Cause and effect essay

how-to-write-cause-and-effect-essayA cause and an effect essay will cover one or both of the following:

The cause or causes of an event and The effects of an event or events.

For example, someone studying to become a dietician may study and then write an essay about what causes people to embrace a low carb diet. The causes may be a perception that they are overweight, receiving advice from friends or medical professionals, or receiving information that low carb diets are healthy. The same student could also opt to write an essay on the effects of a low carb diet. Then, they would study the results of that diet and write about it.

Obviously, it is nearly impossible to cover all of the causes and effects of major events. Take a major event such as the Cold War. There were multiple and complex things that caused the cold war. There also multiple and long-reaching effects that came as a result of the cold war. This is why many students are given the option to write either a cause or an effects essay. Unless the topic is quite simple, exploring both could result in an essay that looks more like a thesis.

If you are in the midst of writing a cause and effect essay, keep reading. The following paragraphs will help you to tackle this writing assignment.

Steps to Follow

  1. Select an Appropriate And Manageable Topic

Your first step will be to select a topic. It should be grade level and subject matter appropriate for your class. It should also be manageable in terms of length and complexity. As always, a topic that you know and interests you are always a better choice.

  1. Determine Whether or Not to Focus on Cause-Effect or Both

As mentioned above, you will likely want to pick one or the other as both can be too complex. However, you may be able to select both if you make it clear that you are focusing on something more specific. For example, rather than discussing total causes and effects of the cold war, you could discuss causes and effects only as they apply to military strategy.

  1. Select Your Sources

Now it is time to pick out your sources. As always, you will want to select sources from academically sound databases and sources. If you are an early college student this may be new to you. Teachers at the secondary level are often significantly less strict when it comes to the resources they accept for essays and research papers.

In the case of a cause and effect essays picking balanced sources is also important. Even when you are reading the opinion of experts, you may find a striking amount of contradiction between those opinions. Giving fair wait to opposing opinions is important. Just be sure that each opinion is equally valid.

  1. Categorize Your Notes According to What They Support

The best way to arrange your research notes is to determine the specific causes or effects you will offer. Then organize your notes within each of those. When you turn your notes into a fully-realized essay, you can easily support each of the points that you make.

  1. Determine The Sequence of Your Essay

In a cause an effect essay, sequence absolutely matters. For example, if you believe several things caused the Cold War, but that one factor had more of an impact than the others, you might want to address that factor less. Another option would be to address each cause in historical context dealing with the first triggering event at the beginning of your paper and the most recent towards the end.

  1. Eliminate Points That Are Not Compelling

As you are putting everything together, it’s time to be a bit ruthless when it comes to your notes and the points you plan to raise. If something isn’t compelling or isn’t backed by a lot of good data, you are better off leaving it out. These are essays where it is quite possible to become speculative.

  1. Write And Edit Your Essay

Your final step is to write and edit your essay. Your notes should be in good order, and your research should be thorough. Now is the time to focus on spelling and grammar, paragraph transitions, phrasing, and clarity.

Points to Think About

  • Peer Review is a Very Useful Step Here

  • If The Subject is Too Familiar Your Personal Biases Can Play a Role

  • Picking a Complex Topic May Seem More Advisable At First Than it Does in The End

Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some mistakes to avoid.

  • Avoid sources that are based in opinion and not fact

  • Choosing a topic without doing some preliminary research can be problematic

Dos And Don’ts

  • Get your instructors insights before you pick a topic
  • Research other cause and effect essays online
  • Ask a friend to review your final essay
  • Wait too long to get writing help
  • Miss any writing sessions or study groups
  • Try to tackle this major assignment all at once

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