Cause and Effect Essay Structure

Cause and Effect Essay Structure

The cause and effect essay is such type of essay that focused on the ability of the writer put together the reasons why things happen and the results they may produce. In short it is the relation between the causes of events and the effects this cause have on any considered case or situation.  This essay is invented to organize the discussion of the ideas of a certain situation and its causes and effects.

Each situation may have various causes and effects.  However, it is advised to focus on three major causes or effects of any situation developing a separate paragraph for each point. Anyway, as the other types of essay and a cause and effect essay should always contain at least three parts. These three parts are Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

It could be organized in the usual five-paragraph format one paragraph for Introduction, three for Body and one for Conclusion. There are three structures that may be applied in the cause and effect essay depending on different standpoint of a situation that analyzed.

Multiple causes  –  one effect :

  • Thesis statement (general effect of the situation, three causes that lead to the effect)

  • Ex. Poverty caused by lack of education, bed physical condition and economic instability.

  • First cause (a more detailed look on lack of education and  two minor supports)

  • Second cause (a more detailed look on bed physical condition, two minor supports)

  • Third cause (a more detailed look on economic instability and two minor supports)

  • Concluding sentence, final thoughts (restate the main thesis, summarize the points)

One cause –  multiple effects:

  • Thesis statement (one cause leads to some consequences)

  • Ex. Watching too much TV has many effects on the physiology and psychology of people and social effects.

  • First group of effects (psychological effects)

  • Second group of effects (physiological effects)

  • Third group of effects (social effects)

  • Concluding sentence, final thoughts (restate the main thesis, summarize the points)

Causal chain – the events lead to one another :

  • Thesis statement ( the first and the last parts of the chain)

  • Ex.  Wishing attract the girt leads to Athleticism.

  • First link (wishing attract the girl –  practice the sport to have a good shape)

  • Second link (practice the sport – gain a muscular mass)

  • Thirst link (gain a muscular mass – participate in Athletic competition)

  • Conclusion (tying the events up; may include solution, suggestion, an alternative explanation or a brief commentary).

Also there could be such form of cause and effect essay that explain haw certain conditions lead to other conditions (popularity of fast food lead to some changes). There should be made clear definition what those conditions are, and then detected how those conditions lead to other conditions. Finally, it should come with explanation what this cause-and-effect relationship means. This form of cause and effect essay then has five parts, with each part matching a specific task that need to be performed, and each part consisting of one or more paragraphs. A causal relationship can be described in a sentence, a paragraph, or an entire essay.

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Essay Writing

Causes and effects:

  • Introduction – general idea

  • Background for the topic (past and present)

  • Stating the thesis (main idea)

  • Focusing the argument (purpose of the essay)

Causes – from general to specific

  • The number of paragraphs corresponds to a quantity of cases and is often one to three.

  • Explanation of present situation.

  • Cause description of the situation should be present in such way as to prepare for the effect.

  • For example, if there is an argument that the popularity of fast food lead to a loss of health, then the description of how lifestyle affects fast food industry should focus on lifestyle that affects a health to act.

  • Effects – from general to specific

  • One to three paragraphs depending on numbers of the effects.

  • Logical move from cause to effect.

  • For example, if there is an argument that the popularity of fast food lead to a loss of health, than there should be a clear explanation of how the consumption of fast food related to a loss of health.

  • Cause-and-effect relationship – more general

  • Explanation of the meaning of the cause-and-effect relationship.

  • Importance of performed analyses.


Conclusion – restate general idea

  • Two sides of issue (cases and effects)

  • Future (recommendation)

  • The introduction of a cause and effect essay should serve several things:

  • present the general idea that illustrates the points of discussion

  • state the thesis of an essay and its purpose

  • strengthen an essay providing supporting, descriptions, facts and examples

  • lead to the body paragraphs by using transitional words and phrases

  • The body of a cause and effect essay focus on building a relationship between why things happen and what happens as a result. Writing the body paragraphs the following should be considered:

  • Provide details to describe one cause in one body paragraph

  • Provide specific effects in one body paragraph

  • Explain the cause and effect relationship and why analysis is vital

  • Support the main idea by information of trustworthy sources

  • The conclusion does not summarize the points from the body of the essay; it aggregates provided information from the body paragraphs and make inferences based on that information. Since this is a last opportunity to convince the reader to the writer position developing a persuading and logical argument is needed.
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