated by other kids. (Effect and evaluation) There is a positive effect on this, as these kids spend more time on self-development which can benefit their future.


In a cause and effect essay, the conclusion is super important. When using one of the abovementioned patterns, your effects or evaluations will be stated in conclusion.

There are three things you must do in your conclusion:

  • Restate the thesis;

  • Show the implications of your cause or effect;

  • Leave the reader with something to think about; offer a call to action if needed.

We have an entire blog post dedicated to writing great conclusion paragraphs. Be sure to check it out!

Bullying Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion: (Restating Thesis) Good kids can quickly grow up to be bullies. Statistics show that their transformation is usually a result of their surroundings. (Implications) As a result, they take their anger out on other kids, hurting the community. (Food for thought) Perhaps to become good again, every bully needs a friend.

Wrapping It Up: Final Tips

Now that you know how to write a cause and effect essay, it’s time to look at some tips. An excellent essay is not only about writing. The real craft lies in proofreading and editing.

Hopefully, this guide has been helpful, and now you can quickly write a cause and effect essay. That being said, here are some final tips that you should consider:

  • Pick a topic that is significant or fun for you. If you pick a boring topic, your writing will suffer from a distinct lack of interest. Writing an essay is not exactly the most fun experience. Writing on a topic, you don’t like can be a downer.
  • Brainstorm before writing. Getting all your creative ideas out on paper will help organize your essay in the long run. If you care about the quality of your piece, brainstorming is the first thing you should do, before even writing an outline.
  • Make a catchy essay title. We’ve got one: Kanye must be crazy: what are the effects of not taking medication for mental health? It’s both trendy and academic!
  • Use software to check for grammar and make your text easy to read. Grammarly, Hemingway, and Thesaurus are your best friends when it comes to essay writing!
  • Check your formatting! We have a formatting guide on our blog for reference.
  • You should leave your essay for a weekend and come back to proofread it with a fresh mind!
  • Family and friends might offer some ideas you’ve never thought about. Don’t be shy to show your work to them.

And there you have it!

After this guide, when you are writing a cause and effect essay is like a walk in the park. You can do it!

Cause and Effect Essay Examples

Check out our cause and effect examples for college, we hope these items should answer some of your questions.

Example 1: The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Example 2: Cause and Effect of Homelessness

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