What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

Students are required to gain skills to help them understand the relationships that exist between different aspects of the environment. This helps students to gain more analytical skills to better understand aspects of their environment and how they take place. The basic purpose of a cause and effect essay is tied to helping the students understand and explain to their audience why and how certain events take place and how they are related to the causes. In the essay, the students are required to explain why or how certain conditions are related to other events or conditions in occurrence, near or far. The writer is supposed to explain how one thing leads to another. For example, the students may be required to explain how the economy of the country is affected by the oil reserves. This element of relationship between one or more things is what is crucial in the essay. Where the student is able to form connections and explain the relationship between two or more aspects, this shows that they have developed their analytical skills. The purpose is also aligned with explaining known causes tied to certain known effects. On the other hand, the cause and effect essay may be tied to writing about a cause which is tied to an effect(s), which were not previously known to the readers. This means the writer is bringing new information to the audience. This is a common approach that is used by researchers, who will after certain discoveries explain the cause of certain effects that have not been known, but through research are now known.

Choosing the right topic for a cause and effect essay

When selecting a cause and effect essay topic, there are some crucial points that a writer should consider to make sure they have the best write-up. Students, writing a cause and effect essay need to consider the topic they chose and make sure it is fairly obvious. Choosing a fairly obvious cause and effect essay topic means the student will not struggle making the connection between the causes and the effects which are resultant. It also means they will likely have a high chance of misplacing the focus they offer to the readers. Ideally, if a writer uses a topic which is not obvious, it also means, when explaining to the audience they will have to explain more than they would have if the topic was rather straightforward. This is what is meant by misplacing focus, especially considering, most of these essays come with a strict word count. The more student wanders off in their explanations, the less they have to go on relative to the size of the paper. It is also crucial, when it comes to choosing the topic of a cause and effect essay, for the student to narrow down to a specific cause and effect. When discussing the causes of cancer, there is quite a number of cancers and the student will have to narrow down to one and explain one or few causes in depth. This way, the essay is professionally written and more informative other than picking a wide topic that is going to take up quite some space to explain. Sites like essaybasics and essayzoo may easily help with such task as cause and effect paper writing.

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Possible topics for a cause and effect essay

  1. What is the impact of children watching television before bedtime?
  2. What is the effect of taking too much water to the skin?
  3. What is the impact of smoking marijuana to the lungs?
  4. How does divorce affect children?
  5. How does alcoholism affect the society?
  6. What is the impact of electric cars on the environment?
  7. How does indoor pollution affect young children?
  8. What are the positive impacts of a healthy life?
  9. Why do some romantic partners cheat?
  10. What is the impact of unfitness in marriage?
  11. How did the second wave of feminism affect the relationships between men and women?
  12. What are the impacts of the civil war on the American society today?
  13. How does terrorism affect tourism in East Africa?
  14. How does terrorism affect travelling in the United States?
  15. What are the impacts of poverty on the people’s psychology?
  16. What are the impacts of drugs on prenatal growth?
  17. What are the impacts of cleaning agents on the skin?
  18. What are the impacts of the birth control methods on sexual revolution?
  19. What are the impacts of fast foods on children?
  20. What is the impact of technology on communication?
  21. What is the impact of depression on performance?
  22. How does alcohol impact the human health?
  23. How does smoking affect the human health?
  24. What is the impact of a sedentary life?
  25. What is the impact of technology on food security?
  26. What is the impact of technology on education?
  27. What is the impact of eating processed foods on human health?
  28. What are the effects of spending more than 12 hours behind a computer screen a day?
  29. What are the impacts of speaking on mobile phone for long hours on the ears?
  30. What are impacts of taking too much coffee?
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Common structure

The outline on a cause and effect essay takes a rather straightforward approach, with an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and a conclusion. There are three main paragraphs. Ideally, there is the first paragraph that explains the cause, the second explains the effect while third paragraph explains meaning behind the relationship between the cause and effect.

  • Outline
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement: cancer connection to smoking cigarettes
  • Body paragraph
  • Smoking cigarettes as a bad habit
  • Compounds on cigarettes smoke
  • Smoking and respiratory diseases
  • Conclusion

How to write introduction?

  • The key elements about writing a winning introduction is to make sure the audience would want to read further into the essay.
  • The author needs to start the introduction with a statement that catches the interest of the readers.
  • While the topic may be straightforward and something that they may have heard before, it is important that the first statement is eye catching.
  • The introduction should also be framed to highlight to the audience about the background of the topic.
  • The writer then sets the issues to be discussed and then the argument in the essay.

How to write thesis statement?

  • The thesis statement, should then be short and precise about what the essay is going to be discussing.
  • The information contained should be relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Given, thesis statements act as a guide to the way the ideas are organized in the paper, it should be framed in such a way to be argumentative or debatable.
  • Thesis statement sets the premise for the argument in the paper.
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How to write body paragraphs?

  • The body paragraphs are organized into three main arguments.
  • The first paragraph should be an evaluation of the cause.
  • The writer uses this paragraph to explain to the audience, the cause with some factual background information.
  • It is important that the writer does not give too much information so as to lose sight of the argument and the word limit.
  • The second paragraph, the writer dwells on the effects, while in the third, it is important to mention the relationship between the cause and effects.

How to write conclusion?

  • The conclusion simply sums up the main points on the cause, effects and the relationship between the two.
  • It is also in the conclusion, where the writer explains how understanding the relationship changes the perceptions of the audience and appeals to them from a point of importance.


When writing a cause and effect paper, the material presented is always factual, rather than opinionated. As such, the students should make an effort to get the information on the causes and effects from government sites, professional forums, journals and books. These are resources which can be found at the library, online websites and online databases.

Finalizing the essay

When the student is done writing the essay, they should take some time to read through their piece and make sure there are no mistakes, such as typos and grammar errors that could compromise the paper. Where the information has been sourced from secondary sources, the student should make proper citations and choose a good title.